As the San Francisco 49ers prepare for the NFC Championship meeting with the New York Giants this weekend, head coach Jim Harbaugh talked a bit about the team's preparation heading into the game as well as a few of his players as well:
How much have you looked at the weather reports for this weekend?
"Been looking at it. Chance of rain."
Does that change anything or does that make any extra points of emphasis for you this week in practice?
"Yeah, it's worth following and looking at. There's a possibility of rain tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Wouldn't mind getting some work in those kind of conditions if it does play out that way."
Harbaugh might get his wish, as reports continue to show rain in the forecast this week.
Coach was asked about how he feels about Michael Crabtree this year, which he had an interesting answer for:
You may not be into the labeling of #1 receiver, #2 receiver, but is WR Michael Crabtree in your mind of that level, a #1 type receiver? What kind of year do you think he's had?
"Michael's had a 14-3 year as a receiver. All of our receivers have had that kind of a year, in terms of executing their job. I would say that about our offense, about our defense, about our special teams. I'd say the same thing about the New York Giants receivers. They've had a Super Bowl contender year. Everybody's good at this point. Both teams are good."
I like the way he described it, as a '14-3 year,' not trying to specifically look at numbers or games he did well in. He's part of the team, and will be judged as such. Coach was also quick to mention the true nature of Vernon Davis when asked:
TE Vernon Davis clearly wears his emotions on his sleeve. He gave the team a speech during halftime last Saturday. How has his leadership role evolved with this team?
"There are some situations where he does wear his emotions on his sleeve and lets those out, like all the ball players do. It's a game that's played and coached by emotional people. He's not like that all the time. His leadership has been through actions. It's been through support of other teammates. It's been through his willingness to contribute to the football team in ways that don't show up on the stats sheet. All those things are noticed by everybody. Everybody's antenna perceives that Vernon is a guy that's about us and not about himself."
As for the Giants, Harbaugh knows his team is in for a fight this weekend:
When you look at the game tape from when you played the Giants earlier this season, what is that that you see in that Giants team, how they were playing then and how they are playing now?
"How they were playing then and how they are playing now, they were playing really good at that time and they're playing really good now. I think they're a healthier team than when we played them. This is a Super Bowl contending team. That's who they are, offensively, defensively, special teams. Class, class team that also is a cruel team. They don't give you things. They don't let you have what you want. They don't make mistakes and turn the ball over to you. They're the opposite of that. They're an opportunistic football team, they're a hard-working football team, really at every position group. They are where they are because of all those things."