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Harbaugh: ‘Our Fate Is in Our Hands’

Posted Nov 11, 2013

Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers "blue-collar" mentality will help the team prepare for a tough road matchup in New Orleans.

The answers in Jim Harbaugh’ press conference were not focused on one person.

The 49ers coach consistently chose to say “we” in his replies.

Harbaugh stood at the podium at team headquarters in Santa Clara and took the heat for his team’s 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers. A game that saw the 49ers not reach the end zone and come up short on three drives to take the lead was not taken lightly by San Francisco’s leader.

Furthermore, Harbaugh didn’t want to place blame on any one of his 53 players. When asked about Colin Kaepernick’s role in the loss, the 49ers coach chose to examine the game as an offensive unit.

“The unit, offensively, we didn’t play well enough to win the game,” Harbaugh said. “Now, across the board, we think about accountability for that we’ve got fingerprints on it. I’m not going to go through, dissect, position by position, raking anybody over the coals. Don’t think that’s the best thing for us.

“We’ve got a tough game coming up and we’re not going to wallow in it. We’re going to move onto New Orleans.”

For those scoring at home, Harbaugh mentioned “we” six times and “I” just once in answering a tough question.

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The 49ers rank No. 32 in passing with an average of 173.9 yards per game. Kaepernick ranks 23rd in passing yards (1,675), 22nd in touchdown passes (9) and 19th in quarterback rating (83.1).When asked about Kaepernick’s ability to go through multiple reads, Harbaugh didn’t want to touch on the subject. He went back to discussing “we.”

“The main thing is that we’ll look at it and talk about it with our players and see the areas that we can improve,” the 49ers coach said. “Just dissecting it as a unit, we had too many negative plays in the game, too many negative plays, loss of yardage plays, penalties, sack, turnover, that we’ve got to get better at. We didn’t do a good enough job.” 

Kaepernick posted a career-low 91 passing yards and was intercepted in the final minute on a deep sideline pass. Kaepernick and the 49ers offense picked up three of the team’s 10 first downs through the air. He was also sacked six times.

Harbaugh wasn’t willing to point the finger at one member of the unit. In his mind, the success comes down to 11 players and a coaching staff working as one.

“There’s been exceptional work and everybody involved with it is working harder than you can imagine to get it to be the kind of winning edge that we need to it to be championship type of football,” Harbaugh said. “We didn’t get that done this week. We didn’t play championship football offensively. That’s always what our aim is. That’s what we strive for.”

San Francisco’s passing attack will be challenged once again with a matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The Rob Ryan-led defense ranks No. 3 against the pass, allowing 200 yards per game.

Harbaugh knows the difficulty in the upcoming contest, but he believes his players won’t back down.

 “I think their mindset will be what it’s always been,” Harbaugh began. “It’s a blue-collar mindset. And that involves fixing things, building things, sutures in our hands and the weapons are in our hands, our fate is in our hands and that’s our mindset.”

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