San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh hopes to revive his struggling team after it suffered its second loss in three outings on Sept. 21 at the hands of its NFC West rivals, the Arizona Cardinals.
Jim Harbaugh is hoping to turn the struggling San Francisco 49ers' fortunes around.
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This is what Harbaugh -- whose 49ers are 1-2 entering Week 4 of the 2014 NFL regular season -- told The San Jose Mercury News' Cam Inman on Sept. 23:
"Jim Harbaugh wants his 49ers 'to close ranks' and get 'things' corrected quickly.
"How, pray tell, do they do that?
"'We've got a week to get it fixed. Sunday at 1 o'clock,' Harbaugh said Monday, alluding to the 49ers' next game -- against the Philadelphia Eagles at Levi's Stadium.
"'That's the challenge for our ballclub. We've been in this position before, where there's ebbs and flows to the season. We're in it now.'
"The 49ers have started a second straight season 1-2, but their back-to-back defeats this time offer a different vibe, the result of giving up second-half leads in both games.
"Players were angry, speechless, confused and frustrated after Sunday's 23-14 road loss to the first-place Arizona Cardinals (3-0).
"'The mindset has to be, going forward, to fix,' Harbaugh said. 'You push against something until it's upright. That's the process our team uses, and we have total belief in everybody associated with our program, coaches and players.'
"Harbaugh further defended his staff in terms of its ability to make halftime adjustments. Reason for such concern: The 49ers have been outscored 52-3 after halftime, including 17-0 Sunday by the (Arizona) Cardinals.
"Over 100 yards in penalties have been glaring factors each of the past two Sundays. The 49ers were penalized nine times against the Cardinals, and that followed 16 penalties in their 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears in the Sept. 14 home opener.
"Harbaugh refrained from discussing whether some were unwarranted, such as Patrick Willis' hit on quarterback Drew Stanton that preceded the Cardinals' go-ahead touchdown. Willis appeared to make a textbook hit on Stanton, and Harbaugh would say only that Willis kept his face up and didn't lead with the crown of his helmet.
"'We never point any finger or blame or any excuses in terms of the officiating,' Harbaugh said. 'Sometimes the football gods can be unforgiving. You work to fix it, and I'm confident we'll do that.'"
Taylor Price of the 49ers' official website spoke with two of Harbaugh's players -- tight end Vernon Davis and outside linebacker Dan Skuta -- who downplayed their 1-2 start and said they can bounce back from a slow start:
"After hearing Vernon Davis' comments on the team's state of mind heading into Sunday's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, it's clear that the players have moved on from the recent setbacks. Davis, who is optimistic about returning to the field after being inactive last week, spoke confidently about how the 49ers can rebound from the Chicago and Arizona defeats.
"'It doesn't mean anything,' Davis said of the team's current record. 'It's early. It's too soon to really be judgmental on us as an offense and as a defense.
"'We've been in this position before. It's so early. I'm excited about the rest of the season.'
"Davis has good reason to be enthused. He expects this week to be 'great' for him. The 49ers also released undrafted rookie tight end Asante Cleveland on Tuesday, a good sign Davis or backup tight end Vance McDonald could be available against the Eagles.
"Outside linebacker Dan Skuta echoed Davis' sentiment on the 1-2 start. Aldon Smith's replacement in the starting lineup said the resolve of the 49ers locker room is what gives him the most confidence heading into Week 4.
"'I know we've got a lot of fighters in this locker room,' Skuta said. 'It is frustrating, but you're not deterred too much by the record because you know you have a lot of guys in here who are going to fight no matter what. In that way, it's similar (to 2013).'"
Harbaugh has amassed a 37-13-1 (.740) regular-season and 5-3 (.625) postseason record with the 49ers through Sept. 23, per ESPN stats.
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