While today’s last minicamp practice was a little shorter than expected, the postgame speech ran a little long. Jim Harbaugh handed out perfect attendance certificates and t-shirts to 59 players, the highest ever during his regime (last year there were 31 perfect attendance honorees, although this year the 49ers decided to make rookies eligible).
Usually when Harbaugh is asked what he specifically talked about with players, he prefers to keep the details in-house. But this time he let everyone in on what he wanted the players to focus on during the upcoming month between now and training camp. In the process, he came as close as ever to admitting that the players’ conduct away from the 49ers’ facility might be the one area that needs the most improvement.
“Beware with whom you associate. Very important to know your surroundings,” Harbaugh said.
“Friend or foe. There always seems to be a foe presence. Get into good football position and be ready for anything that’s coming at you. Be able to see around corners, see under doors, anticipate. But mainly, surround yourself with good people.”
Colin Kaepernick, who learned a few lessons of his own this offseason about associating with the right people (or, to the point, avoiding the wrong ones), talked about what Harbaugh’s parting message meant.
“You want to keep good people around you at all times, regardless of where you’re at,” said Kaepernick, who said that’s become something he’s had to focus on the intentions of those who approach him “a lot more” over the past couple of years.
“I would say since I really started playing, it’s been something I’ve been more aware of. Especially in the past few months, obviously it has to be something you’re very aware of.”