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49ers Vs. Giants, 2012 NFC Championship Game: Jim Harbaugh Sees Different New York Squad

The New York Giants and the San Fransisco 49ers faced off in Week 10 with the Niners winning 27-20. However the Giants are a different team than they were back then and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is keenly aware of that.

Harbaugh met with reporters Monday to discuss the game and how much different this New York team looks to the one they beat.

Healthier, is the biggest thing. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. Especially the linebacker unit that is playing outstanding. When we faced them, they were really down to one linebacker and two young linebackers and the one the linebacker was playing out of position. Those two linebackers have grown in experience and production. They added [LB Chase] Blackburn who’s playing very well. They got another linebacker back and that has really fortified that group. That group has really played at a high level and much different than the team that we played earlier. The defensive line was strong when we played them and now they’re stronger.

However Harbaugh thinks his team has also made improvements in recent weeks.

"I think we’ve made several. The character of the team, the execution of the team, the way our players play. Players like, again, [DT] Justin Smith, played great in this past game. I don’t think there is a tougher player that I’ve ever been around or known or even a tougher person, put it to that level. I was even talking with [Defensive Coordinator] Vic [Fangio] and [Secondary Coach] Ed Donatell about the same thing. Do you know a tougher guy than Justin Smith? Have you ever been around a player like this? We really couldn’t come up with one. The only guy we could even say maybe that’s tougher than Justin Smith is OJ Brigance, who is with the Ravens. Just the class and toughness that he’s displayed since being diagnosed with ALS, would be the only one that we could come up with."

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