It has to feel good for the San Francisco 49ers to have a winning record again, even if it is only the first game.
After their 33-17 win at Candlestick Park on Sunday, head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to the press about how the game went, what it takes to win, and how it feels to be a winner as a coach in the NFL:
Did you guys play the way you wanted the team to play today?
"Yeah, the only goal is to win and our guys did a great job. It's never easy to get a win in the National Football League. I thought our offense had a very blue-collar type of day. I thought [QB] Alex Smith played exceptionally well. He played tough. Good pass protection up front and they did what they had to do. No turnovers, that was huge. Defensively, it was lights out in the first half especially.
Truer words may never have been spoken. After the disarray of the Mike Singletary era, it's quite a refreshing way to begin Harbaugh's tenure; a huge W against a divisional opponent right out of the gates. Sure it took some magic from Ted Ginn (twice) but a win's a win, and now on to the next.
Do you feel different being 1-0 in the NFL as opposed to being 0-0 in your career?
"What I'm thinking about right now other than the feeling of winning, the great thrill of winning a game. That's what makes football fun. I'm sure it won't be too many hours until I really start thinking about this week. I always feel that a football team has a chance to gain its biggest improvement from week one to week two...I'm sure it won't be too many hours until I start focusing on that."
I love the fact that Harbaugh tells it like it is, explaining how he's actually feeling. It's not "well, I'll have to look at the tape" and a bunch of wincing and shoulder shrugs, it's straight up, real-talk 24-7. Once again, very, very refreshing.
You gave a big hug to Alex after his touchdown, was it because of the toughness that you mentioned? Is that the aspect that you liked?
"Yeah. He doesn't get that in, we're scrambling to clock it and try to get the field goal before the half, rolling the dice, putting it in his hands, and he came up big for us. Toughness. Great job sticking it in the end-zone by Alex."
One of the best performances from Alex during his time in the NFL if you ask me, especially the no turnovers part. You can tell he's more relaxed and actually focusing on what he's doing instead of worrying about making a mistake. Sure, he's been here for six plus years or whatever and it's only one game, nevertheless it's a jumping off point for 2011, and Alex is certainly off on the right foot.
You said to tune in to your conversations with Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll before and after the game. How was the conversation on the field after the game?
"Good. He congratulated us on the win and said we'd see each other down the road."
I'm sure Harbaugh wanted to show the press the beef had been squashed between them to the media, but I was hoping for some serious smack talk that Harbaugh wanted a recording of. Wishful thinking I suppose.
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