49ers notes: Harbaugh listens closely to Madden's sage advice

Published: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 8:06 pm

SANTA CLARA – The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but it doesn't get the Lombardi Trophy.

This, according to John Madden, who had 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in rapt attention and jotting down notes when Harbaugh appeared on Madden's radio show Friday morning.

"I just know the team that complains the most usually loses," Madden, who won a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1976, said on KCBS 740-AM. "The other thing I know is, you haven't done anything yet. The team that celebrates having gotten there the most usually loses a little focus."

Harbaugh liked the advice so much, he had the players gather around following a late-morning walk-through and relayed it to them.

"I thought it was really good insight – some that I've never heard before and shared it with the team just a few minutes ago," Harbaugh said during his Friday news conference.

Harbaugh, who was an assistant coach when the Raiders went to the Super Bowl in 2003, said he would have a set of rules and curfews for his players in New Orleans, which he declined to discuss. But he insisted he wanted the 49ers to enjoy the experience.

"I want them to enjoy every minute and especially enjoy the competition," he said. "And that's the most exciting thing to look forward to – playing the game, that ball being kicked off."

Friday's was Harbaugh's second press conference since the 49ers' 28-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday. He will have to address the media six times beginning Sunday, and he's bound to get the sort of questions he doesn't like – such as ones he's answered before – during the week.

Given Madden's advice, is this going to be an issue for him?

Said Harbaugh: "I don't know where you've gotten the impression that I don't enjoy talking to the media or the fans. I do enjoy these sessions." (A smattering of laughter ensued.)

Harbaugh also said he's been in contact with another former championship coach from the Bay Area, Tony La Russa, this week. Asked what La Russa told him, Harbaugh said, "Nothing that I would share. Tony doesn't quite like it when I do that."

Brooks is back – Ahmad Brooks, who missed the past two practices with a shoulder injury, was back on the field for Friday's session.

Brooks was in a black, no-contact jersey and was listed as a limited participant along with cornerback Tarell Brown, fullback Bruce Miller and linebacker Aldon Smith. All four have shoulder injuries.

Earlier in the day, Harbaugh spoke at length about Brooks and said the outside linebacker is expected to be on hand for the Super Bowl.

"Vic Fangio made the comment the other day that the smartest thing we did as an organization was pay Ahmad Brooks and keep him as a 49er. We would all concur with that," Harbaugh said, citing Brooks' offseason contract extension. "He's done it with very little fanfare in terms of how he talks about himself, but he's been a tireless worker. I go back to the first days of the offseason program. Don't know if he ever missed a day. Been a great contributor, great leader and real fine performer on the field."

Et cetera – The reporters who cover the 49ers on a daily basis voted running back Frank Gore the winner of the annual Garry Niver Award. The honor is given to the player who is most professional and cooperative in dealing with the media. Niver was a longtime beat writer who covered the 49ers for the San Mateo Times.

• Running back Kendall Hunter, who tore his Achilles' tendon in New Orleans on Nov. 25, has been out of a walking boot for two days. Hunter said he's trying to "take it slow" as far as his rehabilitation but that he aims to be at full strength before training camp in July.

• Tight end Garrett Celek (foot) did not take part in practice, the third straight session he's missed.

• The 49ers will practice today in Santa Clara for the final time this season before heading to New Orleans on Sunday.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



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