Few will confuse Youngstown with New Orleans. The 49ers hope their players are among that very small group.
The unlikely connection between the two cities comes from a now-annual decision by coach Jim Harbaugh to take his team to Eastern Ohio for the week between a pair of games played at or near the East Coast. The fact that the players had to adapt to an unusual atmosphere has, in theory, prepared them to adjust to being in New Orleans for a week.
“It’s a good thing,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, via CSNBayArea.com. “We’ve done this really the last two years, stayed in a hotel, had our meetings in a hotel and go to a facility and practice and get ready for a game.”
“We’ll be out here for a week, so we have to approach it that way,” safety Dashon Goldson said. “We’ll get accustomed to a new enviroment and practice in a different facility. We’ll have to adapt to it. We’ve been in that situation before.”
Each of the two times the 49ers spent a week a Youngstown, they won the game that ended the visit, blasting the Jets 34-0 in 2012 and pulling off the prior year what appeared at the time to be a major upset of the Eagles, 24-23.
“Once you get done with today tomorrow, the media day stuff, I think it’ll be a regular work week,” defensive end Justin Smith said. “It’s what we’d do normally on the road. We’ve already done it once with Youngstown. I don’t think it’ll be that much different.”
They surely hope the outcome for the back end of the week away from home won’t be much different, either.