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Coach's Notebook: Jan. 20


Coach Harbaugh addressed the media on Friday, two days from competing in the NFC title game.

Did you get your wet field to do what you wanted yesterday?
"Yeah, we had some rain yesterday."

That's what you were hoping for to get a little work?
"Yeah, get a little… throwing the wet ball, surface, adapting to the cleats, etc. But it was pretty light."

Wish it would have rained a little harder?

What do you know about the field conditions at Candlestick? Do you know if it has the tarp on it? Do you expect the footing to be good?
"I do. I expect it to be pretty good. You don't know how much it's going to rain on Sunday, but it'll be covered. It's a good field. It was good last week. Put in before the Steelers game. Should be good."

Will you go up there tomorrow?
"We won't, no."

I know your focus right now is on the game specifically, but have you let the emotional side of this sink in and taken a breath and enjoyed where you guys are?
"Stopped to smell the roses?"

Yeah, exactly.
"No. I can only speak for myself. The challenge we have in front of us, and really our mindset, or focus has been on our preparation. The mindset that the only thing we have to fear is being unprepared. It's especially important against a team like the Giants. We knew when we played them in November that the Giants would be a team that would go deep into the playoffs. Just as we had foreseen, they are. Fortunately we're here, too. Get one shot and plan on giving it our best."

Is everything done for the coaches or do you like to do one final sweep, for lack of a better term, on Friday night to kind of go over things a final time?
"In terms of preparation? It's really never done. I think that 'the hay's in the barn' philosophy is not one that we subscribe to. As coaches and as players, tomorrow's another good day for us, in terms of the mental approach to the game. We'll do some running around, too. Kind of prime the guys for the game. Coaches, we continue to keep thinking about scenarios really right up until about an hour before kickoff. We're still talking."

At the end of the Saints game, it looked like the game was over, you called a timeout. Why did you call a timeout in that situation?
"[Defensive Coordinator] Vic [Fangio] called for it upstairs. He wanted the timeout."

Just to prepare for…
"He wanted to see what formation they were in, what look they were in."

Do you have an official status on WR Ted Ginn?
"Yes, Teddy, there's a chance. Questionable is the way we'll put him down for the game."

Did he practice today?
"He did some things. He did some work."

How about TE Delanie Walker?
"Yeah, he did some work, too. He'd be in the same status as Ted."

Have there been weeks in the past where coaches have put in new plays on Saturday?
"A new play on Saturday? I can't recall that."

Frank Gore, how has he been running the last couple months?

You have no concerns at all with how he's doing?
"No. I mean, I'm always concerned about all the players. Especially guys like Frank. I feel good. Frank feels good. He's ready to go."

You just uttered that you can't believe we just got that out of you in terms of a formation. Was that secretive? It seemed pretty basic but maybe I'm reading into it.
"That was probably information I would have not liked to have given out there."

"Because. It was a slip up on my part."

Any other things you want to share with us?
"No, no."

Was the sky red this morning when you got up?
"No. It wasn't. It was too cloudy, I didn't see it. It was dark when I got up and drove in. So I didn't see the red sky this morning."

What time was that?
"That I came in? It was pretty early. Zero dark hundred."

You have a pretty good feel for the pulse of your team. Is what you've seen this week, is it any different from what you saw last week and what you've been seeing all along? Is there a different aura right now among the team?
"The focus has really been good this week. It just seemed razor sharp all week. In their study, in the walkthroughs, in the practice. I gotta say, this is one of our better, if not best, weeks of preparation. I really feel good about that."

What kind of confidence do you have in your offensive line and the challenge that they have?
"A lot. A lot of confidence in our offensive line. Both those groups, on both sides of the ball, defensive line and offensive line, have really been the tip of the spear for this football team. Both with their physical play, their attitude. It's been a team attitude. It's been a selfless attitude. That's why I say that. Probably haven't talked that much about the offensive line, just in terms of just how pleased we are with them. [T] Joe Staley, [C] Jonathan Goodwin, [G] Mike Iupati, [G] Adam Snyder, [G] Chilo Rachal, and [T] Anthony Davis and [T Alex] Boone has done a nice job. Those seven guys. We've talked about them as starters from the very beginning and they've all contributed in a big way for us this year."

Carlos Rogers told me if he had to describe you in one word, he would use the word blue-collar and he said he meant it in the most complimentary way possible. I'm going to put you on the spot, what one word would you use to describe yourself?
"Moody and complicated."

There's been a stomach bug apparently going through the Giants. This time of year with so much at stake, you're not going to say you don't care that they might have some illness, but what's your reaction to that?
"We've had some bugs go around, too, this season. In fact, [CB] Chris Culliver last week at this time on Friday he didn't participate in practice. When I checked on him, he was in the training room in the doctor's office and he had a 100-and-some degree temperature. He looked like he would have had to die to get better. He got a great night's sleep that night. Came back on Saturday, got some I-V and some fluid in him. Even Sunday morning at the game, still feeling under the weather. Ended up adrenaline kicked in and he felt better by game time and ended up playing. There's a lot of things that these guys deal with that are like that. See if we can't boost his immune system for next season."

You mentioned the line, is Jonathan Goodwin good to go?
"Yeah, seems good."

You mentioned, if I remember correctly, didn't you guarantee a victory over Ohio State or something like that. And Bo Schembechler said he loved it. Do you remember that and have any feelings like that about anybody saying this from this franchise about this big game?
"I remember it, yeah."

Do you think it's a good thing? Do you think that kind of confidence, I'm not going to say necessary, but important to have going into a game like this?
"Like I've always said, you damn sure gotta be confident. All these guys are. If you're not, both teams expect coming in to this game with a great deal of confidence."

To prepare for the Giants, how much do you go back to the November 13th game?
"Some, yeah definitely. Watch it, study it. Try to glean things from it."

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