San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh recalled what his college coach at Michigan, Bo Schembechler, used to say when preparing for an opponent.
“These guys are good,” Harbaugh recalled Schembechler saying, “but they’re not the Green Bay Packers for God sakes.”
Of course, now Harbaugh is charged with the task of preparing his team to face the Packers in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. As the NFC’s No. 2 seed, the 49ers had the bye last week and spent time preparing for all three of its possible playoff opponents.
“And then after we knew it would be Green Bay, all of our attention shifted to the Packers and our preparation to this week,” Harbaugh said today on a conference call with reporters at Lambeau Field.
When asked how much further along the preparation is compared to a normal week, Harbaugh said: “A little further along because there was opportunity to, like I said, to get ready for any of the three teams that we could’ve played. I don’t know percentage, but a little further along.”
In a Bill Belichick-like conference call in which Harbaugh offered few details, here are some of the other topics he addressed:
* On whether the 49ers 42-13 loss to Seattle on Dec. 23 was a wake-up call: “I don’t know about that. I don’t know how I’d characterize it.”
* On if the 49ers beat the Packers in the season opener because they were more physical: “No. I agree that we won the game but dominated? No, I wouldn’t categorize it as that."
* On the improvement of quarterback Colin Kaepernick: “He’s improved in, I would say, all phases, really. Not dramatically, though, because I think he was good to start with. Some of the early snaps that he got at the beginning of the season – he got in that game in Green Bay and he got in games, spot play, but he was good then. Once he started, he was already good but definitely I think across the board he’s improved. Not dramatically but, you know, to some degree in just about every area.”