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Jim Harbaugh wants the focus on players

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO - Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh haven't spoken since their respective teams won on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl, instead opting to exchange text messages.

"I imagine there won't be much more than that," Jim Harbaugh said.

While they share a mutual respect, love and admiration for each other, the brothers separated by just 15 months will share a different type of relationship over the next two weeks. That of enemies. In no way does that imply hostility, just reality.

For both Harbaughs, every waking moment between now and Feb. 3 will be spent figuring out how to prevent the other from professional success. Few parallels exist.

Jim Harbaugh acknowledged he understands the uniqueness of the situation, but there's little chance he'll play it up. If anything, he'll try to divert attention.

"I can take a pass, personally, from that because I can choose to take the approach that this is our football team and we have to do what's best for our football team to win the next game," he said.

His parents, Jack and Jackie, usually just watch from their Wisconsin home, but the 49ers' coach said he expects them to be in New Orleans for the game. Jack, who led Western Kentucky to the NCAA Division I-AA football championship in 2002, is still a sounding board for both his sons. Jim brought him aboard in official capacities while coaching at the University of San Diego and at Stanford.

The schematic advice from Dad will have to be put on hold until next year.

NOTES

David Akers will retain his job as the 49ers' kicker despite missing a 38-yard field goal against Atlanta on Sunday. Two days earlier, Billy Cundiff, who was brought in to compete with Akers for postseason kicking duties, was waived.

"The decision's been made," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "David Akers is our kicker."

--Chad Hall, who was elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Saturday, seemingly passed A.J. Jenkins on the wide receiver depth chart based on the fact that he played and Jenkins didn't. Not so says Harbaugh, who said the decision to play Hall for one play was because of the specific play they felt he was a better fit for.

"A.J. was ahead of Chad on the depth chart had something happened to Michael (Crabtree), or Randy (Moss)," Harbaugh said.

--In leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl despite not being the starter when the season started, QB Colin Kaepernick did something neither Joe Montana nor Steve Young pulled off. Like Kaepernick, Montana became the 49ers' starter midway through his second season, but made his first Super Bowl appearance the next season -- his first as the full-time starter.
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