Sixth-year linebacker Parys Haralson has quietly gone about his business on the blue-collar 49ers defense this season. Like many of his teammates, Haralson is preparing for his first NFL postseason after the 49ers went 13-3 and claimed the NFC West crown. 49ers.com spoke with Haralson about his approach to the bye week and the show of support he's received from the 49ers Faithful.
Q: How excited are you to prepare for and play in your first playoff game?
A: It's very exciting; this is what you work to get to. From all the work you put in during training camp, then you work to win your division and get into the playoffs and that's what we have right now. It's an exciting feeling and everybody's ready to work.
Q: What are your viewing plans for the first-round playoff games this weekend?
A: I plan on watching, but there's only so much you can see on TV. I'll probably watch some games with Justin Smith or Ray McDonald and we'll see what we can get. But still, when we come back to work we have to be prepared for whoever we're facing. Playoffs are another season; everything goes up a notch. A bunch of us played together for a long time and understand each other. Everybody just has to take care of their responsibility and understand their gap control or whatever their role is on each play. It just comes down to honing down on the fundamentals right now.
Q: How are the players in this locker room approaching the bye week?
A: We're looking at it as a time to get better. It gives us time to hone in on the fundamentals and get your own game into place. During the season, week-to-week, the time is cut so short. Now, you've got time to do things that you usually might not be able to work on – fundamental and technique things. That's how I've seen the veterans approach this week – just getting better as we prepare to see who we'll face. Guys have been in here getting their bodies healed up, working out and taking time to take care of themselves.
Q: What do you expect the atmosphere to be like when you host a Divisional Round playoff game next week?
A: It's going to be my first time in the playoffs, but I think it's going to be a crazy atmosphere. I heard that the tickets sold out really fast so I think it's going to be exciting for everybody. It's one of those things that you're looking forward to preparing for.
Q: What's it like when you walk around in public now that the team is headed to the playoffs again?
A: It's crazy; people kind of recognize you now. A lot of people are just saying, "Thank you." I've had a bunch of people come up to me and say, "Thanks for making this a great season for us." It's bringing a bunch of pride back to the whole Bay Area, especially for those 49ers fans who remember the glory days and championship days.