Harbaugh: 49ers' focus has been 'razor sharp'


Harbaugh: 49ers' focus has been 'razor sharp'

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers went through their last full practice Friday in preparation for their NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants.And coach Jim Harbaugh said he is mostly pleased with the way things went this week."The focus has really been good this week," Harbaugh said. "It just seems razor sharp all week with their study, in the walk-throughs, in the practice. It was one of our better -- if not best -- weeks of preparation. I really feel good about that."

One thing Harbaugh could not control, however, was the weather. The game is expected to be played in wet conditions Sunday at Candlestick Park. Harbaugh said he wanted rain during practices to help the 49ers get used to handling a wet ball and running with longer cleats on a soft surface.There were only scattered sprinkles during practices this week. When asked if he wish it had rained harder during practices, Harbaugh answered, "Yes."The NFL oversees the maintenance of the field at Candlestick Park for the championship game. As long as it's raining, a tarp will cover the field -- only to be removed several hours before kickoff."I expect it to be pretty good," Harbaugh said of the field conditions. "You don't know how much it's going to rain on Sunday, but it's covered. And it's a good field and it was good last week."Harbaugh said the preparations for the game does not end until kickoff approaches."The only thing we have to fear is being unprepared," Harbaugh said. "(It's) especially important against a team like the Giants. We knew in November the Giants would be a team that goes deep into the playoffs."

Jeff Garcia was frustrated by Brian Hoyer: 'I kept waiting...'


Jeff Garcia was frustrated by Brian Hoyer: 'I kept waiting...'

Former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia liked what he saw from rookie C.J. Beathard, who replaced benched starter Brian Hoyer on Sunday.

“It looks like he has that physical and mental toughness,” said Garcia, now an analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area on the latest 49ers Insider Podcast.

“That’s the thing you like to see out of a quarterback, to be a leader, to demonstrate what it’s all about and get everybody on board following him, and to play hungry, to play intense, to demand perfection out of yourself, to want to make every play.”

With Beathard taking over at quarterback, the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game in the third quarter. He also bought time with his legs to escape the pocket and throw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson in the closing minutes to give the 49ers an opportunity for a last-second win.

However, the 49ers lost their fifth consecutive game by three points or less with a 26-24 loss at Washington.

Beathard played with a sense of purpose and urgency Garcia said he did not see from Hoyer, who is playing for his seventh team in nine NFL seasons.

“I kept waiting for Brian to be that guy and he just wasn’t,” Garcia said. “That’s what frustrated me about Brian. Here he had a great opportunity to come in and be a starter and secure a position and take hold of a position for, really, the first time in his career.

“In retrospect, maybe he just is who he is, and that’s why he’s played for so many teams, and that’s why he’s never been considered a full-time starter or 'the guy' in the National Football League.”

Garcia added, “He left a door open, a window open, for another guy to step in and take advantage of it, and that’s what C.J. did. He was very opportunistic on Sunday in stepping onto the field and immediately having an impact.”

49ers sign veteran defensive lineman


49ers sign veteran defensive lineman

The 49ers signed veteran defensive tackles Tony McDaniel and Leger Douzable, the team announced.

The 49ers placed defensive lineman Arik Armstead in injured reserve with a broken hand and released veteran tight end Logan Paulsen to make room for McDaniel and Douzable on the 53-man roster.

Armstead, who is scheduled to undergo surgery for a broken hand. Armstead was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and is not expected back for approximately two months.

Paulsen was used primarily as a blocking tight end. He saw action in the 49ers' first six games and did not catch a pass. The 49ers promoted undrafted rookie tight end Cole Hikutini to the active roster on Saturday.

McDaniel, 32, has not appeared in an NFL game this season after starting 10 of the 16 games in which he played last season with the Seattle Seahawks. In his 12-year career, McDaniel has played for Jacksonville, Miami, Seattle, Tampa Bay and, again, Seattle. He has recorded 11.5 career sacks.

Douzable was among the team's final cuts before the start of the regular season. An eight-year veteran, Douzable has seen action with the Giants, Rams, Jaguars, Jets and Bills.