49ers notes: There is no 'I' in Harbaugh

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
6:48
PM ET
A few notes from the plane on my trip home from San Francisco 49ers headquarters:
  • Coach Jim Harbaugh has no reason to care whether his team gets much play on highlight shows beyond the utility of that information for motivating his players. Asked if he celebrated San Francisco's victory over Seattle, Harbaugh said he went home and watched highlights on NFL Network and ESPN, but didn't see anything on the 49ers. Harbaugh: "It just kind of documents what you know. What the perception is of our team around the league and around the country. Some people can say that’s not fair, it isn’t right, but do something about it. And that’s our mindset. That’s our approach." Pretty sure Ted Ginn Jr.'s returns made the highlight shows, though.
  • Defensive lineman Will Tukuafu caught a Seattle fumble on the first regular-season snap of his career. Reporters crowded around his locker Monday. Looks like Tukuafu's early success hasn't gone to his head. Asked about his role in the defense, Tukuafu said his role was whatever the coaches told him to do, and that it could be limited to making sure Justin Smith and the other linemen have enough water on the sideline.
  • Santa Rosa Press-Democrat columnist Lowell Cohn noticed Harbaugh and some players weren't using all the pronouns available to them. Harbaugh acknowledged there's a concerted effort to eliminate "I" and "me" from the 49ers' vocabulary. Harbaugh: "It’s about us. It’s about we, ours."
  • The 49ers' decision to break from convention on in-season scheduling stems from Harbaugh's belief that players benefit from additional rest immediately following games. That was the explanation Harbaugh gave for giving players Mondays off following games. Tuesdays are generally off days for players in the NFL, but 49ers players will have meetings and a walk-through then. Game-plan installation will still take place beginning with practice Wednesday, Harbaugh said.
  • Harbaugh refused to discuss the pay cut Ginn accepted one week before becoming the first player in 49ers history to score touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns in the same game. This seemed like a good opportunity for Harbaugh to acknowledge Ginn for sticking with the team despite the salary reduction. Harbaugh did praise Ginn's play as "phenomenal" while noting that the coaches decided less than 24 hours before kickoff to use Ginn on kick returns. Coaches ultimately valued Ginn's experience.

Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis was not available during the open locker room session Monday, but he did check in with the Doug Gottlieb Show. I'll pass along audio shortly.

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