Head coach Jim Harbaugh is doing everything in his power to have his San Francisco 49ers ready for their showdown with the New York Giants this Sunday in the NFC Championship game. The boisterous Harbaugh discussed a wide range of topics as he met with the media on Thursday afternoon. Here were a few of the highlights.
If you had to identify your team in a word or two, what comes to mind for you? Secondly, what has K David Akers meant to this team? What kind of year has he had?
"In a word or two? Define the team? I'll use six: The Team, The Team, The Team. With this team, that's not just a mantra, that's who they are. David Akers really could be our most valuable player. Maybe our most talented player. Really going along with who we are, [DT] Justin Smith can't do David Akers' job. David can't do Frank Gore's job or [QB] Alex Smith's job or [DT] Ray McDonald's job or [S] Donte Whitner's job. It's that kind of group that it's really who they are. They're a team. They all understand what they had to do. Specifically David Akers, he's probably the most talented guy at what he does, not only in the league this year, but it may shake out that he's the best of all time.
"Talk about the offensive line. Alex's development has been credited far and wide. What have you seen from the day of the start with the offensive line to where they are now?
"They've gotten better and better. I think that's a group that really has taken to heart being better today than they were yesterday and being better tomorrow than they are today. It's helped that they've all played together. They've all stayed healthy. They've all played 17 games. It's a pretty expansive question, what you're asking. Let's go back to day one and detail out every way that they've performed. They're 14-3. That's how they've performed. That's the kind of offensive line that they've been. They've been a 14-3 type of offensive line.
"Are you taking any special precautions because of the weather?
"Interesting you'd ask that. I know I was standing on my balcony today at about 6:20, 6:30 that area. Looked out and saw a very red sky. That means that ‘red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.' I anticipate that we'll have some precipitation today. Some weather. That'll be a great thing for us. Admiral Bull Halsey once said, ‘If you're going to fight in the North Atlantic, then you've got to prepare in the North Atlantic.' They're anticipating some rain on Sunday. We won't know until Sunday morning when we can check the sky. Excited that we may get some rain today at practice. Might help us to prepare for the ball game on Sunday."
In other news, Jim Harbaugh still gives the best press conferences of any coach in the NFL and it sounds like the 49ers will be ready on Sunday afternoon. As of Thursday night, there is a 40% chance of rain showers across the Bay Area.
For more, head on over to Niners Nation.