Jim Harbaugh used the word “focused” seven times during his first Super Bowl media session on Sunday night.
The 49ers touched down in New Orleans and arrived at their hotels to find swarms of media waiting for an interview or to snap some photos.
However, they could care less about the national spotlight that is shining on them. The Niners are indeed focused and not here to party in the “Big Easy.”
“It’s not necessarily to have fun,” center Jonathon Goodwin told USA Today. “It’s to win a football game. We have to stay focused throughout the week and try to accomplish the goal we set in training camp.”
As for Harbaugh, he is trying to treat the Super Bowl like any other game.
“Our team has been really focused on winning, focused on the unity of the team,” he said during his press conference. “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.”
The Niners have been in five previous Super Bowls, and have won every single one of them. The last one came 19 years ago in 1994, when Steve Young threw for 316 yards and six touchdowns, three of them to Jerry Rice in a 49-26 blowout against the San Diego Chargers.
But Harbaugh didn’t dwell on that fact, offering, “there is a great 49er history with our team and we’re proud of that.”
Fortunately, there were no questions along the lines of “how does it feel to go against your brother in the Super Bowl?”
He was asked if he ever talked to his brother, John, about one day meeting in the Super Bowl.
“No, not as kids,” Harbaugh recalled. “At Gettysburg, our conversations about facing each other were the November 25thgame that we knew was on the schedule, the Thanksgiving game.”
The Niners will have a little less than a week before the game next Sunday, and they have their work cut out for them. The team will run through the normal meetings and practices throughout the week, with some weight training mixed in for tomorrow.
Tackle Joe Staley summed it up best when asked about the team’s focused attitude heading into the Super Bowl.
We’re not down here to have a good time. We’re here to compete for a Lombardi Trophy.
*All quotes from Jim Harbaugh obtained via an NFL press release.