San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh accomplished his coaching plan of trying to make Super Bowl week a normal week for his team both in practice and in preparation.
The players responded by being efficient. On Friday, the 49ers held an 80-minute practice at the New Orleans Saints indoor facility in Metairie, with practice ending 15 minutes early. If you include Wednesday and Thursday, the 49ers went through their normal week of work with 40 minutes less time on the practice field.
"We got everything done we normally do,’’ Harbaugh said. "There were only one or two repeats. The whole tempo was good in and out of the huddle and that might reflect that the most. There was good attention to detail and a crisp tempo.’’
Harbaugh decided to practice indoors Friday because the 49ers are playing in a dome Sunday. He said he thought it was better for the players to get used to the lights and the artificial turf surface rather than being outside as the team was Friday.
The team also brought out the noise. The 49ers used the "12 Man Crowd Simulator’’ on offense, defense and special teams, which was a first for this team.
"Normally, we would use the noise for just one side of the ball,’’ Harbaugh said. "If it’s a home game, we’d use it for the defense. If it’s a road game, we’d use it for the offense and special teams. But this is a neutral site.’’
Punter Andy Lee hit the ceiling several times with his powerful leg and had to lower his trajectory on some just to get his punts downfield.
"I’m glad he didn’t hit those lights,’’ Harbaugh said. "David Akers didn’t miss a kick all week. Those guys had good weeks.’’
The 49ers coach also praised the way quarterback Colin Kaepernick has handled the three days of work in New Orleans.
"Exemplary,’’ he said of his quarterback. "That’s the way he always is since we’ve known him. This is always the way he handles himself: A-plus-plus. He’s very focused on the game plan. He’s ready to go.’’
Linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith were limited for the third consecutive day, but they will be listed as probable, according to Harbaugh. Any player with an injury will be probable, Harbaugh said.
The 49ers will hold a walk through Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to conclude their preparation for Super Bowl XLVII. They also don’t plan to move hotels Saturday night.
"We’re staying at the hotel,’’ he said. "Unless we change our mind.’’