Harbaugh confident for second stab at draft

Looking refreshed and ready for another year of 49ers football and a run at the Super Bowl in 2012, Niners coached Jim Harbaugh talked after Wednesday's Pro Day at the team facility about what the Niners will be looking for in this year's NFL draft and his confidence and comfort with the draft process in his second season as the team's coach, while also touching on a variety of other subjects.

Q: After getting so much production from your draft picks last season, what would you like to see 49ers get from the draft this year, since you'll be picking lower and have fewer selections?
Harbaugh:
Well, you know, just good football players. Guys that can come in and compete and earn a spot on the football team, contribute, some will start. You know, that's what you'd like to see. Just good football players, though. Right now we talk about guys and where they're going to go in the draft, and what pick they're going to be. And really, the only time that is important is on the draft. And then after that, it becomes completely irrelevant. It's just a matter of who can play or not. Were they a good player? Were they able to make the football team? Were they able to contribute and be a starter-caliber player, that kind of thing. So that's what we hope to get out of the draft, players that can compete for those positions on the team.

Q: Considering what you got out of last year's draft, does that give you more confidence now that you're going to have another go-round with this, expecting to get a lot of quality guys?
Harbaugh:
Well, we hope so. You know, that's the goal. We've done similar things in our preparations that we did last year leading up to this draft. Everybody's put a lot of time and effort into it. And you hope that pays off on draft day.

Q: Are you asserting yourself more in the draft process and decision-making this year?
Harbaugh:
Um, the same as last year. I feel like I've learned a lot from Year One to Year Two. Feel that we all know how each other works. We all have confidence in each other. A tremendous amount of confidence in Trent and the entire scouting department, and a tremendous amount of confidence in our coaches and their ability to evaluate players. My own confidence I have gained in that regard as well. And just how we all work together, feel like we've all got better from the first year to the second.

Q: What about your own confidence? What has increased from a year ago? Harbaugh: Just having gone through it. Knowing everything you do the second time around, you're doing again. When you evaluate players, interview players, having known what the speed and tempo is in our practices and in games, exactly what an NFL football player looks like. So, in a lot of little ways, just feel like doing it the second time, I feel like I'm better at it.

Q: Trent Baalke said there's a specific guy you guys are zeroing in on with the 30th overall pick that will be there for you. Assuming you've been clued in on this, is this a guy that's been on your radar for a while?
Harbaugh:
I think Trent's trying to be dramatic with you guys. Builds the drama, you know. There's several. I mean, there's a lot of good guys, put it that way. There's a lot of good guys that we'd love to have at that pick. Having been through this once, most of the guys that you recognize as great football players, they're going to be playing against you. That's just the fact of business. We get one pick every 32 picks. But getting the right guy with the right pick for our team is what we're all focused on.

Q: With the offseason program starting this week, do you feel like this is the kickoff to the 2012 Super Bowl run that you want?
Harbaugh:
Well, it's the kickoff to the new year. That's the way I look at it. There's many people out there that feel that January 1st is the start of the new year. Some people that espouse to Catholicism and Christianity believe that that correlates with the birth of Christ on December 25. But for us in the football world, April 16th is the start of the new year. That's the new year. That's when the firecrackers go off and the celebration begins because we started a new year of football.

Q: Was Randy Moss' absence for the team's conditioning program concern you?
Harbaugh:
This is a voluntary thing, you know. The whole offseason program. The neat thing is that there are over 60 guys that are here. Randy and I talked when he was here and when we signed him exactly what the offseason was going to look like. We detailed it out. I know exactly when Randy's going to be here, and he knows exactly when he's going to be here. He'll be here in 12 days from now, be here on April 30. We all knew that going in. And agreed to it. I suggested it even. Because he's got family living back there in West Virginia. He's got family and kids to take care of, and I understand that. He can work out there just as easy as he can work out here over these two weeks. He's going to be here for the football schools and the meetings and the on-the-field work.

Q: What were your feelings about Bounty-gate and the things that Gregg Williams said about targeting your players during the playoff game against the New Orleans Saints?
Harbaugh:
Well, I mean, it's like uh… I don't have all the information, I don't have all the facts on it. It would be another guy commenting on it like all the other guys commenting on it that most of them don't have all the facts either. I mean, it would be like trying to comment on the clean water crisis that our world is facing. I mean, I don't have all the facts on that, you know? Who's going to be the best political candidate for president? I don't know. I mean, I'm immersed in football. So I don't think there's any need to be another guy jumping on the bandwagon having an opinion on it. The NFL is handling it, and that's good enough for me.

Q: Did you get a sense during that game in January that there was anything untoward going on, things that were illegal or dirty?
Harbaugh:
No, I have no untoward feelings about the game. It was a great football game. Both teams played extremely well and we got the better of it. I have great memories of that football game.


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