NEW ORLEANS -- About 21/2 weeks ago, 49ers safety Dashon Goldson put a few words up on the team's quote board. Little did he know that his phrase would turn out to be a rallying cry the team would take all the way to the Super Bowl, or that it would be proven with emphasis in the NFC Championship Game.
His motto, which has been adopted by the team: "We get fresher under pressure."
"It just means that through all of the circumstances, and all of the stuff that we face, there is a lot of pressure throughout the season," Goldson said Sunday night shortly after the 49ers arrived here for Super Bowl XLVII. "A lot of people picked other teams to win the games and we happen to come out on top. They try to put a lot on us and I felt that we overcame a lot this season. I kind of got it from one of my buddies back in college."
The 49ers were never under as much pressure as they were last week when they trailed the Falcons 17-0 on the road in the NFC Championship Game.
"To be honest with you, we were down and we understood that," Goldson said. "As far as feeling any pressure, the energy and the belief were still there when we talked, especially when we went in at halftime and it wasn't like a lot of people were panicking. We just had to polish up some things that we needed to get tightened up and we came out and shut them down in the second half."
Now, though, the pressure goes up even more. There is no PSI greater than that of the Super Bowl, where every move is documented, every word is scrutinized and, come Sunday, every snap is dissected in front of a global audience.
But the 49ers believe that those circumstances will only make them excel more, propel them further, make them . . . fresher.
Jim Harbaugh said he doesn't feel the need to relax his team under the microscope of the Super Bowl. He pointed to Goldson's words on the quote board as a reason why he is not concerned about the 49ers' psyche.
"That,'' Harbaugh said of the motto, "bodes well for us.''