Jim Harbaugh spoke with KNBR this morning and talked about how the team is getting ready for the postseason. He is excited with what's ahead because the real season begins in the playoffs.
"We’ll look at [the postseason] as three Super Bowls that we have to play and win,” said Harbaugh. “That’s just extremely fun to think about that and the excitement of that, because it’s so immediate, it’s so now. It’s not like the beginning of the season when you’re thinking of long-term plans and having to keep guys healthy for the stretch run.”
“I think that depends on how Justin feels, where his strength is and how the doctors feel about it," said Harbaugh. "From talking to Justin, [the injury] has improved every single week. [Hopeful] is how we would classify him of playing in [the postseason] opener."
Aldon Smith was unable to build off of his franchise-record 19.5 sacks and was unable to record one in the last two games. He didn't get pressure to the quarterback and looked ineffective without Justin Smith in the lineup. Harbaugh said the defense is team oriented and how everyone needs to step it up. He said the fatigue from playing a full season is a cause for why Aldon Smith hasn't been the same.
In regards to the kicking competition between newly signed kicker Billy Cundiff and David Akers, he expects it to be finished sometime next week. The 49ers signed Cundiff based on his overall history and not one missed field goal from the AFC Championship game.
“It could be settled early next week but I’m not going to put a time frame on it,” said Harbaugh. “We’ll practice Thursday, Friday and then we’ll see if a decision is made, or if it goes into Monday, Tuesday, or after. But there’s no timeline on it.”
After watching film on Sunday's game against the Cardinals, Harbaugh said Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree were exceptional. Crabtree had 172 of Kaepernick's 276 passing yards and both touchdown passes.
“[Crabtree] did a tremendous job getting open in several different ways: beating his man at the line of scrimmage in press coverage, creating separation down field, made the incredible one-handed catch, the run after the catch,” said Harbaugh. “Colin [Kaepernick] was putting the ball in four of those cases in the only place it could have been.”
Harbaugh was thrilled to see Stanford win the Rose Bowl yesterday. He remembered several of the Stanford players when recruiting them as well as working with former assistant coaches.
“You feel the great thrill of winning for them,” said Harbaugh. “You see it on their faces and all the hard work that’s gone in to put them to this position, and the assistant coaches that have done such a tremendous job."