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Parents say John, Jim got passion from mother Jackie

Posted on 30 January 2013 by WNST Staff

QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

Opening statement:

Jack: “Before we open up for questions, I’d like to tell a quick story. Back in 1957, Jackie and I were freshmen at Bowling Green State University. One of the great college coaches, his name was Doyt Perry. He’s a Hall of Famer, he was our college coach there. Our second year there, he held a class. It was Football 101. There were 35 guys in the class, all purporting to be coaches. That’s what they wanted to do, high school coaches and possibly college coaches. On the first day of the class, Doyt stood up and he said ‘How many of you here want to be coaches?’ and of course 35 hands went up. And he said ‘To start the class, I’m going to tell you the three things that are going to be necessary for you to be a coach. Number three, you have to have a love and passion for the game of football. Number two, you needed to outwork the people that you were coaching against.’ He said, ‘The reason I say that, I’ve been around you for about a year and there’s not many of you here that are going to outsmart anybody so you had better be prepared to outwork them.’ And he said ‘Number one on the list, if you want to be a coach someday, marry wisely.’ I guarantee the only advice that I know I listened and followed from the great coach Doyt Perry was the marry wisely part. Jackie Harbaugh is the foundation of this Harbaugh family. She is the rock of our family. She’s the one that moved us 17 times in a 43 year coaching career. She sold houses at every stop and she bought houses at every stop. She took them in to school and out of school. She went to school when things didn’t go well. This is my hero right here, Jackie Harbaugh. You’re going to ask us how we feel on this historic day? Jackie, who has it better than us? Nobody!”

 

(on when the last time they watched a Super Bowl together was)

Jack: “I would say every sporting event, every big sporting event was a big occasion at our house. I can remember back when we were watching the Boston Bruins play in a hockey game way back where Bobby Orr had that great shot where he flew across the net and knocked it in. John, to this day, still holds us responsible because he was on a refreshment run. He was about halfway up the steps when Orr knocked that puck into the goal and he has never forgiven us for not seeing that. They had no replays in those days, so I don’t know if he ever did see the shot.”

Jackie: “No, not really because I don’t think back in the 70s, it wasn’t as big of as an event as it is today. We kind of took every day as it came. So, no Super Bowl parties.”

 

(on where Jim and John got their colorful animated demeanors from)

Jack: “I think anyone that knows the family and knows Jackie and myself, and I think John and Jim would be the first to describe the emotion, passion and love comes from Jackie.”

Jackie: “I think we both feel strongly about certain things in life. We’re so excited for John and Jim to be in this situation but we’re also really excited for the players and their families. This is a huge event for them and I just am thrilled that some of them, this is their first time in this situation, so I can imagine how all those mothers and fathers feel about their sons being in this situation.

 

(on if there was ever a time where they talked to their sons about toning it down)

Jackie: “No.”

Jack: “The one thing that we watch and take great pride in is that both of them are themselves. We were around Bo Schembechler for a long time and there were a lot of coaches that tried to emulate him. The first time you weren’t yourself, you were exposed and somewhat of a fraud. So, always be who you are and not follow anyone else.”

 

(on whether all of the ‘J’ names are on purpose)

Jackie: “No, we aren’t very creative. John for Jack, because his given name is John. So John is after Jack. Jim is actually after my doctor. Dr. Frasier in Perrysburg, Ohio. They came in and said ‘What are you going to name this baby?’ and I said that I liked the name Jim. Joanie Marie is after my mother’s middle name and Jack’s mother’s first name.”

 

 

 

 

-more-

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

MORE QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

(on when Jim and John understood that Jack was a football coach)

Jack: “Again, I have to point to Jackie. In coaching, a lot of times I left before the sun came up and came home after the sun went down. Jackie has a great philosophy and that is that she wanted her children to know what their father did. She wanted them to understand who he was and what he did. I can remember when they could just barely walk, John and Jim, that she’d bring them out to the practice field. We’d be practicing and they’d be around jumping on the dummies and then they learned they could throw the ball around. Then they learned they could get into the locker room and meet the players and those kinds of things. We would invite our players at Iowa and Michigan when they were growing up to come to the house on Thursday. That was the day we had off. Jackie would cook a great meal for them and then pretty soon they were wrestling on the floor. Jackie always involved our children in the job that we were involved with.”

 

(on whether Jack sees his own coaching style in his sons)

Jack: “I really believe they’re both who they are. I don’t think you have to watch very long or be a psychologist just to watch and see who they are. The beauty of it, they allow themselves to be who they are. I think Jackie and I are most proud of that.”

 

(on whether John picked on Jim)

Jackie: “I think that brothers both do this and so do sisters. So everyone out there that has a brother or sister, you all have had your little ins and outs with one another. So that’s not unusual.”

 

(on if either son has called to ask what the other has said about leading up to the Super Bowl)

Jack: “Bo Schembechler had two great sayings. One was, ‘if you’re going to play in the North Atlantic, you have to practice in the North Atlantic.’ The other was ‘loose lips sink ships.’ They both have subscribed to that philosophy, so no one talks to anyone. Jim is very quiet and guarded and John is very quiet and guarded. That’s exactly the way we want it.”

Jackie: “And so are we.”

 

(on how much Jim and John consult with Jack regarding football questions)

Jack: “The story that’s been told is on draft day in 2011 after the first day of drafts was over, Jim called on his way home and he asked what I thought about the draft. We didn’t have much to talk about as it relates to the draft, but he had not expressed to me who they were thinking about drafting at the quarterback position so I said ‘Jim, tomorrow in the second round, surely you’re going to draft a quarterback, but which one is it going to be?’ and it was dead silent. He said ‘are you talking to anybody?’ and I said ‘I swear I’m not talking to anyone.’ He said ‘we’re drafting Colin Kaepernick. Do I not only think that he’s the best quarterback in the draft, I think he’s the best football player in the draft and we’re going with Colin Kaepernick.’ And I thought to myself, ‘wise decision.’”

 

(on where this Super Bowl ranks amongst all Harbaugh moments)

Jackie: “I would honestly have to say that the birth of our own children and then the birth of our grandchildren are the most important to me and this is like frosting on the cake for our whole family, our extended family which includes a lot of relatives. I might take this time, if I may, to thank all those friends and families and all those ex-football players that have called us to congratulate John and Jim. They’re so excited for this because they feel they’re part of this, too. It’s fun hearing from them and sharing this moment with them.”

Jack: “All those millions of people that are parents out there, this is just a fantastic, fantastic experience and really no one has it better than us. But when you’re in the process of going through parenting, the day that they made the junior high school football team, they said we made our high school team. You have that feeling of being thrilled for your children. They go to high school and they make the high school team. Then they are lucky enough to get a college scholarship. Then every one of those stops along the tremendous journey. The thrill that you feel, I know this is on a big stage, but in parenting, those don’t rank any differently.”

 

 

 

 

-more-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

MORE QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

(on if they have any apprehension about after the game)

Jack: “For me, I jump in there—the one thing that I do think about is after the game. There is going to be one winner and there is going to be one that is going to be totally disappointed. My thoughts go to that one that will not experience the thrill of victory. That’s where our thoughts will be. We had a little bit of a dry run on this last year with Thanksgiving. We watched the game and I know this has been reported before, but we watched the game in an office in the Ravens stadium. They were so kind to give us that privacy. During the three hours and 15 minutes, this lady was comatose. There was no expression. Her face was totally lifeless. Her eyes were glazed over watching the game. Then the game was over and you just dropped your head and we went down an elevator and opened the door to the Ravens locker room—I mean, the excitement of victory. We’ve all experienced that excitement of victory—guys jumping up and down, the smile on John’s face. They were just ecstatic and that thrill of victory, there is nothing like it. Victory, the thrill of victory. Then you realize that you’re not needed here. They had so much going on for them. You walk across the hall, and you went into the 49ers locker room and you walked and you saw the players walking about. That look in their eyes, that look of not being successful and coming up short. We opened up a couple doors and finally saw Jim all by himself in this room, just a table and a chair. He was still in his coaching outfit. His head down in his hands and you looked into his eyes and you realized that this where you’re needed as a parent. Every single parent can identify with that. That thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. On Sunday night, we’re going to experience both of those great emotions. Our thoughts will be with the one that comes up a little short.”

 

(on if they are worried that their feelings for the son that loses will diminish the thrill for the son that wins)

Jackie: “No, I don’t think so because we will see both of them after the game. We’re going to hug both of them and tell them how proud we are of them and their teams because those teams are going to prepare well for this game. All of the players are going to prepare well. It’s going to be a cleanly played game. It’s going to be a fairly officiated game. That’s, to me, what we’re looking forward to in watching this game.”

Jack: “We’ll have plenty of time after, to tell them how thrilled and excited we are for them.”

 

(on what Jack remembers about giving John his first job as a GA in 1982)

Jack: “It was one of the joys of my life. John lived at home with us. He wasn’t making any money I don’t think. He was getting a scholarship to get his master’s degree, which he did from Western Michigan University. I don’t think he had a car. It was just John and myself. Every morning, we’d wake up and jump in the car and had a half hour drive to work. We had a chance to talk football and talk about strategy and talk about all the things that a father and son would talk about. We worked all day and sometimes things went well; sometimes they didn’t. After work, around 10 o’clock, 10:30 at night, we’d jump in the car and drive home. For like two years! Finally, I think we were able to give him enough money where he got a car of some kind and eventually moved out on us. Those years that we were with John were really a joy for us.”

 

(on what kind of coaching John did for him)

Jack: “Let me tell you a story about how he got into coaching. Political science, a good student, a three-plus plus student. He was right around a 3.5 student at a great academic school. Political science and possibly going into law school and all those different kinds of things. Jackie was so excited about it. She loves political science and loves politics. He came home one day and we’re sitting around the table and we’re having dinner. Jackie says, ‘John, what law school will it be?’ John said, ‘Mom, I think I want to try coaching.’ Which Jackie, I’m embellishing this story a trifle, to which Jackie went facedown into the mashed potatoes. She said, ‘What? Coaching? You’ve got to reconsider this!’ He decided to get into coaching and to come to Western (Kentucky). Our thought was one year he was on the offensive side of the ball. The next year, he was on the defensive side of the ball, so he could experience both sides of the ball. Then he was off to the University of Pittsburgh, where he worked with Mike Godfried at Pittsburgh as a graduate assistant.”

 

(on what Jackie thought about John becoming a coach)

Jackie: “Yes, may I tell the truth? There were no mashed potatoes and that’s what we thought John probably was going to do, but then when he came home and talked about it and I saw that look in his eyes, my feeling was you have to do what you want to do. If you want to try this and see where it takes you, that would be great.”

 

-more-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

MORE QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

(on if he thinks John will pull any tricks on Jim)

Jackie: “No.”

Jack: “One more thing about this Thanksgiving game in Baltimore between San Francisco and Baltimore. Looking at that game in retrospect and watching it playback a couple of times, I thought that was one of the finest played football games that I had ever been a part of. I’m not just talking about the way it was played strategy-wise and the intensity of the offense and defense and special teams. I’m talking about the players. The players—that’s what it’s all about. Those guys, on that particular night, they played this game the way it’s supposed to be played: blocking and tackling and running and chasing. A great, great display of football. I believe that’s what we’re going to see on Sunday night.”

 

(on the family vacation at Gettysburg a few years ago and if they talked about the brother vs. brother scenario back then)

Jack: “We did a little bit because we knew the game, the Thanksgiving game was scheduled. We knew that was on the schedule, so we talked about it a little bit, but it was such on plowed ground. We had never experienced it and wouldn’t know how we would feel. I’m sure John and Jim wouldn’t realize how they would feel. So we really didn’t have any kind of a blueprint for what it was going to be like. Now, we’ve seen a little bit and so we have a little bit more of an understanding about how to handle it emotionally.”

 

(on what plans do they have for a potential rematch next year in New York City)

Jackie: “One game at a time.”

Jack: “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard her say that, I want you to know that I would be rich.”

 

(on the differences in personality between John and Jim)

Jack: “I refuse to go to that ground, to that particular place. I’ve heard John and Jim both explain this and I think it’s a philosophy that we have in our family, anytime you compare, you have a tendency to demean with any kind of question like that. So we try to stay as far away from those kinds of comparison as we can.”

Jackie: “Really, they’re more similar than they are different. The media and people out there, they may have judgments about their personalities because of how the media might focus on them during a game and catch them in a moment of jubilation or sadness. That’s where the outside people get this feeling about the differences in them. They are more similar because they are both very caring individuals. They are both very good fathers. They love their children very much. That really makes us proud, to see them with their own children. They are very caring because they have done a lot of community work in every city that they’ve ever been in. A lot of work that really is unrecognized and that’s the way they want it. For us, that’s what we’re proud of. They are very caring individuals.”

Jack: “Just a quick follow up on that is for the game last week, the Ravens and the Patriots game, the picture on my mind right of that game is pregame, when the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ was being played. John was there and his daughter Alison, she does some work with him on the sideline there. She runs some photographs, I guess to the coaches. Alison was on the field and he had his arm draped around her shoulders and they were cheek-to-cheek. He had his hand over his heart as the national anthem was being played. For me, that’s moment of that game that I’m just going to remember forever. Family and country, how beautiful that message was. For Jim, it was a little bit different. About an hour and a half after the game, Jim calls on the telephone and he’s going, ‘Dad, tell me what’s going on. I’m getting on the airplane. I have no idea what’s happening.’ I said, ‘Well, they just fumbled. The Patriots just fumbled!’ Two plays later, ‘Touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin! We have a two-score game here.’ He says, ‘Dad, do you realize where this thing is headed?’ I said, ‘I think I do.’ He said, ‘Oh, by the way, I wanted to tell you Jack,’ we all know Jack, baby Jack, the four-month old. I think we’ve talked about him over the last couple days, big-headed Jack. He said, ‘Jack, you won’t believe this, but he cut his first tooth on the field in Atlanta.’ He said, ‘We noticed after the game he opened his mouth and there was first tooth.’ Now, can you imagine, not talking about he and John going to the Super Bowl, but talking about Jack cutting his first tooth. Family, family, family.”

 

 

 

 

 

-more-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

MORE QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

(on if this is going to be the longest three and a half hours for both of them)

Jackie: “I think that the NFL changed that rule. I think if it ends in a tie, then it will be a tie.”

Jack: “There are no emotions during the game. Last year at Thanksgiving, it was emotionless. There wasn’t any cheering. There wasn’t any emotion. It was just watching the game. Archie Manning, before the game last year at Thanksgiving time on Tuesday, he called and I can’t tell you how thrilled we were to receive the call. He just called out of the clear blue and he said, ‘My wife and I are just sitting here talking and we’re talking about how this going to be for you on Thursday. For us, it’s a little bit different. When Peyton is on offense, we root for the offense. When Eli is on offense, we root for the offense. He said, I can’t imagine how it’s going to be for you and Jackie when the head coaches are in charge of the game on both sides.’ He said, ‘I’m going to give you a piece of advice.’ He said, ‘Listen to me, a piece of advice.’ I’m thinking this is really going to be something profound, right? The advice was this, ‘This will be over on Friday. I promise you it will be over on Friday,’ and sure enough it was great advice and that’s exactly how it happened.”

 

(on if the anticipation of the game to be over is most difficult)

Jack: “I think so. I never really thought about it, but I think so. You wait for the end. You’re waiting for the end.”

Jackie: “Really, I guess, we can’t tell how we’re going to feel because we’re not in that situation yet. It’s like a football game. You really can’t predict who is going to win because in a football game, the situations change and they go back and forth. It’s not perfect. Even the video game of football isn’t perfect.”

Jack: “The one thing that both John and Jim have told us, this is over the past week. We haven’t talked anything about football. We haven’t talked strategy, but both of them have shared this with us. ‘Mom and Dad, please promise us that you will enjoy this. Enjoy this experience. That’s all we’re asking. Please, please enjoy this experience.’ We’re trying. I promise you we’ll try.”

Jackie: “I was going to say, they’re telling their teams the same things. Enjoy this moment. Really, truly enjoy it. They’re going to prepare but they’re going to take it all in, as they should.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-more-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

MORE QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

(on Jack’s relationship with Muhammad Ali)

Jack: “That’s a fantastic thing. I go back to the ‘70s, and my dad was a big fight fan, and in those days we had a fight on Monday night, we had a fight on Wednesday night, we had a fight on Friday night, the Gillette fights and the Pabst Blue Ribbon fights. (St.) Nicholas Arena, I think it was, in New York and my dad and I would sit at nine o’clock at night and watch fights, so boxing was something that we kind of grew up with. Muhammad Ali was such a hero for me, and a lot of things in the ‘70s I really didn’t understand, and then it kind of all came together. Muhammad Ali used boxing as a platform for love, especially with children, and especially with downtrodden people who were at a little bit of a disadvantage and he became my hero.  It started about 10 to 12 years ago with our teams talking about Muhammad Ali and Ernie Terrell and that fight. I had a chance to express it with John’s team and Jim’s team and Tom Crean’s team, anybody who had a team I was there to talk about Muhammad Ali. This year for the Bengal came, Muhammad Ali is coming to Baltimore. John had put this whole thing together that I would once again tell the Baltimore Ravens this Muhammad Ali story, but they were going to drive Muhammad Ali out (to the team), and as I was telling the story he would be there for the story. And you can just imagine the thrill of being in his presence, and the story of how we grew up with Muhammad Ali in boxing. Then, about two weeks later I go to San Francisco, and practice is over and Jim says, ‘Dad, let’s take a ride. Let’s go home and have some dinner with the family and then I will come back to work and you can stay with the family.’ And I said, ‘OK, great.’ So we are in a truck, we’re driving down, I recognize where we’re going, we’re going every which way, and all at once we make a turn and I say, ‘Jim, where are we going?’ and he says, ‘Well, it’s a little shortcut.’ So we went a little bit and all at once we come up to this house and we pull on into the driveway and he says, ‘There’s somebody here we have to stop and see.’ So we go to the front door, and we knock on the door, and they say come on in. And we walk and we follow into the study, and there sits Willie Mays. Willie Mays – my baseball hero, (and) the greatest baseball player to ever play, in my judgment. We sat there and watched the third game of the Giants and the Reds in the presence of Willie Mays. I’m a great Cleveland Indians fan. 1954 – Number 53, Vic Wertz, (with) Larry Doby on second base, he hits a shot to deep center field in Polo Grounds. Back goes Mays. He catches the ball over his shoulder. He spins around and fires the ball back to the infield, holding Larry Doby to third base. And I said to Willie, ‘Willie, I had that figured out. From the time the ball hit the bat, you knew you were going to catch that ball, and what you were thinking about was how you could get that ball back to the infield so Larry Doby couldn’t score from second.’ I think it was 2-2. And Willie looked at me and said, ‘Exactly. I had it from the time the ball hit the bat.’ I hope I’m not giving any secrets away.”

 

(on their sons following Jack into coaching)

Jack: “I go back to what I mentioned earlier. When they went out for Pop Warner football in the fifth grade, the thrill of a parent, that your youngster chose to play football, they asked to be a part of a football team, brought great, great joy to me as a father. All of those different experiences up to this are just boring. It’s so thrilling to know that your children, John and Jim and Joanie, as a coach’s wife, have chosen to do what you have done for 43 years of your life. This experience is so great, (it’s a) big, big, big stage, but it’s just another fantastic part of this great journey that Jackie and I and our family have been on.”

 

(on if they will see their sons this week and their plans after the game)

Jackie: “Well we are not sure about that, but we have visited with both briefly. That’s as much on John as Jim, as they are busy practicing now, but we have seen Jim’s children here and some of the other families are coming in on Thursday. That’s what we’re looking forward to. After today, we’re going to spend our time with our families who are coming in and all of our grandchildren. There are no dinners set or anything like that. We have no idea what we are doing (after the game). Like in life, when you plan everything out, which I learned after 10 years of marriage, if you try to plan everything out, it does not turn out that way.”

Jack: “One story I want to mention is Jay Harbaugh, how many know who Jay Harbaugh is? Anybody know Jay Harbaugh? Jay Harbaugh is Jim’s oldest son and he’s on the coaching staff for the Ravens. He’s doing the grunt work there (as the) assistant strength coach. It’s kind of an interesting story. He does video and works in the weight room and he just graduated from Oregon State. There, he was a student-coach on their staff at Oregon State with Mike Reilly, and now he’s with John over there. You’ve got father and son competing on Sunday night as well.”

 

-more-

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

MORE QUOTES FROM JACK AND JACKIE HARBAUGH PRESS CONFERENCE

 

(on what they will wear to the game on Sunday):

Jackie: “Well we are neutral in this situation. And actually, my daughter and a friend of hers helped me. I mostly wear Life Is Good (brand) shirts around and they said, ‘Mom, you can’t wear Life Is Good shirts around there.’”

Jack: “We will not have anything purple or anything red.”

 

(on Bo Schembechler’s influence on these two teams)

Jack: “I’m really glad you asked that question. There was a great article about Woody (Hayes) and Bo that I had a chance to read, and I want you to know it literally brought tears to my eyes having experience the ‘70s. I was there for six of the 10 years of the ’10 Year War’ with Woody and Bo, and the great joy that I get is that John, when he did his first press conference with the Baltimore Ravens, the question was asked, ‘Tell us the first thing you’re going to do as the Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens.’ He said ‘The number one thing will be the team. The number two thing will be the team. And the number three thing will be the team.’ Then in San Francisco, in their meeting room, you look into that room and you see Joe Montana might have sat right there, Jerry Rice was over here. The great players in this meeting room in their facility, and one the back wall, about three feet high is, ‘The Team, The Team, The Team.’ And then at Indiana, with the Hoosiers, you go into their practice facility and (you see) ‘The Team, The Team, The Team.’ Every single time that I see that expression, there is one man that I think about, and that’s Bo Schembechler. Every single day I was at the University of Michigan, his program was about the team. What is best for the team? What is going to help our team? We do it. If it’s not going to help our team, we don’t do it, and it’s not a difficult decision. The Team, The Team, The Team – that all came from Bo and Woody. To answer your question, I see Bo’s fingerprints all over the Raven football team and all over the San Francisco 49er team, and there could not be anyone that you could better emulate.”

Jackie: “I might add to that, it carries over to family, too. Everybody in their family is a part of that family and so I think, unknowingly, we took that philosophy into our family and our daily lives; that we are all a part of one family and we’re doing what’s best to lift everyone up in our family.”

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Kaepernick says Jim Harbaugh vital in preparing him for Super Bowl

Posted on 30 January 2013 by WNST Staff

QUARTERBACK COLIN KAEPERNICK

(on how it will feel to be back out at practice today) “It will be good to get back out there. That’s where we need to be in order to get ready for Sunday.”

 

(on how much head coach Jim Harbaugh has helped him since he is a former quarterback) “He’s been a great coach. He’s done a lot for me – making sure that this team is going, this offense is going, and making sure all of the quarterbacks are ready.”

 

(on what he has done to better himself since getting into the NFL) “I think there is a lot of experience under my belt now. [I’ve had] a lot more time in the offense and on the game field. I think that’s the biggest difference between now and then.”

 

(on the development of WR Michael Crabtree and Kaepernick’s relationship with him) “Crab is a great player. He does a lot of things well and he’s a very physical receiver. He wants to get in the end zone every time he touches the ball. As a quarterback, that’s something you love.”

 

(on whether the coaches and receivers have talked to him about when to throw his ‘fast ball’) “In practice, they do. Come game time though, nobody says anything. Any way that we can get the ball in their hands, they’re going to be happy.”

 

(on distributing his allotment tickets) “I have all of my 15 tickets and I gave them all to my parents to distribute to the rest of the family. That’s not my business.”

 

(on how the 49ers offensive line makes his job easier) “They have been doing a phenomenal job blocking people. In pass protection, I’ve barely been touched. In the run game, they’re opening up huge holes for our running backs. They open up the edges for me when I’ve been running. As an offensive line, they’ve been playing lights out.”

 

(on the transition from not playing to becoming the starting quarterback of a Super Bowl team) “It was tough watching this team do well and not being able to contribute. For me, what kept me going was the fact that I might get an opportunity to get out there. When I did, I need to take advantage of it. I think that is the biggest thing.”

 

(on whether his relationship with QB Alex Smith has gone as well as it could) “I think it has gone about as well as it could. Alex has been phenomenal and he’s done nothing but things to help this team. He’s done nothing but help me. I mean he’s been great through it. To me, I’ve just been keeping my head down and trying to keep working.”

 

(on how crazy the week has been for him) “It’s a little bit weird for me. It’s not necessarily crazy, but it’s something different.”

 

(on his experience being recruited to go to college out of Pittman High School) “My recruitment was very minimal. I had one scholarship offer and that came one week before National Signing Day. To me, it’s something where you just have to hope for an opportunity and do anything you can to get one coach to like you.”

 

(on the challenge of losing WR Mario Manningham and LB Kyle Williams to injury) “It has been tough. I think (RB) Kendall Hunter has been another play that we’ve lost and he was a big contributor to our offense. I think all three of them played major roles and were tough losses. This offense and this team has to adapt to it.”

 

(on what pushed him to pursue a football career over baseball) “I was a better baseball player in high school and a lot more heavily recruited. To me, football is what I love and it’s what I wanted to do.”

 

(on how important it is to have an additional week to get ready for an opponent) “It gives us another week to really scheme up their defense – get extra looks at what they’re doing. We’re really trying to detail them out. Any extra time you can get looking at something, the more comfortable you’re going to be with it, and hopefully, the more prepared you are.”

 

(on working at the Manning Passing Academy and his connection with TE Vernon Davis last week) “I was at the Manning Passing Academy. It was a great experience. I got to meet Peyton and Eli, and get some tips and pointers from them. In terms of Vernon coming alive last week, he’s a matchup nightmare. When he’s against a linebacker or safety, we expect him to win every time. He is really gifted out there.”

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John Harbaugh claims to have won most arguments with Jim growing up

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff

HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

 

(opening statement) “Thank you for being here. I want to thank all the fans for being here, that’s a great deal. We’re excited to be here. The Baltimore Ravens are fired up. We’ve had a great trip so far. We’ve had some football work, but more than anything we’re looking forward to getting started on that tomorrow. We’re trying to make the most of our day today.”

 

(on his brother Jim Harbaugh saying that John is a better coach) “He’s just trying to soften me up. Thank you very much, that’s a great question right there. He’s just trying to soften me up. I know how he operates, I’ve heard that before. He’s a great coach. I’m proud of Jim, I’m proud of what he’s doing. Proud of their accomplishments, I’m very impressed by their team. It’s not surprising. It’s the same way that he’s played and coached or whatever he’s done his whole life. That’s kind of how that team works.”

 

(on their sibling rivalry) “Do you have a brother? So you understand, right? Anybody who has a brother especially on that’s close in age, gets it. You just grow up fighting for everything. You fight for the extra hotdog. You fight for girls. You fight for everything. We both got our girls, but we both want a victory this week. .

 

(on whether they ever fought about who would win the Super Bowl) “No we never predicted that. We had our fights, we had our imaginary games more often in the back yard. We were never coaches, I could tell you that. We were the quarterback and the receiver, we were the stars, we were the players. The truth of it is that’s what this game is going to be decided by. It’s not going to be about the coaches. It’s about the guys playing the game and making the plays, like it always is. That’s how it always plays out.”

 

(on whether they are living their childhood dream) “Living our childhood dream? Yeah, I would say so. To me, in life you never know where your dreams are going to take you. While it’s great to dream, it’s more important to kind of leave open the possibilities of what God’s got in store for you and just see where that takes you. To me that’s what happened here. These are kind of beyond my dreams. I don’t know if I could have ever possibly dreamed that this was even remotely possible.”

 

(on the first Super Bowl in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina) “That’s a great thing. It’s been really neat to drive around town. We’ve had the police escort so we beat the traffic a little bit, and we’ve had a chance to look at the city and see the rebuilding that’s been done. I see all the documentaries and seen all the different things that the different stars have done to help rebuild the city. To see it up close and personal it’s kind of special. To see the Super Dome is in such great shape. As a coach I haven’t been here in five or six years, we were with Philadelphia and played down here for a divisional game. It looks great, the whole city looks great.”

 

(on his dad saying that he once considered a career in politics) “I wish I could think of something really clever to say like, ‘President Obama said he wouldn’t let his kids get into football, our dad wouldn’t let us get into politics so maybe that’s what it was.’ I wanted to do that but dad said, ‘No, it’s not safe,’ which it probably isn’t.”

 

(on what lessons he has taken from his father) “The biggest thing about our dad was just competing. That’s one thing he always taught us. It didn’t matter – he wanted us to win, he always said they keep score for a reason so you want to have the most points. But if you gave it everything you had, if you gave it a fight right until the end then you were okay by him. But if there was ever a time you didn’t run out a pop fly, or finish out a play or you wanted to quit before the season was over, that was unheard of. So that’s rubbed off on us pretty well.”

 

(on his dad’s coaching style) “My dad’s leadership style as a coach was enthusiasm; as he says, ‘Enthusiasm unknown to mankind.’ He was a go-getter, the best motivator I’ve ever heard. He’s talked to our team and Jim’s team a number of times. You’ll never hear a better motivational story from anybody than Jack Harbaugh. His teams were rough and tough and physical. He ran the triple option, I’ve seen a little bit of that from Jim’s team now so I’m starting to wonder if they’ve been having some conversations behind my back. But my dad was a great coach.”

-More-

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013

 

QUOTES FROM BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA SESSION

 

MORE HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

 

(on how he’s liking New Orleans so far) “So far all I’ve really seen is our hotel. I really can’t comment on any of the cuisine or anything like that but Jacoby Jones’ mom brought over some great food. We all ate homemade Jambalaya. We had chicken, we had macaroni and cheese; there was a whole bunch of stuff. I don’t know what it was but it was good and she won a lot of us.”

 

(on how the losing brother will handle the loss) “We’ve been down that before as NFL coaches, but pretty much our whole lives. We don’t need consoling. We’ve been in so many battles we pretty much know we don’t need it. The other guy wouldn’t want to hear it anyway, just move on and move to the next one. We’ll probably get a good golf game going sometime in the offseason and that will be good revenge for somebody.”

 

(on the celebration after the game) “I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I’m sure that Mr. Bisciotti has something planned for after the game and as players and coaches it’s our job to make sure that it’s a happy party. That’s what we have to get done and the only way to do that is by winning.”

 

(on whether he has talked to his brother recently) “We didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking. We did talk a little on the phone last night which was cool. We were talking about tickets and making sure mom and dad had a hotel room. That was pretty much the conversation, logistics.”

 

(on whether his parents will be wearing half Ravens, half 49ers clothes) “They would never do that. They would never wear half and half clothes. They’ll probably be neutral. My guess is they’ll probably be out of camera view once the game starts and they will be a bundle of nerves.”

 

(on whether Ray Lewis could be the teams chaplain after he retires) “We have already used him as our team chaplain so Ray could double up anytime he wants. He can coach; he can do whatever he wants. I think Ray’s got big plans. Ray’s that kind of guy and when he’s done playing he’s always a guy trying to affect people and change the way that people think and make an impact on the world. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to do that in some big ways.”

 

(on the way the team has overcome adversity this season) “Really proud of our players and our coaches, what our guys have been able to accomplish – to me it’s built the whole season we played four games in the first 17 days of the season. We’ve had personal tragedies with guys like Torrey Smith. Pernell McPhee has been through a lot. Coaches have been through a lot of different things that people don’t know about. It’s hard to understand if you’re not on the inside of a team with what’s going on. So many times the adversity and the criticism and the white-hot spotlight of the National Football League and you lose one game and everybody kind of thinks it’s the end of the world. Inside your team it can either push it apart of push you together. I think our guys have been drawn together because of that. We’re more a team than any team I’ve ever been around and I’ve been around some great teams. These guys are as close to that as any team that you’ll ever be a part of. They really love each other, they really do, and they really care about each other. That’s why they win even better as the season goes on and better as games go on they find ways to win games.”

 

(on playing for the fans) “Our fans have been fantastic all year, no less so than at the Inner Harbor man. We had the sendoff and  the fans were incredible; there were thousands of fans there. We’ll be looking for that wall of purple just like we always do at home. I’m sure there’s going to be a bunch of fans here, they’re going to provide us with a lot of noise and support our guys. But we’ll probably hear all our fans all the way back in Maryland. We’ll hear them all the way back there. We’ve taken those fans with us; we’ve carried them to the Superdome. They’re going to be in our hearts. They’re going to be with us here in New Orleans and we’re going to try to win this game for them.”

 

 

-More-

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013

 

QUOTES FROM BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA SESSION

 

MORE HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

 

(on what was implemented at the beginning of the season that lead to the team’s success) “I think we implemented something that is pretty important for every team and that’s just work, the willingness to work. We have a bunch of guys that didn’t mind working, a bunch of guys that love to work and compete. If you start with that as a foundation you stay loose, you stay focused. Accountability is big. Take care of one another. Do what you can to get from one day to the next. We try to get better every single day.”

 

(on who won when he went one-on-one with his brother) “I have to say that most of the time I won. I was older in all honesty. I won most of the battles early. He will probably refute that. We had a lot of arguments over it. Who cut the grass last, that was the biggest thing. He refused to admit that it was his turn. He refused to do that.”

 

(on how he is preparing to face a head coach that he is so familiar with) “My philosophy going against another coach is thank goodness we don’t square off against each other in the middle of the field, nobody would pay to see that. That’s an old Coach Reid-ism. It’s a great opportunity; it’s going to be fun. But it’s two teams going against each other. It’s the players, those are the guys that really deserve the attention. Those are the guys who have really won the games to get here. I know Jim feels the same way. I love our team, I love our players. I love the heart they bring out there and the competitive determination they bring to the table.”

 

(on what coaching philosophies he got from his dad) “I think everything that we are as coaches goes back to when we were kids. So not so much about watching Super Bowls together, it was more about that experience. Growing up as Jack Harbaugh’s son, who coached at the University of Michigan for several years for Bo Schembechler. That’s what molded us. That’s the philosophy we came to understand. Things like the team being the number one thing. Things like you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, you never stay the same. I hear Jim say that all the time about getting one percent better. That’s the kind of stuff we grew up with so to me that just come so naturally for us.”

 

(on the importance of the fullback position) “Fullbacks, as a former fullback, they all look the same. That’s the build of a fullback right there. It’s definitely the toughest position to play. It’s an unsung position and he’s the guy that plows open the holes for the tailback. The tailback gets the yards and the fullback gets the bruises. It’s going to be a big battle. They’ve got great linebackers, (Patrick) Willis and NaVarro Bowman are two of the best linebackers in the game and Vonta (Leach)  is probably the best fullback in the game right now. I think the game is going to hinge at large in those battles that are won or lost in the trenches.”

 

(on whether they are focusing on the run game or the pass game) “You know, you go either way really. We think we’re pretty balanced. I’m sure we’ll be involved in both. But with the run game, whatever team can run the ball the most is going to have a big advantage in this game.”

 

(on the importance of the Ravens victory over the Giants) “The Giants game was a turning point in the sense that we won our division. So that got us over the hump that way and we knew that we’d be playing at home in the first round. But I think it was more of a progression, the Giants game. Throughout the course of those three losses we were improving as a football team. We were improving throughout the course of the season; you didn’t always see the outcome because we had injuries and different things that were affecting us. Our effectiveness was different from one week to the next because of different adversities that we were facing. But our guys throughout the course of the season found ways to win games at the end of really tough situations and you can point at a whole bunch of different games and see that. We were unable in those three games to find a way to win one of those games at the end, especially the two that were the close games. And then against the Giants it kind of all came together for us from an execution standpoint. We were starting to get healthy, we were able to build on that through the playoffs and here we are now.”

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49ers Offense is S.O.F.T.

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49ers Offense is S.O.F.T.

Posted on 29 January 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

One of the things that has made this Ravens playoff run especially satisfying for fans of the team has been their ability time and again to prove the national media and the national consensus wrong. The Ravens have been written off at seemingly every turn of their playoff run, and just as quickly as they can prove the doubters and their perceptions wrong, along comes a new opponent with a fresh set of reasons to write off a team whose accomplishments have been diminished far too easily and often as emotion and destiny.


The sad fact, for football fans in general, is that the more you that watch games and then compare what you’ve seen to what the pundits are spewing, the quicker you come to realize that those who are paid to opine and comment on football games can’t seem to be bothered to actually watch much football. Instead it seems that many have defaulted into the habit of watching whatever games are of local interest to them or are being served up in their areas, along with the prime time games, and then forming their opinions on the rest of the field based on what they’ve seen in highlight packages or heard from someone else.

That being the case, this seems to be a Super Bowl match-up served specifically into the collective wheelhouse of the lazy media, as there’s little useful film on either of these teams outside of their playoff games. The Ravens changed offensive coordinators near the end of their season and took a couple of weeks to find a rhythm as an offense. Also, the national media seems to have been mesmerized by the Ray Lewis story to such an extent that they’ve missed the biggest single reason for the Ravens improved results, the inclusion of Bryant McKinnie on the offensive line. McKinnie’s presence has not only improved the Ravens at left tackle, but by casting Michael Oher back to right tackle has improved the team there too, and that move having pushed Kelechi Osemele to left guard has improved a 3rd offensive line position making the impact of McKinnie exponential.

The results have been undeniable, quarterback Joe Flacco, now better protected seems to have more time and confidence in the pocket allowing him to focus downfield and utilize his greatest strength, his strong and accurate arm. In the lead-up to the Broncos game, no one was suggesting that Denver had an issue in their secondary, because they hadn’t shown one all year. Hindsight now shows that perhaps the edge rush capabilities of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil was a big part of the secondary’s success. When that pass rush was neutralized by the Ravens new look offensive line, the secondary couldn’t find an answer and the rest was academic.

Hindsight as well would suggest that the “finesse” offenses of the Broncos and Patriots weren’t ready to respond to the physical style of play that the Ravens defense brings regularly. The evidence, on the Patriots side of the equation was there based on their previous meetings with the Ravens, as well as their inability to deal with the physical defensive stylings of the 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals. The NFC West, it seems, is becoming very AFC North-like when it comes to defensive prowess.

As the Ravens and 49ers prepare to meet for a title, the read option offense run by the Niners and the bold decision by coach Jim Harbaugh to change quarterbacks mid-season are the talk of the football world. What’s being overlooked however, probably because of the physical nature of San Francisco’s defense, is that their offense hasn’t exactly responded well to the physical style of play the Ravens defense projects to bring to the table against them. The Niners are bullies on defense but may be prone to getting bullied on offense.

The 49ers are a Slick Offensive Football Team. Their current brand of offense is geared more toward getting defenses off balance and tricking them than it is to simply lining up and beating teams physically. There’s nothing wrong with that, as league-wide there are plenty of teams finding success with that formula; unfortunately for San Francisco, they haven’t been finding success against defenses like the Ravens.

Slick Offensive Football Team = S.O.F.T.

While Colin Kaepernick seems to be the wildcard in the assessment of the 49ers offense, the team’s handling of Kaepernick makes it even wilder. Not only did the Niners change QBs mid-season, but even after making the change they seemed to try making him fit into a pro-style offense and force him to be a pocket QB. Once the playoffs came around though, the Niners have gone much more read option heavy and as a result, much like the Ravens, it becomes difficult to draw many conclusions about the 49ers based on anything other than their playoff games based on a glaring and dramatic change in strategy.

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Niners LB Smith not sure if John Harbaugh as intense as Jim

Posted on 28 January 2013 by WNST Staff

LINEBACKER ALDON SMITH

(on why being named team MVP means so much to him) “A lot because you have a lot of guys on this team who are all-stars, who have made Pro Bowls consecutively. You have Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, I can go on. I come in my second year and I get the MVP, it means a lot.”

(on how he found out he was named team MVP) “We were all in a meeting together as a team. (Head) Coach (Jim) Harbaugh got up and just went out there and said it.”

(on his relationship with Justin Smith) “Other than our last names being Smith (and) us going to Missouri, from the time I stepped into the NFL, he was the guy who helped me out with everything. I worked out with him during the (2011)-lockout and he helped me a lot just coming in my rookie year. Then on the field, we just work well with each other. We feed off each other. We have a rhythm that we just developed together.”

(on why he has gotten less sacks recently) “A lot more guys coming to block me. I’m getting double-teamed a lot, triple-teamed at times, and then the quarterbacks are getting the ball out fast. Another thing that’s really cool about that is if I’m not making a play, a lot of times I’m getting double-teamed a sack comes from somebody else. I might not get it, but at the end of the day the stats still say it’s a sack.”

(on if he agrees that San Francisco seems to get stronger in the second half) “I do agree with that. We really work hard. We lift a lot. We take good care of ourselves and I think that all just transitions on. We’re not just a team that’s good in the first half; we play four quarters of good football.”

(on if he was surprised he was named team MVP) “Yes, a little bit. Like I said, there are a lot of guys that are good (and) a lot of guys that could have gotten that award. It was an honor.”

(on the quality of linebackers playing in the Super Bowl) “You could say (that) it’s the linebacker bowl, right? There are a lot of guys that can play. You have a lot of guys. You have Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks, me, Ray Lewis, (and) Terrell Suggs. There’s going to be a lot of talent out there. That’s where we are.”

(on the demeanor of Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio) “Vic is a calm guy. He’s not one of those coaches that’s yelling at you and doing a lot of vocal. He gets the message across and everybody understands it. We take it and go with it.”

(on if he talked to Michael Strahan while he was chasing his sack record) “No, I actually talked to him before the Atlanta game on the field. We joked around about it. He was kind of giving me a hard time about not getting it. That’s about it.”

(on Head Coach Jim Harbaugh saying every team needs an Aldon Smith on it) “That’s an honor. Coming from Coach Harbaugh, that means a lot. It’s an honor.”

(on President Obama’s comments on the safety of football) “I think the game has been like it always has. It’s a physical game. Everybody plays hard. Guys get hit sometimes and that’s what we all know coming into the game. We all signed up for it. It’s not like we signed up and thought we were going to play tennis. We came out. We’re playing football.”

(on whether the team has talked about the potential distractions of New Orleans) “Really be responsible. We know what our goal is. Our goal is to come in here and win the game, not just to come down here and be at the Super Bowl. We’re coming down here to win the game. We all have that goal, so everybody is just being responsible and doing the right thing.”

(on losing in the NFC Championship last season) “We were so close last year. We were so close. We all know how we felt and we didn’t want that feeling again this year. I think every time we were all together, whether it was for our workouts, just our meetings or just hanging out, we all knew that if we ever got back to this situation, it was not going to end up like that. We want to be here.”

(on how Justin Smith helps him on the field) “It’s attention. He’s a guy that draws a lot of attention. He’s a great player and a Pro Bowl guy. With that, if they’re doubling him, they might single me up. Regardless, we’re all getting a lot of attention and one of us will be free or singled up and we’ll take advantage of it.”

(on the advantage of the two weeks between the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl) “I think the advantage is that you get your body healthy. You get your legs back. The only disadvantage would maybe be the little bit of momentum that kind of gets lost.”

(on the extra attentions he has gotten from opposing offenses) “I really just go out and play. I don’t try to think too much about what they’re doing. I have to play my game. I have to do what I do well to be successful, so my goal is to just go out there and play.”

(on what Randy Moss said to the team before they left) “Everybody respects Randy Moss. Everybody respects his word and what he’s done on the field. He really just kind of kept it simple. We all know our goal. We all know what we really want, so just make the right decisions and be ready to play on Sunday.”

(on what was being said after falling behind by 17 against Atlanta in the NFC Championship) “Not a lot was being said. More so, we all believed in each other. We all knew what our goal was and we all had that understanding that we wanted to come out of there with a win. I think that’s one of the things that propelled us to the win – nobody panicked, nobody second-guessed each other. We just went out there and put four quarters together.”

(on whether playing at the Superdome earlier this season gives the 49ers an advantage) “We’ve been here before. I don’t think that really matters at all. It’s a game. Every game is different, so we’ll see.”

(on the process of getting a sack) “You beat the guy in front of you. Then you go and make the big play. Everybody cheers and you feel good.”

(on Head Coach Jim Harbaugh) “He’s a unique guy. He still thinks he’s a player. He’s really intense. I don’t know John that much, but I don’t know if he’s as intense as his brother.”

(on Coach Fangio and his dry sense of humor) “Vic is a really cool guy. He’s just cool and he doesn’t say a lot. You’re right on his sense of humor. He makes jokes and they’re not really that funny. He thinks they’re funny, but nobody laughs. He gets his message across.”

(on how Coach Harbaugh acts like a player) “You catch him running across the field, throwing the ball and doing little things like he’s still playing. He’s a big kid out there.”

(on who the team looks up to as leaders) “I think we all lead. I think there are a couple guys that have been playing a long time that you can look up to like Justin (Smith) and  (Patrick) Willis, but there are a lot of guys. Everybody is a leader and that’s what makes us really good.”

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49ers, Ravens have never lost in Super Bowl

Posted on 28 January 2013 by WNST Staff

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII: BALTIMORE RAVENS VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

 

It all comes down to this.

 

On Sunday, February 3, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will meet in Super Bowl XLVII (6:00 PM ET, CBS) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

 

The game will mark the first time in any of the four major professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL) that brothers – Baltimore’s JOHN and San Francisco’s JIM HARBAUGH – will match up against one another as head coaches in a postseason game.

 

“I guess it’s pretty neat,” says John Harbaugh, who has eight postseason wins in his first five seasons, tied with TOM FLORES for the most since the 1970 merger. “It’s pretty cool. But it’s really about the team. It’s about the players. That’s what it’s about. It’s about those guys. The more we focus on those guys, the better it is for everybody.”

 

The 49ers (5-0) and Ravens (1-0) are a combined 6-0 in the Super Bowl. San Francisco won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV and XXIX. Baltimore won Super Bowl XXXV. This is the 49ers’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1994 season. The Ravens’ lone Super Bowl appearance came during the 2000 season.

 

TEAM

SUPER BOWL RECORD

SUPER BOWL WINS
San Francisco 49ers

5-0

XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, XXIX
Baltimore Ravens

1-0

XXXV

 

Super Bowl XLVII will be the second Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXX between Dallas and Pittsburgh) in which each team lost its Conference Championship Game the previous year. In 2011, the 49ers lost to the New York Giants in the NFC title game and the Ravens were defeated by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

 

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be in the Super Bowl,” says 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker PATRICK WILLIS, who leads the team with 19 tackles in the postseason. “I’m really grateful for this.”

 

During Championship Game weekend, the Ravens and 49ers became the first set of road teams to win the Conference Championships since 1997 (Denver and Green Bay). In the second halves of their games, the Ravens (21-0) and 49ers (14-0) outscored their opponents 35-0. The AFC (47.7 million viewers) and NFC (42.0 million viewers) Championship Games ranked as TV’s most-watched programs since Super Bowl XLVI.

 

“This is a great moment for our team, for the city of San Francisco and the whole Bay Area,” says 49ers Pro Bowl safety DONTE WHITNER. “Now for the big one in New Orleans. We’re going to be ready.”

 

The Ravens defeated New England 28-13 at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship Game. It marked the first time that the Patriots lost a home game in which TOM BRADY started and New England led at halftime; the Patriots had been 67-0 (including postseason). In the victory, quarterback JOE FLACCO threw three touchdown passes, including two to wide receiver ANQUAN BOLDIN.

 

“Joe Flacco has been great at playoff time,” says NFL Network analyst and former quarterback KURT WARNER. “That’s when he plays his best football.”

 

With the Ravens playing in the Super Bowl, this is the seventh time in the past eight seasons in which a team that played in the Wild Card round has advanced to the Super Bowl.

 

The win at New England marked the sixth road playoff victory for Flacco, the most in NFL history. His eight postseason wins are tied with BEN ROETHLISBERGER for the second-most in a quarterback’s first five NFL seasons, trailing only Brady (nine).

 

QUARTERBACK TEAM

FIRST FIVE SEASONS

PLAYOFF WINS

Tom Brady New England

2000-04

9

Joe Flacco Baltimore

2008-12

8*

Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh

2004-08

8

                                                                      *Currently in fifth season

 

“This is just one of those things you dream of when you are a little kid,” says Flacco about advancing to the Super Bowl. “You watch JOE MONTANA and those guys in the Super Bowl. So to be here at this point is pretty special.”

 

Flacco leads the NFL in the playoffs with a 114.7 passer rating, which includes eight touchdowns and no interceptions. In NFL postseason history, the only quarterbacks to finish a postseason with at least nine touchdowns and no interceptions are former 49ers quarterbacks and Pro Football Hall of Famers STEVE YOUNG (nine touchdowns; 1994) and Montana (11 touchdowns; 1989).

 

Veteran linebacker RAY LEWIS – who was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV – has led the Baltimore defense. The Ravens joined the 2010 New York Jets as the only teams to defeat both PEYTON MANNING and Tom Brady in the same postseason. Lewis, who will retire after the season, leads the NFL with 44 tackles in the playoffs.

 

“Ray Lewis is a guy who has been here since the beginning of this franchise,” says Baltimore safety BERNARD POLLARD. “He’s a guy who is ‘The Raven.’ We all respect him. When he speaks, everybody stops, everybody hears him. He’s kept the team together. He’s kept this organization together in so many ways. We’re all in this together. We want to go win this thing.”

 

The 49ers erased a 17-0 deficit in the NFC Championship Game to defeat Atlanta 28-24. San Francisco is one of only three teams to win a postseason game on the road after trailing by as many as 17 points.

 

“We fought hard,” says 49ers running back FRANK GORE, who rushed for two touchdowns in the win over Atlanta. “We fought and we deserved it.”

 

San Francisco’s COLIN KAEPERNICK, who took over as the team’s starting quarterback in Week 11, has guided the team to a 7-2 record (.778) in his starts, including a pair of postseason victories. In those nine starts, he has a 101.2 passer rating (13 touchdowns, four interceptions) and has rushed for 440 yards with four TDs.
In the NFC Championship Game, he completed 16 of 21 passes (76.2 percent) for 233 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 127.7 passer rating. His 11.1 yards per pass mark was the highest in 49ers postseason history, besting the previous club record of 10.7 held by Joe Montana.

 

“He’s made great plays for us and stepped up big for us all season,” says 49ers Pro Bowl tackle JOE STALEY about his quarterback. “I’m excited to go into this next game with him.”

 

Kaepernick will be the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to start the Super Bowl in the same season as his first career NFL start, joining TOM BRADY, KURT WARNER and VINCE FERRAGAMO.

 

QUARTERBACK TEAM

SEASON

SUPER BOWL RESULT
Vince Ferragamo LA Rams

1979

Lost to Pittsburgh, 31-19
Kurt Warner St. Louis

1999

Defeated Tennessee, 23-16
Tom Brady New England

2001

Defeated St. Louis, 20-17
Colin Kaepernick San Francisco

2012

Faces Baltimore on February 3

 

Kaepernick’s seven career regular-season starts are the third-fewest for a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl, trailing only JEFF HOSTETLER (four) and Ferragamo (five).

 

“If Colin Kaepernick plays well in the Super Bowl, he is going to change the face of the quarterback position,” says NFL Network analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer DEION SANDERS.

 

In the postseason, Kaepernick has a 105.9 passer rating and has rushed for 202 yards. No player has ever posted a 100+ passer rating and rushed for at least 200 yards in a single postseason.

 

“Winning the George Halas Trophy is a huge accomplishment,” says Jim Harbaugh. “It’s another flag. You want to get as many trophies and flags as you can. We said at the start of this there are three Super Bowls to win. We have won two so far and have one more coming up.”

FINAL 2012 NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference

East Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

y-New England Patriots

12

4

0

.750

557

331

6-2-0

6-2-0

11-1-0

6-0-0

Won 2

Miami Dolphins

7

9

0

.438

288

317

5-3-0

2-6-0

5-7-0

2-4-0

Lost 1

New York Jets

6

10

0

.375

281

375

3-5-0

3-5-0

4-8-0

2-4-0

Lost 3

Buffalo Bills

6

10

0

.375

344

435

4-4-0

2-6-0

5-7-0

2-4-0

Won 1

 

North Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

y-Baltimore Ravens

10

6

0

.625

398

344

6-2-0

4-4-0

8-4-0

4-2-0

Lost 1

x-Cincinnati Bengals

10

6

0

.625

391

320

4-4-0

6-2-0

7-5-0

3-3-0

Won 3

Pittsburgh Steelers

8

8

0

.500

336

314

5-3-0

3-5-0

5-7-0

3-3-0

Won 1

Cleveland Browns

5

11

0

.313

302

368

4-4-0

1-7-0

5-7-0

2-4-0

Lost 3

 

South Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

y-Houston Texans

12

4

0

.750

416

331

6-2-0

6-2-0

10-2-0

5-1-0

Lost 2

x-Indianapolis Colts

11

5

0

.688

357

387

7-1-0

4-4-0

8-4-0

4-2-0

Won 2

Tennessee Titans

6

10

0

.375

330

471

4-4-0

2-6-0

5-7-0

1-5-0

Won 1

Jacksonville Jaguars

2

14

0

.125

255

444

1-7-0

1-7-0

2-10-0

2-4-0

Lost 5

 

West Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

z-Denver Broncos

13

3

0

.813

481

289

7-1-0

6-2-0

10-2-0

6-0-0

Won 11

San Diego Chargers

7

9

0

.438

350

350

3-5-0

4-4-0

7-5-0

4-2-0

Won 2

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Jim Harbaugh not sure Superdome experience benefits Kaepernick, 49ers

Posted on 27 January 2013 by WNST Staff

HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH

 

(on the benefits of having Colin Kaepernick making his first road start in the Superdome) “What are the benefits? He’s played in this stadium, just as all our team has. I don’t know how much of an advantage that is. I can’t really put an advantage quota on it.”

 

(on if he tried to keep the routine normal this week before coming to New Orleans) “Not to go into the plan of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish, we got a good idea. It’s what we’ve done and it’s been successful so far. Our team has been really focused on winning, focused on the unity of the team. I think it’s really genuine. I think it’s the best focus on unity and winning that I’ve ever seen or been a part of. This week, we tried to make it like a normal week, being here on Sunday, in the city starting Monday like it’s a week leading up to a Sunday game is our plan.”

 

(on playing for Coach George Seifert and what he learned) “Quite a bit. It was a real pleasure to work with George Seifert, to get a chance to know him. I didn’t get on the field that year. One of the great things was being able to meet Greg Roman, who was an assistant offensive line coach at the time. I was just so impressed with his knowledge of football and the kind of guy he was. We struck up a very good friendship within the first couple weeks I was there. I made friends right off the bat. Later, getting a chance to work with him was a real great thing for us.”

 

(on if he has spoken to any other Super Bowl coaches to get any insight on how to prepare for Super Bowl week and what the special challenges are being a first time Super Bowl coach) “No real in depth types of things. I had a short conversation with Bill Cowher when he was out interviewing some of our players. I was on a radio show the other day and John Madden was on as well—a couple short comments as well. (The challenge is) that you haven’t done it before. Its uncharted waters for a rookie Super Bowl coach, but that’s exciting too. We have a great thrill and great desire to be in uncharted waters. Our coaches and our players have always relished that and strived in that type of environment.”

 

(on coaching a franchise that has never lost a Super Bowl and his plans for working with the team this week) “There is a great 49er history with our team and we’re proud of that. As far as working during the week, meetings, practices and that will be our focus each day. There will be weight lifting involved tomorrow and meetings and practices.”

 

(on Bill Walsh dressing up as a bell man before his first Super Bowl and if he sees any need to add some levity for his players and if they need anything to ease the pressure) “Dashon Goldson had a quote on our quote board about two and a half weeks ago that ‘We get fresher under pressure.’ That bodes well for us.”

 

(on what he recalls about the 49ers and their dominance in the 80s) “What I remember, I played against some of those teams. As you described, dominant. The organization has a tremendous history and we’re very proud of it. This is new business and our team is focused on winning a championship.”

 

(on how much of himself does he see in Colin Kaepernick in terms of his attitude and passion for the game) “I shared this with some of our beat writers a week and a half ago, but it’s true. It’s a true story. When Colin is running and the stride that he has, the gracefulness with his stride, the ground that he covers, how fast and quick he is reminds me of myself. Then I wake up. But when I dream and have visions of how I run personally, it’s the way Colin runs.”

 

(on how important Trent Baalke has been to the makeup of the team) “Very important. A key integral member. It’s a team effort. We’ve always said that. Everyone does a little and it adds up to be a lot. That’s been our approach.”

 

(on if he has been to a Super Bowl before and if so, what was his experience like) “Yes, I have attended Super Bowls in the past. For example, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago. I was at this Super Bowl in New Orleans when San Francisco played Denver and there might have been one other one along the way. There might have been a couple other ones.”

(on him being a gutsy quarterback when he played in the NFL) “Can you spread the word on that a little? Can you get that out? Try not to keep that to yourself. I appreciate it.”

 

(on whether he ever second-guessed himself after replacing Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick) “Alex had played a lot more than two good games. He had played 26, 28 really good games. I thought it was a unique situation. Viewed it that way when it happened. My experience had always been that when it comes to playing the best quarterback, or playing the quarterback with the hot hand, it was choosing between two guys that were struggling, at least in my own personal experience. That was far from the case that we were looking at at the time. Two quarterbacks that were playing extremely well. Made the decision that we thought was best for our team.”

 

(on whether he will allow Colin Kaepernick to make his own reads or if he will develop specific plays for him and the running game) “First of all, I wouldn’t categorize Colin as a read-option quarterback, for starters. Then, to answer your question, all of those things would be possibilities. We’d love for our opponent to consider them all. Colin is extremely talented at the read-option, he’s extremely talented throwing the football as well. There are a lot of options we could go.”

 

(on whether he considers this week as a distraction to the players) “I think it’s a good thing that we’ve done this, really the last two years. We’ve stayed in a hotel, had our meetings in a hotel and then go to a facility to practice and get ready for the game. Same approach as always, really. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the preparation. I think that’s what our team enjoys the most, the practice, the meetings and especially the competition. Gearing up for the competitive nature of a football game, a championship game. Very excited about it.”

 

(on what led him to decide to stick with most of the players that were there when he was named head coach) “Just watching the tape. One conversation at a time with the players, getting to know them. We realized that we had a lot of character and we had a lot of talent.”

 

(on whether he had talked to his brother about one day meeting in the Super Bowl) “No, not as kids. At Gettysburg, our conversations about facing each other were the November 25th game that we knew was on the schedule, the Thanksgiving game.”

 

(on how much credit he gives Colin Kaepernick for being the difference maker) “It’s been a team effort. Feel like there’s a lot of people that have a lot of fingerprints on this team’s success. Like I said, the team has been focused on the unity of the team and on winning better than any team I’ve ever seen or been around. Really credit that to the men in the locker room. They enjoy each other’s company. They like being around each other and they like competing. They hold themselves to a high standard in terms of that. Colin’s play has been outstanding. He deserves tremendous amount of credit for that. He, like the rest of the guys on the team, are focused on the opportunity to play and win a championship.”

 

(on whether he scheduled all the way up to the Super Bowl when planning in the offseason) “You definitely have a plan. You also have a feel, as well. Really, both of those things were at work.”

 

(on what Patrick Willis has meant to the team) “So much, Patrick Willis means to our team. He’s part of the fabric of the character of the defense and of the team. Very humble person. There are two kinds of people: the people that get the job done, and the people that want to take credit for getting the job done. It’s far less competitive in the second case. Patrick Willis is certainly a get-the-job-done type of guy. That just influences, and the rest of the team feed off of that.”

 

(on why he decided not to play it safe and start Colin Kaepernick) “I described it in my own personality, we did what we thought was best for the team. We did what we thought would give us the best chance to win games. That’s my personality.”

 

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The Reality Check NFL Playoff Power Rankings

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The Reality Check NFL Playoff Power Rankings

Posted on 09 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Ryan Chell & I ranked the best head coaches, quarterbacks and defenses left in the postseason, then ranked the teams left in order of likelihood to win Super Bowl XLVI.

It was a fun day Tuesday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. You really should be listening.

Head Coaches:

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

8. Gary Kubiak

7. Pete Carroll

6. Mike Smith

5. Jim Harbaugh

4. John Harbaugh

3. John Fox

2. Mike McCarthy

1. Bill Belichick

Ryan Chell’s Rankings…

8. Gary Kubiak

7. Pete Carroll

6. Mike Smith

5. Jim Harbaugh

4. John Fox

3. John Harbaugh

2. Mike McCarthy

1. Bill Belichick

(Quarterbacks on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Bengals “Slaps to the Head”

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Our Ravens/Bengals “Slaps to the Head”

Posted on 30 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net.

The Ravens fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 23-17 Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, meaning there were no Pats to be awarded.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I again offered “Slaps to the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a Wild Card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches after each game.

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. Tyrod Taylor

4. Chykie Brown

3. Terrence Cody

2. Bryant McKinnie

1. John Harbaugh (Two Slaps)

(Ryan’s Slaps on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check: Ravens should absolutely play to win in Cincinnati

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Your Monday Reality Check: Ravens should absolutely play to win in Cincinnati

Posted on 24 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’m amazed by how many people I had to explain it to Sunday night. I honestly had to give up after a little while.

The stupidity of the statement “I’d rather the Baltimore Ravens be the four seed because the path looks easier to me” is unbelievable.

I was impressed by a number of things I saw from the Baltimore Ravens Sunday (weren’t we all?), but one that probably went unnoticed by many was how head coach John Harbaugh addressed the question of how the team would handle next week’s game.

“The thing we’re going to do for sure is we’re going to try to win the game” Harbaugh explained. “We’re also going to try to make sure we’re as healthy as we can be going into the playoffs so I think we’ll merge those two considerations.”

Bingo. The Baltimore Ravens absolutely MUST try to win their Week 17 date with the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

By virtue of their 33-14 win over the New York Giants Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens clinched the AFC North title and a home playoff game. They are guaranteed to play on Wild Card weekend of the NFL Playoffs, but they are not yet locked into the four seed. The Ravens could still clinch the three seed in the AFC Playoffs with a win over the Bengals and a New England Patriots loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The difference in the third seed and fourth seed isn’t necessarily significant, but it has the potential to be. Getting the third seed could be the difference in whether the Ravens are able to host the AFC Championship Game.

It seems like an unlikely scenario, but it’s not impossible. Should the Ravens and Patriots end up as the third and fourth seeds but each win their first two playoff games, they would meet in the AFC title game. If the Pats are the three seed and the Ravens the four, the Pats would host the game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. I vaguely remember such a game happening there before.

But if the Ravens were to finish as the three seed and the Patriots the fourth seed, the game would then be played in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium, the place where the Baltimore Ravens have won 15 of their last 17 games (including playoffs).

Which scenario would you prefer?

I got this question Sunday night. “This seems so unlikely. When was the last time something like this even happened?”

The person who asked was right. It IS an unlikely scenario. But if the Ravens are to return to the AFC Championship Game at all, they will HAVE to knock off one of the top two seeds. The Pats would then only need to win a game either in Houston or Denver, neither of which seems like an impossible scenario.

And if you’ll allow your memory to serve you right, you’ll be reminded that the Ravens were a second half collapse away from having this scenario play out in January 2011. The New York Jets stunned the Patriots in Foxborough, so had the Ravens avoided blowing a fourteen point halftime lead to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, they would have hosted the AFC Championship Game as a five seed.

Some people argued to me “Glenn, I think the road is easier as a four seed because I’d rather play Indianapolis and Houston than Cincinnati and Denver.”

I have absolutely no idea why there is a sudden fear of the Cincinnati Bengals amongst Ravens fans. The difference between the Bengals and Colts is minimal at best. Bengals QB Andy Dalton has thrown for three touchdowns and five interceptions over the course of the last three weeks, is 0-3 in his career against the Ravens and thus far in his NFL career has not defeated a team that has clinched a postseason berth (although that could change next week if the Washington Redskins or New York Giants get in).

The Houston argument is more compelling. Despite the fact that the Ravens suffered a 43-13 shellacking earlier this season in Houston, it’s easy to understand why fans would believe that task more likely to be accomplished than a Ravens win in Denver. What’s forgotten in this scenario is that the Texans have not yet clinched the top seed in the AFC. They will need to do something they’ve never done in franchise history-win in Indianapolis-next Sunday in order to nail down the top spot, and RB Arian Foster’s availability could be an issue after he left Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings with an irregular heartbeat.

Should the Texans lose (as well as the Patriots) and the Broncos win, the Broncos would be the one seed and the Texans would be the two seed. Which scenario is better for the Ravens at that point?

The NFL did the Ravens no favors in scheduling, as their tilt with the Bengals will kick off at 1pm Sunday, while the Patriots won’t kick off until some three hours later. The Ravens will not have the benefit of knowing what the Patriots are doing to decide if there’s a point where they want to pull their starters.

Instead, they’ll simply have to channel former NFL coach Herm Edwards and “play to win the game.”

That doesn’t mean they should go crazy.

The Ravens are smart enough to know that the Patriots are unlikely to lose to the Dolphins and will most likely open the postseason by hosting the Colts in a playoff game for the second time in franchise history. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.

As Harbaugh said, merging the two considerations is very plausible.

It would make total sense for the Ravens to consider giving oft-injured DT Haloti Ngata another week off (he rested for the team’s blowout win over the Oakland Raiders in November) and even LB Terrell Suggs (who has played the last two weeks after suffering a torn biceps tendon) the day off. Harbaugh also confirmed LB Ray Lewis wouldn’t be a consideration to return from Injured Reserve until the postseason. It wouldn’t be stunning to see S Bernard Pollard miss a third straight game either, and if WR Anquan Boldin’s shoulder is of significant concern it would be understandable to see him miss the finale as well.

But there is absolutely no reason for the Ravens to spend Sunday’s game with Tyrod Taylor handing the ball off to Anthony Allen all afternoon while Joe Flacco and Ray Rice watch in sweats. It’s one thing to be prudent. It’s quite another to just plain give up.

With something to play for still, there’s no reason the Ravens should do the latter. Judging by John Harbaugh’s comments, I’ll assume they won’t.

-G

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