SANTA CLARA New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton called a report that he felt slighted when Jim Harbaugh didn't call him prior to an exhibition game "bogus" and insisted there is no bad blood between the coaches.
The Saints' radio play-by-play man, Jim Henderson, cited the missing phone call as the reason why defensive coordinator Gregg Williams blitzed so much against the 49ers in the Aug. 12 preseason opener.
"I wish I was wearing a mic," an incredulous Payton said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. "Because I don't think I've ever turned to (Williams) and said, 'Let's bring on the blitz now.' Just think about the idea of that this phone call, this mysterious phone call that we were expecting, is crazy.
"If there ever was a time in the preseason, it's usually the fourth preseason game that you might make a decision in regards to what you may or may not do," he continued. "But I know Jim and certainly worked with his brother (John Harbaugh, the Baltimore Ravens coach) very well. It was a bogus report now and it's crazy we're talking about it."
The Saints sacked 49ers quarterbacks six times in the game, a 24-3 Saints victory, and had another four quarterback hits.
At least one 49er, offensive tackle Joe Staley, said he wasn't happy with the aggressive play that early in the preseason, and quarterback Alex Smith conceded he was surprised, too.
"I don't know of any unwritten rules as far as that goes," Smith told New Orleans reporters Tuesday. "They wanted to pressure and work on that and get that going, and that's their right. We weren't very prepared for it at the time going into that. We'll have to be more prepared going into Saturday."
Shootout at the 'Stick? Asked if he thought he could keep pace, statistically, with Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Saturday, Smith said he didn't care to.
"I'm looking to outscore him," Smith said. "He can throw for however many yards he wants to."
Brees led the league in passing yardage this season, and he broke Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a single season.
Brees said he is a big fan of Smith.
The two worked out together after Smith, who grew up outside of San Diego, was drafted and Brees still was with the Chargers. And because the teams have had a few common opponents this season, Brees has said he's watched how Smith has played in certain games and has been impressed by what he's seen.
"He faced adversity just like every quarterback does," Brees said. "I admire how he's hung in there and continued to fight and tried to get a little better each year."
Injuries Defensive end Justin Smith and cornerbacks Chris Culliver and Carlos Rogers were active for the start of practice after sitting out last week's sessions.
Defensive end Ray McDonald (hamstring) stood with the defensive linemen but was not in uniform. Tight end Delanie Walker (jaw) was working out on a side field.
Other recently injured 49ers, including receiver Ted Ginn, fullback Bruce Miller and receiver Kyle Williams, also seemed to be full go, although Williams (concussion) still was wearing a black practice jersey that signals he is to avoid contact.
The 49ers and Saints are not required to file a participation report until today.