Friday, January 19, 2018

Few 49ers have playoff experience

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — C Jonathan Goodwin has been going around San Francisco's locker room offering bits of veteran insight.

Playoff knowledge, Saints knowledge.

The 49ers have eight players with postseason experience. (Saturday's division-round opponent, the Saints, had 39 before last week's wild-card victory over the Lions.) Only one player, LS Brian Jennings, was with the 49ers in 2002, the last time they made the playoffs.

"I don't know what it's going to be like. I just know I'm playing in the playoffs," 49ers TE Vernon Davis said. "I try not to get too excited because I want to keep myself under control."

That's where Goodwin comes in. Signed during this past offseason, he won a Super Bowl with the Saints two years ago.

"Should be pretty fun," he said. "Hopefully, my experiences seeing that defense … will be valuable.

"My advice so far is pretty much when it all comes down to it, it's still football. You might have a little anxiety that first series. After that, it's something that you've done for plenty of years of your life."

Saints: WR Lance Moore (hamstring) hasn't practiced this week and likely will sit out. LB Jonathan Vilma (knee) also didn't practice but is expected to play. And S Roman Harper (ankle) returned in a limited fashion and is expected to play.

Packers: Sunday's game against the Giants brings up memories of Brett Favre's interception in overtime that led to an NFC title-game loss to them four years ago.

Current QB Aaron Rodgers threw just six interceptions this season. But he doesn't trace his distaste for turnovers to that day — "I was just trying to stay warm most of the time," he said, joking — or any other moment he spent behind Favre.

Instead, Rodgers said it goes back to his days at Pleasant Valley High in Chico, Calif.

"In my freshman year of high school, I actually threw more interceptions than touchdowns," Rodgers said. "I made a conscious decision to be smart with the football. Since then, I haven't had any of those years."

Meanwhile, DT B.J. Raji said he's not worried about facing the Giants offensive line.

"Not to say they're soft," he said, "but it's not the toughest group I've been against."

Giants: RB Ahmad Bradshaw missed his second practice with back spasms. Coach Tom Coughlin said he hopes he can practice today. Also, CB Corey Webster, whose interception of Favre four years ago set up the winning field goal, and S Deon Grant were added to the injury report with hamstring and quad injuries, respectively. Coughlin said he expects both to play.


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