Harbaugh brothers hold true to form

Harbaugh brothers hold true to form
February 1, 2013, 8:00 am
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Jim Harbaugh was clearly intent on keeping the focus on the game, and not the getting too in-depth into one of the great storylines in Super Bowl history. (AP)

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Programming note: Catch 49ers Press Conference Live with Jim and John Harbaugh, tonight at 8:30 p.m., on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

NEW ORLEANS -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh fashioned a dark suit as he appeared on stage Friday morning before Super Bowl XLVII.

Coach Jim Harbaugh entered the room in his trademark attire. He sported his traditional black fleece with the "SF" logo, black 49ers hat and khaki pants.

The brothers and opposing coaches in Sunday's championship game stayed true to form in the first press conference in Super Bowl history that involved the coaches for both teams.

John took the microphone and made the opening remarks, pointing out his parents, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, as well as other relatives in the audience.

“We will be doing a normal Friday practice,” John said. “We're going to head over to the Saints facility, which Jim has been great about and the Niners organization, giving us an opportunity to get over there and take advantage of that facility, which has been good for us. We'll be early, a little earlier than normal, and we'll be long gone before they get over there. It will be a normal Friday practice with things we do on Friday, and we'll be moving on from there."

[RELATED: Pool report -- Harbaughs sharing the field]

When it was Jim's turn to extend his greeting. He let his older brother's words stand for him.

"I concur," he said, prompting laughter from the media members and others in attendance.

Jim was clearly intent on keeping the focus on the game, and not the getting too in-depth into one of the great storylines in Super Bowl history.

Both coaches made risky decisions during the season. Jim made a quarterback change from Alex Smith, who was playing at the best level of his NFL career, to young, unproven Colin Kaepernick.

John fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and promoted Jim Caldwell to the role as the Ravens' top offensive assistant in Week 14.

When both men were asked which brother was the biggest risk-taker as kids growing up, Jim Harbaugh spun his non-answer to direct attention to his team.

"Well, my memories of this season right now and what got us here and how hard it was to get here and understand that," the 49ers coach said. "I'm tremendously excited to be here and looking very much forward to the game, the competition. As I look back on the season, the greatest share is how our players played. Going back to our very first game in Green Bay . . . "

After Jim wrapped up his answer, it was John's turn.

"I concur," he said wryly.

One family-related topic that both men did not mind talking about is Jay Harbaugh, Jim's eldest son. Jay works under his uncle as an intern on the Ravens' video and the strength staffs.

Jim said he has communicated his son this week but has not actually spoken with him.

"I've sent him a few texts, letting him know I feel about him and (I) don't want to get him where people are thinking I'm talking to him," Jim said.

"I'm really, really thankful and proud at the same time that Jay is doing what he loves to do," Jim said. "That is a real blessing and he's doing it with the Baltimore Ravens with a tremendous organization and great coaches around to mentor him and teach him, especially John being there and hiring him. I hear he's doing a phenomenal job, which again is really proud of.

John quipped that Jay could be the X-factor in Super Bowl XLVII.

"Obviously, I've known Jay his whole life," John said. "He did a great job at Oregon State. He was trained by (coach) Mike Riley there as a student coach all those years. And he's far better than I even anticipated and I knew he'd be great at what he does.

"Maybe that will tip the scale. Maybe that'll be our edge. It'll be Jay. He's really good. He's a hard-working guy, and I can guarantee he's excited about the game and competing and all those things, as he should be."

At the conclusion of the 25-minute Q&A session, both men remained on stage for photographs with the Lombardi Trophy. Family members were also brought on stage. Jim Harbaugh anxiously checked his watch. His time could be spent in a more productive fashion.

There's a big game for which to prepare.

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