Jim Harbaugh Quotes from Tuesday's Media Luncheon

Sept. 9, 2008

Here's a sampling of some of head coach Jim Harbaugh's comments at today's Stanford football media luncheon as the Cardinal prepare to meet TCU Saturday night in Fort Worth.

On Wide Receiver Richard Sherman's Knee
His MRI (on his knee) was positive, or negative, depending how you want to look at. It was a good thing. He jogged a bit yesterday and will have a full day of practice today. We'll see how it responds today and then tomorrow.

It's his patella that has been bothering him. There is no tear. He's working very diligently in rehab and on strengthening his quad. He's strengthening all of those muscles around the knee--the calf, the quad and hamstring--and everything that connects to protect that joint.

It's just something he is managing right now and he is doing a great job.

On Utilizing Two Quarterbacks Against TCU
It's possible. We'll take a look at how they are practicing. Like last week, I didn't alert you (the media) that Jason (Forcier) would be playing in the second quarter and I don't anticipate on alerting the media what the plan is for this Saturday. (laughter)

We are pretty much sticking with one guy and that's Tavita. Going into the Arizona State game, we wanted to see the other guys and get them some game experience. That was the plan. We're allowed to do that. (laughter)

Tavita, in terms of seizing the job, has done that. He is the starting quarterback. With that being said, the other guys (Forcier and Loukas) have talent that we want to be able to use at times. It (using more than one quarterback) doesn't diminish Tavita by any means.

On the Arizona State Game
It was a game that a few plays made a huge difference in the game. That (the interception on the first drive of the second half) was one of them. I talked to the team about sticking to the things that we do well. We have to stay in our realm, whether it's play calling or trying to force plays.

I thought our team was very competitive outside of a few big plays that made the difference in the game.

It's part of the process that we are in trying to become a championship-caliber team. It starts with being competitive. The next step is winning games, which we have done. Then, to be able to win games consistently would be step three.

We are a good football team that has the ability to consistently win games when we play our best. That's where we are at right now.

On the Play of the Secondary
I've watched our defense now four times against Arizona State. There were a few big plays that led to a big difference in the ball game. The coverage was really tight at times when they got completions. The tempo of the blitz and pressure on the quarterback was right there and they still got completions. There were a few other big plays that led to points, but there were also six-seven throws into the end zone when they were inside the 10-yard line that we turned them away from scoring. We also had an interception, a sack and a fumble.

When Carpenter was hitting those throws in tight coverage with pressure on him, his confidence build and he started taking some more chances that he might not usually take in that rhythm. Then we start taking some chances we wouldn't take when that's going on.

The way we were playing, it could have been a tighter ball game.

There were a lot of good signs from the game that should me we can cover, get to the quarterback, intercept footballs and cause turnovers.

On Tight End Jim Dray's Comeback from Last Year's Season-Ending Left Knee Injury
Dray will be back this week. He made the trip last week and will most likely make the trip this weekend. Last week he was out there in a yellow jersey going through some individuals and 7-on-7's. This week, we'll step that up.

Possibly (on making contributions Saturday). A lot of it will depend how he practices this week. He has to get strength back in his legs where he can run at this level. He's a little slowed right now, but you have to understand he really didn't have off-season conditioning. His knee was healing. It's going to take time to get those legs back underneath him.

Just because he's cleared for football doesn't necessarily mean he's back at the level he was last year. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks he'll get back to the point he was last year.

He's should tremendous determination throughout the rehab process, doing everything he can possibly do and more. There was a real will in his rehab and recovery. He also spent extra time with Coach (Shannon) Turley in the weight room.

They are a championship-caliber team. They win consistently. That program has been in place for many years now and it shows in the caliber of players and coaches they have and the system they run. They are an established football team.

There defense is fast and aggressive. They fly around the football and are rarely out of position. They are really good with their assignments. I've been really impressed with their defense.

On the Pass Rush
It was much improved. Clinton Snyder showed up more and got the hit, got the fumble. Pat Maynor had a sack. We were getting home and getting pressure. That's as important as getting sacks and turnovers. I thought we had enough pressure but Carpenter did a heck of a job in completing those passes.'

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