That’s about all he told the media during his Wednesday press conference.
The second-year coach is a master at dodging questions. If there’s information he doesn’t want to disclose, you’re not getting it out of him. You can ask it any way you want, as many times as you want, but you’re getting the answer he wants.
Harbaugh’s press conferences are an unfair fight. He knows it. The media seems to know it too. They try to sneak in with hard jabs, and he comes back with the heavy haymakers every time. You half-expect him to go Bryce Harper on the media at any point.
But Harbaugh was even Harbaughier than usual Wednesday. He decided to go with Kaepernick over Alex Smith, and he didn’t want to tell anyone why. He also didn’t want to say whether it is a week-to-week thing or if Kaepernick is his guy going forward.
The first 8:41 of his 11:25 press conference was all about the quarterbacks, and we knew just about as much at the end as we did after the first seven seconds: Kaepernick is now the starter in San Francisco.
The first 24 questions were quarterback related, and Harbaugh convincingly won all 24 rounds. In honor of Harbaugh’s new starting quarterback, No. 7, here are the seven rounds the coach won most decisively:
Question 2 of 24: What’s the rationale behind that (choosing Kaepernick)?
A: “Well, the rationale is you’ve got two quarterbacks that we feel great about as the starting quarterback. Both have earned it. Both deserve it. And Alex over a long period of time, Colin by virtue of the last three games. What tips the scale is Colin, we believe, has the hot hand and we’ll go with Colin. And we’ll go with Alex. They’re both our guys.”
This answers nothing, because Smith was about as hot as it gets before being injured. In the five-plus quarters he played before sustaining a concussion, the No. 1 overall pick from 2005 was 25-27 with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sunday, Kaepernick went 16-25 with one touchdown and one interception.
Nobody brought those stats up to Harbaugh Wednesday afternoon.
Question 4 of 24: What kind of feedback do you get from the veterans? You know, guys who have been with Alex and might have some loyalty to him dating back to 2005.
A: “You really don’t have the right to know what all those conversations are. And they’ve strictly been, as it relates to the quarterback, that the players believe in both those guys.”
Sorry, media member. You just got straight Harbaugh’d.
Question 10 of 24: Do you feel like you’re dangling (Smith’s) playing status week-to-week? Do you feel you’re doing that and do you feel it’s fair?
A: “Your words are ‘dangling’ and in your mind ‘fair.’ You make your own judgment. I’ve explained exactly what the decision has been made on and how I feel about both of our quarterbacks. And I’ve told you how our team feels about both quarterbacks. So I feel like there’s nothing more to add.”
He’s Harbaughlin. These aren’t body shots, they’re right hooks to the face.
Harbaugh obviously doesn’t care if he is being fair to Smith, nor should he. NFL coaches aren’t paid to make sure their players’ feelings stay intact; they’re paid to win. And if a now-backup quarterback gets emotional, it’s not Harbaugh’s biggest concern.
Question 14 of 24: One of the things you often say is that you want to get one- or two-percent better every day, right? Is this decision part of that? Or would it be that way with both guys?
A: “I’ve explained exactly. I feel sometimes like I stand up here and talk to you and I can read your eyes, thinking maybe you think I’m holding back – I’m not giving you something that’s not there. I’ve given you everything that’s there and explained it very well. I think I’ve explained it very well.”
Actually, you haven’t explained anything. And yes, you definitely are holding back. But then again, you’re king of this court and the media members are just the jesters.
For Harbaugh to say he explained anything “well” is laughable. But the way he carries himself, I wouldn’t say that to his face.
Question 17 of 24: Have you seen Colin close the gap with Alex over the course of the season, or was it really not until he got into the game where you kind of said, “OK we have a guy that’s maybe a better option at this point?”
A: “I’m not going to compare the two. They’re both good. They’re both extremely good. They’ve both played good, evidenced by their play.”
Yeah, but was Kaepernick closing the gap throughout the season? I mean, did you see things in practice in the weeks before Smith’s injury where you thought Kaepernick could outperform Smith on Sundays?
Come on, San Francisco media. You’re New York City counterparts would have asked the tough follow-ups.
Question 23 of 24: Beyond the “he’s got the hot hand,” what would you say made you choose Kaepernick over Smith for this? Could you elaborate on that a little bit?
A: “No, I think I’ve plowed that ground very thoroughly and told you exactly how I viewed it.”
Harbaugh so hard mothaf***as wanna fine him.
At this point though, I’m starting to believe Harbaugh actually did give us a real reason. I’m flipping back through my notes and watching this press conference again searching for it. He just answered with so much disdain, and there was so much conviction in his voice, I seriously think he already gave us a reason.
Upon further review, he definitely did not.
Question 24 of 24:You (said) don’t lose your position because of injury. This is against that. What was your thinking along those lines?
A: “I think we have two very good quarterbacks, that it’s a unique situation. You have two guys that you feel can win, have won for you. Two guys that deserve it. Two guys that have earned it. Alex over a long period of time, Colin by merits of the last three games.”
This is just brutal. He didn’t attempt to answer the question. Even worse, he didn’t even make it seem like he was attempting to answer the question.
Once again, Harbaugh tells you what he wants to tell you, and nothing more. This is his press conference, the media just happens to be there.
By a score of 24-0, the lone judge scored it as a unanimous decision, the winner and still heavyweight champion of the press conference: Jiiiiiiiiimmm Harbaugh.