When it comes to the challenge the 49ers will face on Sunday in Seattle, the man in black (and tan) has channeled the Man in Black.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who wears at all times a plain black shirt and plan tan pants, believes that experiences on the road will help his team at CenturyLink Field.
“Our team has been in a lot of good primers, been through a lot of situations, tough environments, whether it’s weather or opposing stadiums,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “This team has been in a lot of situations – been everywhere, man — like the Johnny Cash song.”
On Sunday, the “everywhere” tour includes a return to the place where the raucous crowd periodically makes the earth move.
“[We've] got to be able to communicate without hearing very well,” Harbaugh said. “So you can simulate that, somewhat, in practice – signals, hand signals, verbal signals, body language, reading lips. Different ways.”
He has a point. With true simulation of the noise impossible, the better approach for communicating in an environment where no one can hear could be to practice communicating without sound.
That’s only part of the problem when playing in Seattle, where the 49ers have lost handily during their last two trips there. The good news for San Francisco is that the Seahawks didn’t look quite so dominant against the Saints on Saturday, which could give the 49ers hope of getting to Super Bowl the same way the 2005 Steelers, 2007 Giants, and 2010 Packers did: Winning three road games.
The best news for the 49ers? The other three teams that pulled that off in the past decade won the Super Bowl, too.