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Jim Harbaugh Has Had Enough When It Comes to Talking About the Infamous Handshake

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Jim Harbaugh Has Had Enough When It Comes to Talking About the Infamous Handshake

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has been asked just about every question possible when it comes to the now-infamous handshake and run-in with Detroit coach Jim Schwartz. That isn’t stopping reporters and show hosts from asking him about it, but Harbaugh has now apparently all but stopped talking about it. Harbaugh declines to comment on whether the postgame handshake is necessary, then basically requests to shift the following interview into questions about his team and its big victory in Detroit. Usually, I’d have a problem with coaches trying to deflect questions and set the agenda, but this time I have to agree. It was a stupid handshake. Let’s move on. Jim Harbaugh joined KNBR in San Francisco with Murph and Mac to discuss the buzz in San Francisco, the 49ers’ defensive effort, the increased hype surrounding the team, the improving play of the offensive line and Alex Smith’s impressive stats surrounding fourth-quarter road comebacks, but also to not discuss his handshake run-in with Schwartz.

Are you feeling the buzz around the 49ers around town?:

“We really just kind of live in a cocoon here and make it about the next challenge.  You definitely do see the trophies when you walk into the building and it fires you up every single day and you know the bar is set extremely high here. But it’s also important to keep an eye on what we can do to reach that level. It takes quite a bit of focus. That’s what I mean when we’re concentrating and living in a cocoon.”

Is it necessary to have a postgame handshake?:

“I don’t really have any comment on it. One coach is extremely elated and the other is disappointed. I really don’t want to have a comment on it. Is it necessary? I don’t have a comment on it.”

Is it something that you spoke with your dad about or know how he feels about these things having experienced them for many years?:

“I talk to him all the time. And I know you want to talk about it, want to keep dwelling on it, you want to rehash it, you want to ask new questions in different ways and want to keep the topic going, but I really prefer not to. … What Sunday was all about was our team coming together in a heated environment. … I prefer to talk about that, to talk about the men who competed in the ballgame.”

You said after the game that it was the best defensive performance you’ve ever seen. Do you still believe that a couple days later?:

“It was definitely the most exciting game that I think I’ve ever been a part of or watched. … There were 16 series in the game, which is a lot, and our defense had three-and-outs or one first down and out on 11 occasions, nine of them being three-and-outs, against an outstanding offensive team. … We were 15 out of 17 we got off the field on third down.”

Have you talked to your guys about the added national hype or expectations surrounding your team?:

“Yes, it’s something that we talk about as a team and have been for weeks, going back to training camp. Not to feel the hype, not to walk into the trap. The cheese is there and you see it and let’s not walk into the trap and have it be sprung on us.”

Talk about your offensive line, which was able to negate Detroit’s solid defensive front and paved the way to your rushing offense:

“Our offensive line is a talented offensive line and they’ve been improving every single week. They are getting better and they were good to start with. … Improving, definitely, but not to the point that we’re manhandling anybody. … Frank, 15 carries, 141 yards, and he had big plays in the game, had exceptional runs. Your point is well-taken, the offensive line is playing very well and in a really heated environment in Detroit. … As the game went on, I thought they got better and better.”

What do you think when you hear that Alex Smith is the first 49ers quarterback since Joe Montana to lead three fourth-quarter comebacks on the road?:

“I wasn’t aware of that. I was aware that he’s had three fourth-quarter comebacks, all on the road. … I think it just puts a punctuation mark on the fact that you don’t have those kind of comebacks on the road unless the quarterback is playing well and contributing in the fourth quarter. Alex has done that. He’s our guy and he’s done an outstanding job. It’s something to really build on and we’ll attempt to do that.”

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