Harbaugh still defending A.J. Jenkins
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh is still coming to former 49ers
receiver A.J. Jenkins’ defense.
Harbaugh took the opportunity Wednesday to once again criticize
those who criticized Jenkins, the 2012 first-round pick who
underachieved in his one-plus season with San Francisco.
Asked a question Wednesday about Jon Baldwin, the receiver the
49ers acquired from Kansas City on Monday in exchange for Jenkins,
Harbaugh weaved Jenkins into the discussion.
”I don’t think it’s fair to bully or label a young player,
though I fully understand that people are entitled to their opinion
and perspective,” Harbaugh said. ”However, I prefer the criticism
– I’d appreciate – if the criticism is directed toward me. I’m
responsible, and I certainly accept it. Actually, welcome it.”
Jenkins, the 30th overall pick in 2012, appeared in three games
last season and didn’t have a single catch. With the injury to
Michael Crabtree, Jenkins was viewed as a leading candidate to
start at receiver this season opposite Anquan Boldin, but he hardly
distinguished himself through the early portion of training camp
and two exhibitions.
Harbaugh was asked to clarify what he felt responsible for in
relation to the media criticism directed at Jenkins.
”I’m responsible for helping pick the draft picks, fully
responsible for coaching the players up, and I willingly accept
those responsibilities,” Harbaugh said.
In July 2012, Harbaugh called out as ”clueless” those who
predicted Jenkins would be a bust before he even played in a
Referencing the fact that Baldwin, a 2011 first-round pick of
the Chiefs, has been scrutinized himself as an underachiever,
Harbaugh said: ”I know a lot of people have kind of made some
sport of A.J. and Jonathan, and my comments and that type of thing.
I feel the same as I did a year ago when I made those
The 49ers have some important decisions to make regarding the
receivers currently on their roster.
They’re still trying to identify the No. 2 receiver alongside
Boldin, though Marlon Moore and Kyle Williams appear to be
front-runners. Moore, the fourth-year veteran who signed as a free
agent in the offseason, in particular has helped his cause.
He’s started the first two exhibitions and has earned Harbaugh’s
”There’s the physical and the mentality, you need both,”
Harbaugh said. ”He’s definitely a talented player physically, also
tough mentally. Those things are a very good combination.” Moore
said he’s just trying to prove he deserves playing time.
”Complacency is death, man,” Moore said. ”The moment you
think you have a spot or any kind of position, that’s when your
Harbaugh mentioned Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins and Baldwin as
receivers who could take over some of the snaps that Jenkins was
getting in games.