Coach Jim Harbaugh is getting his San Franciso 49ers ready for Sunday's match-up against the Dallas Cowboys. During a press conference on Wednesday, Harbaugh spoke about the team's preparation ahead of the game as well as the strong play from his starting quarterback and running back.
According to Harbaugh, the transition into the second week of the season is the most important practice time of the entire year: "The week that you can get the most progress in the entire season in one week, is going from week one to week two. We really want to make sure that we're on point and that we're taking advantage of every possible way that we can improve and learn more about our football team." It seems that Harbaugh will be pushing adjustments hard on his players this week, and hopefully the intensive practice will help his team coalesce a little bit quicker under their new head coach.
Even though the team got off to a good start last week with a 33-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, quarterback Alex Smith had a pretty quiet game (124 yards on 15-of-20 passing and 22 rushing yards on seven rushes). Harbaugh, however, is very pleased with Smith's ability to scramble and pick up yards. "Really encouraged by (his ability to scramble). That was a point of emphasis during this training camp. To see him respond that way and do things that move the chains, get you closer to first downs... is something that's a real positive for our ball club."
Harbaugh is also pleased with the versatile play of running back Frank Gore: "I thought he looked good. He played a physical ball game, a blue-collar game for Frank. I thought he blocked well...He took some hits off (WR) Braylon (Edwards) and the quarterback." Getting additional production beyond just passing and running, respectively, from his starting quarterback and starting running back is a good sign for Harbaugh. If the two continue to perform well in the facets of scrambling and blocking, the 49ers will be able to move the chains consistently this year.
This week's game could be a big benchmark game for the 49ers: "We definitely look at it that way and the most important game is this one, is the next one. We look at it like 16, one-game seasons."
By Harbaugh's definition, the 49ers posted an undefeated 1-0 season last week by beating the Seahawks. They'll look to post another one this Sunday against the Cowboys.