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Jim Harbaugh preparing to face “a great Packers team”

Jim Harbaugh AP

The Packers won the Super Bowl two years ago and went 15-1 last year. But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh says this year’s Packers will be even better than the Packers of the last two years.

Harbaugh, who is preparing to take his team to Green Bay for one of the NFL’s marquee Week One games, said on KNBR 680 that he thinks the Packers are better than ever.

“This a great Packers team. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying this is Mike McCarthy’s best team that he’s had in Green Bay,” Harbaugh said, via the San Jose Mercury News.

Harbaugh said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is as good a passer as he’s ever seen, and the players around him are special.

“The quarterback is playing at the highest level in the history of the game,” Harbaugh said. “A-plus at the wide receiver position. Outstanding defense that they’ve really added to — they spent their first six picks in the draft on defense. Dom Capers is a tremendous defensive coach. I could go on and on here. This is a great football team that could be expected to win every game they play.”

Those comments sound like an opposing coach talking up a team in order to get his own players motivated to play their best. But considering how many people are picking the Packers to win the Super Bowl (including most of us here at PFT), Harbaugh may be right.

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55 Responses to “Jim Harbaugh preparing to face “a great Packers team””
  1. purpleguy says: Sep 5, 2012 10:08 AM

    Yeah, but how’s the post-game handshake gonna go with MM?

  2. patfanken says: Sep 5, 2012 10:10 AM

    Sounds like he just stole the tape from one of Bellichick’s pregame press conferences. Only difference is that the Packers are as good as Harbaugh says. BB will say the same thing, even when he’s playing the Dolphins.

  3. bordner says: Sep 5, 2012 10:11 AM

    Jim Harbaugh has become someone who could be totally sincere about something and still most of the people who hear or read his comments would think he’s being a sarcastic d-bag. It’s hard to say whether he means it or not.

  4. suhdidntstompanyone says: Sep 5, 2012 10:16 AM

    They have an outstanding defense?
    ps-I think it’s time to drop the handshake thing. It’s been nearly a year now.

  5. schmitty2 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:18 AM

    Alex Smith might want to watch how Rodgers does it and take a few notes

  6. jonny42671 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:20 AM

    Let’s just hope Moss moons those obnoxious fans again

  7. bru308 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:21 AM

    Yeah, ok, but what did he say about Peyton Manning? Or what about his 5 #1 receivers? I need PFT to update me on this daily!!!!!

  8. kreedos says: Sep 5, 2012 10:27 AM

    Hope Green Bay makes a statement against the Niners and destroys them something crazy!

  9. fuglyflorio says: Sep 5, 2012 10:28 AM

    If they win it will be a great 49er victory. If they lose I’m sure somehow they were cheated.

  10. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:28 AM

    People who just who hate on Harbaugh just for the sake of hating irrespective if what he says is true is just sad. It’s sad because it elucidates a deeper personal issue of just nit-picking everything regardless of form.

    Harbaugh is an enigma to so many because Harbaugh is the quintessential strategist who understands profound parts of human nature. EVERYTHING he says is premeditated and extremely well thought out beforehand. His intelligence is uncanny and his recall is that of an elephant. He understands the deep value of counter-intelligence manifested through red-herring quips (ref. NOT pursuing Manning or having 5 #1 receivers or myriad of other comments that drive people crazy) or the value of always making people think you’re just “that” crazy. And here’s the kicker WHY he does it…….IT’S ALL FOR THE PROTECTION OF HIS PLAYERS. The more he can keep focused on himself buttresses the players from worthless criticisms and pointless “what ifs”. Bellicheck knows this, McCarthy knows this……General Patton knew this.

    Hate him or love him but as a person he’s very interesting and ask any player and they’d love to play for him.

  11. techvet says: Sep 5, 2012 10:30 AM

    Jim Harbaugh NEVER forgets. Witness what he did at Stanford vs. Pete Carroll.

  12. jimmysee says: Sep 5, 2012 10:30 AM

    No locker room bulletin board material from Harbaugh! He’s trying to kill ‘em with kindness.

  13. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:31 AM

    And @schmitty………

    Rodgers was watching SMITH from the couch last year when it mattered. Evolve your mind and readjust your preconceptions that Smith is just a hobo and a scrub.

  14. 49erstim says: Sep 5, 2012 10:36 AM

    Coach is usually only standoffish with the media. He is very knowledgable when it comes to football and has a great respect for the game.

  15. thetokyosandblaster says: Sep 5, 2012 10:36 AM

    It’s time to drop the handshake thing?

    But not the defense thing?

    Let’s be honest, the Packers allowed fewer points than the lowly lions, so lions fans really shouldn’t be talking about anyone else’s defense, especially a team that owns them.

  16. buffalobills2012 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:40 AM

    i hope rodgers does a disunt double check in harbaughs looney face. Harbaugh reminds me of Teddy Duchamps dad….he stormed the beach at normandy if you didnt know.

  17. realfootballfan says: Sep 5, 2012 10:40 AM

    I picked the 49ers to win in a matchup with the Packers if it came to pass last January. They’re only better now.

    Their defense is 2000 Raven good.

    Harbaugh is one of those once in a generation coaches. This guy is special, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him follow the normal trajectory of most Super Bowl winning coaches who get it done in their first 2 seasons.

    He’ll figure out a way to beat the packers. The only reason I won’t call it a lock is because it’s a road game.

  18. juliusleazer says: Sep 5, 2012 10:45 AM

    Other way to take this is as a pre-deflection of criticism if they lose. “What, we lost to the ‘qb playing the best in the history of the game’ with ‘a great defense’ and ‘A+ WRs’ so what!?”

    Vernon Davis should give this defense trouble.

  19. jsebastiao says: Sep 5, 2012 10:46 AM

    Packers are very good but the best team won it all last year regardless! Every year is different so let the play answer all the questions! Go Big Blue!!!!!!!!!

  20. thetokyosandblaster says: Sep 5, 2012 10:46 AM

    This game IS a lock for the Packers.

    Packers 35, Niners 10.

  21. glac1 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:50 AM

    It all comes down to the Packer defense. If they improve they’ll have a chance but if it’s as bad as last year the season will be long. The only reason they won 15 games last year was because they normally scored right before half and on their first drive in the third quarter to get a two score lead so they could hang on.

  22. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Sep 5, 2012 10:53 AM

    I’m a Packer fan but trying to stay objective. I’m just not buying the 49ers. But let’s see.

    Of course Rodgers always gets fired up to beat the (first) team that snubbed him in ’05.

    Also I can’t stand Harbaugh. Nothing personal, it’s just that he played for the Bears. ‘Nuff said.

  23. rasalghoul says: Sep 5, 2012 11:03 AM

    This will be the same as all the Packer games last year VS good teams; The Packers offense will do their part and the defense will just have to hold on and hope for some turnover opportunities. Should be exciting all the way til the end, best game this week in my opinion.

    Good Luck to all the 49er fans. :)
    Go Pack!

  24. 1oldpro says: Sep 5, 2012 11:06 AM

    The way these two teams are ranked, it’s hard to fathom that one of them will be 0-1 after the first week of the season. This game is a great start to the season.

  25. tshirttom says: Sep 5, 2012 11:06 AM

    Sounds like Harbaugh is preparing to get his butt kicked!

  26. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:15 AM

    —@kreedos……you make statements in the playoffs…..not the first game. Look where 15-1 got them last year. Hats off to Big Blue, too, as they made their statement when it ultimately mattered. It don’t mean a thing unless you got a ring.

    #ballsohard49ers

  27. schmitty2 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:18 AM

    surferbum01 says:Sep 5, 2012 10:31 AM

    And @schmitty………

    Rodgers was watching SMITH from the couch last year when it mattered. Evolve your mind and readjust your preconceptions that Smith is just a hobo and a scrub.

    Maybe you need to EVOLVE your mind and look at the fact that the 49er’s went that deep despite him not because of him. If he was such a fine qb then they would not have been begging to get Manning nor would Smith been thinking about signing with Miami now would he?

  28. RedRuffensor says: Sep 5, 2012 11:18 AM

    The Packers have a great defense?!? Obviously, Harbaugh said that because he wants to avoid giving the Packers any bulletin board incentives. But, the fact is that the Packer defense is craptastic. They can’t rush the passer and their pass defense is suspect, to say the least. With Collins gone (due to injury) and Woodson’s skills in rapid decline, the Packers defense will be hard-pressed to stop anyone. The only reason that that might not be obvious is because the Packer offense lit-up the scoreboard, hiding the ineptitude of the Packer defense.

  29. bearsstilllsuck says: Sep 5, 2012 11:19 AM

    I keep hearing how much of a “complete” team the 49er’s are. They have a questionable QB throwing to receivers with questionable character and work ethic. San Francisco(the team) is filled with gaping holes. 44-17 packers.

  30. lionsdraftguy says: Sep 5, 2012 11:28 AM

    Im not a Packers fan, actually cant stand them, but the Niners are gonna get pounded. Talk about an overrated team. Must be nice to be in a weak division.

    And I laugh when the Niners fans talk their QB up like hes something special. Hes ALEX SMITH. Enough said. So he had a few nice throws last year. So what. Every squirrel finds a nut sometime or another.

    Back to mediocrity this year Niners, and back to being an arrogant big mouth Mr Harbaugh.

    Go Lions! (but go GB in this game!)

  31. ickky says: Sep 5, 2012 11:36 AM

    49rs are going to bully the packers off the field.

  32. twonis says: Sep 5, 2012 11:45 AM

    This an example of two teams that are a great match-up because of how one’s weakness offsets the other’s strength. The Niner D is scary good. The Packer O could be one of the best every. The Niner O is suspect but has some definite weapons. The Packer D has it’s well-known issues but is also a ball-hawk and has upgraded. The only question becomes: Where will it all tip?

    Lambeau Field with a big chip on Aaron Rodgers shoulder? My money is on the Pack.

  33. peteycroubs says: Sep 5, 2012 11:50 AM

    For the people saying the Packers and going to reem the 49ers…it’s possible, any given Sunday. However, know this, I will be scared for any team who plays them the rest of the season.

  34. stampede101 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:06 PM

    “the 49er’s went that deep despite him (A.Smith) not because of him.”

    Clown statement bro.

    Smith engineered 4 fourth quarter comebacks last year.

  35. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:07 PM

    Oh schmitty—

    It’s an argument that holds ZERO value. It’s true that certainly the defense was the catalyst for the team and their success, which, by the way, isn’t unlike the Ravens and stall-worth defensive teams like Pittsburgh. But Smith did exactly as he was instructed to do–protect the ball, take what the defense gives you and don’t turn the ball over. When we need YOU to make a play we’ll put it on your shoulders…ref. the Lions, Eagles and esp. the Saints in the playoffs.

    The fact is pundits from afar who only glean a scintilla of news from obscure news outlets who seem to reinforce desired preconceptions (i.e. hardened bias) rarely, if ever, can ever be swayed by the evidence.

    The fact is the Packers needed Rodgers to be as stellar as he was because their defense was so poor. SO the argument doesn’t hold that “well, he had a defense and they won IN SPITE of him.”

    Get a tv. Stop getting your football news from Cat Fancy and educate yourself.

  36. Nevis says: Sep 5, 2012 12:07 PM

    What is laughable is people thinking the Packers will score 30+ here.

    The 49ers objective will be simple: Take away possessions. They will try and limit the amount of times Rodgers has the ball.

    If they can do that AND score TDs (vs. FGs), no reason whatsoever to think the 49ers can’t win this.

    I expect a close game and I see a score in the low 20s, no matter the winner.

  37. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:16 PM

    Lastly schmitty—

    ANYTIME a first ballot HOFer who could arguably be the best statistical passing qb of all time hits the free agency market……you take a stab NO MATTER WHAT. It’s business and they’re in the business to win games and to win championships. ANYTIME a first ballot HOFer could be married to a bone jarring, teeth loosening of the likes that future HOFer has never had in his career…..you take a stab at him NO MATTER WHAT.

    It was never an indictment on absence of talent of Alex Smith but the great overall and collective talent of a Peyton Manning.

    I’m scared for our country or my local Wal-Mart if you are operating with such obscure and shadowed deductive skills. I DO wish you were in my fantasy league though!!

  38. greglandry says: Sep 5, 2012 12:17 PM

    Laughing out loud at Harbaugh’s comments.

    Packer Nation if you don’t think Harbaugh will do anything possible to stick it to you on Sunday you’re even crazier than we all suspect.

    Toss-up game. Give the edge to GB because of home field. Packers have a much better offense, 49ers have a much better defense. We’ll see what happens.

    Upset scenario has Gore and Vernon Davis playing ball control keeping ARodg off the field.

  39. dukemarc says: Sep 5, 2012 12:22 PM

    Niners fans need to remember Rodgers still holds a grudge about not being drafted #1 by his hometown team. Packers win by 3 TDs.

  40. dukemarc says: Sep 5, 2012 12:25 PM

    ickky says:
    Sep 5, 2012 11:36 AM
    49rs are going to bully the packers off the field.
    ——————–

    Ask the Bears how that tactic has worked for the them the past couple of years? Or the Steelers, who are much better at “bullying” than the Niners can ever hope to be. The Packers are far from soft.

  41. tonyhighroller says: Sep 5, 2012 12:26 PM

    0-1 Start for the Niners

  42. vern1677 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:36 PM

    We won’t need smith to win this game. Gore and hunter will show you what a running game is. Aj bust and hippie matthews will have no answer for them and vernon davis going deep all day on that sorry defense.. Go niners!

  43. niner13 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:41 PM

    Love him or hate him, Jim Harbaugh is always interesting and his teams play hard or him. I suspect the Packers will see formations and plays they haven’t seen before or could prepare for. The Niners must take advantage of the early confusion and build a lead, then run, run, run the ball to keep it away from Rodgers. This game will be a rehearsal for the playoffs.

  44. judsonjr says: Sep 5, 2012 12:56 PM

    The Packers D was terrible last year, and even in 2010 they had problems. However, in the last season and a half the defense has consistently gotten stops when they needed them.

    Additionally the defense has tightened up in the red zone, usually because it’s a little easier to cover there and they have really big bodies on the D-line and are pretty stout against the run.

    Not sure what to make about the Packers ability to score points versus the Niners. That’s probably going to come down to pass protection of the Packers, and and their ability to find a mismatch in the 3-4-5 WR sets.

  45. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Sep 5, 2012 1:03 PM

    Inexperienced Packer left tackle Marshall Newhouse is in way over his head with Justin Smith this week. Smith will destory this kid mentally and physically. Aldon Smith will do damage as well.

    This Niner defense is relentless and nasty folks. Rodgers will know he played a football game Sunday evening.

    I see it coming down to a few key plays and could go either way.

    FWIW – Harbaugh hasn’t changed outfits since the first day he coached the Niners. White tee shirt, black sweatshirt, khaki pants and white tennis shoes. Classic

  46. citynative says: Sep 5, 2012 1:06 PM

    dukemarc says:

    Niners fans need to remember Rodgers still holds a grudge about not being drafted #1 by his hometown team. Packers win by 3 TDs.

    ———————————–

    Aaron Rodgers is from Chico, CA. Chico is 3 hours away from San Francisco. Mike McCarthy is the coach of the Packers. He was the Niners OC for the 2005 draft and had heavy input in their selection. He wanted to to take Smith. The Packers may win by 3 touchdowns but you are 0-2 on facts.

  47. snoop24 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:25 PM

    Packers are toast. Everybody is picking them and it never happens that way.

    Keep picking them, cuz at the end of the year they will be a 500 team.

  48. contrasuxbalz says: Sep 5, 2012 1:50 PM

    A .500 team? You are totally delusional. At most they lose three game this season.

  49. mwatts1 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:59 PM

    @surferbum01

    Aaron Rodgers = Super Bowl Champion

    Alex Smith = Trent Dilfer

    49ers are going to win on defense and loss if Smith tries to be a “elite” QB. Smith isn’t even in the conversation of great QBs… and never will be. He’s a game manager (at best).

  50. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 2:22 PM

    @mwatt— Who said Smith WAS great? Who said Smith was comparable to Rodgers?

    Go back. Review EVERY word I wrote and cease injecting your own self-concocted version of what was stated. I don’t need to be an apologist for Smith because either he will be very triumphant this year or he won’t. And if he isn’t then the jury and verdict will be closed on just “what” is Alex Smith.

    Now stating “game manager” immediately told me your state of football acumen and know how. Impoverished is the word I’m thinking to describe that state. Multiple 4th quarter comeback wins administered by Smith IN the home stadiums of the Eagles, Lions and not to mention some small playoff game against the most prolific offense in football……I’m not the smartest guy but I’m pretty sure those AREN’T the hallmarks of a simple game “manager’. Again….stop getting your sporting conclusions from Cat Fancy.

  51. twonis says: Sep 5, 2012 3:17 PM

    @citynative-
    Aaron Rodgers specifically called out the Niners for not drafting him in his MVP Award acceptance speech. Yeah, I think he carries a little bit of a grudge.

  52. surferbum01 says: Sep 5, 2012 4:03 PM

    @twonis—

    Grudges or not….keeping the Smiths away, the games best inside linebacking duo in Willis and Bowman and the game’s hardest hitting safety in Dante Whitner will be a worthy adversary against the game’s best QB.

    btw…..Alex Smith holds a grudge too. Don’t think for one moment that going after Peyton Manning was JUST to evaluate him; it also served as a stoking event to Alex Smith.

    It’ll be a great, great game.

    What IS funny, though….

    Mike McCarthy was on staff with the 49ers as the OC and gave Mike Nolan and company his choice for QB……..Alex Smith. Just an interesting sidebar :)

    Good luck! Great game to be seen for sure!

  53. discosucs2005 says: Sep 5, 2012 6:11 PM

    Maybe Harbaugh is just really really positive?

  54. discosucs2005 says: Sep 5, 2012 6:20 PM

    “FWIW – Harbaugh hasn’t changed outfits since the first day he coached the Niners. White tee shirt, black sweatshirt, khaki pants and white tennis shoes. Classic”

    I hope he’s washed them…

  55. raiderapologist says: Sep 5, 2012 7:36 PM

    Harbaugh is starting to sound like Lou Holtz. Without the lisp.

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