By Matt Maiocco
Pro Football Writers of America
NEW ORLEANS - The lights of the Super Bowl appeared a little brighter for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, as the team went through 15 minutes of stretching and playing catch at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The 49ers held their final get-together, a light workout on the eve of Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens, in front of 11 bus loads of family and friends. As the coaches and players walked onto the playing field, one person in the crowd prompted the group to perform the 49ers' traditional victory cheer. The man shouted, "Who's got it better than us?" And hundreds of 49ers supporters replied in unison, "Nobody!"
That brought a smile to Harbaugh's face and he applauded the fans' efforts. Afterward, the large contingent was invited onto the field to pose for pictures and get autographs. The brief walk-through practice had a football purpose, too.
"We wanted to come over," Harbaugh said. "And the football part of it is getting used to the lights. They looked a little brighter than the last time we were down here."
The 49ers played Nov. 25 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a game in which QB Colin Kaepernick made his first career road start in a 31-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Harbaugh said he wanted the players to visit the locker room and put on their game cleats to check out the playing surface with "pat-and-go" drills. Harbaugh joined the three quarterbacks in throwing passes to players at all positions.
"Also, wanted to get a stretch, get the blood moving a little bit," Harbaugh said. "And get some new blood going. Then, afterward, enjoy it with your family. Get some pictures and make it possible for everybody to come down to the Super Bowl field."
The most popular player on the field was Kaepernick. He was surrounded by a large circle of people seeking photos. Harbaugh said Kaepernick appears to remain unfazed by his new fame.
"I don't see any change, one way or the other," Harbaugh said. "He is who he is. He has been pretty steady with his demeanor."
The 49ers are scheduled for their normal night-before-game routine of meetings at the team hotel, Harbaugh said.
"I feel good," Harbaugh said. "The preparation has been outstanding, very focused. The players care about winning. They care about this team, and that's complimentary to the players and the way their focus has been. And that's not something that's been just this week. That wasn't just created this week. That's been all season and the offseason. It speaks very highly of the players."