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Jim Harbaugh, 49ers hope to win battle in Seattle this time

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh runs

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh runs on the field during warmups before the NFC divisional playoff game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. (Jan. 12, 2014) Credit: Getty

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A day after his wife, Sarah, complained about the $8 pleated khakis from Wal-Mart that Jim Harbaugh wears daily at practice, along with his obligatory black sweatshirt, the San Francisco 49ers coach let us know who wears the pants in the family.

"They were making quite a bit of sport of me," said Harbaugh Wednesday, departing for a moment from rhetoric about Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks.

"But problem solved there," he pointed out. "Well, the Levi's and the Nikes, and the Dickies make a flat [front] khaki. So happy wife, happy life."

Harbaugh in his third straight conference championship (a loss to the Giants two years ago, a win over Atlanta last year) could only wish the problem at Seattle's CenturyLink Field is as easily solved. The Niners have been crushed by the Seahawks the last two games there.

And Harbaugh, a quarterback who was a first-round selection by the Chicago Bears in 1987 and played 14 years in the NFL, could only wish he were closer than the sideline to do something about it.

Yes, he ran onto the field last Sunday at Carolina and was penalized, but that doesn't count.

""I was thinking of the things I would trade to be able to compete as a player in these games, this game," Harbaugh said. "It's pretty significant."

What would he trade? "There's a lot. There's a lot." His house? "Oh easy, I thought you were going to make it tough like a body part."

Harbaugh said his quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, would get "an A-plus" for intangibles. "Poise, big stage never seems to bother him, and his leadership ability, players love him, coaches love him."

The coach also is enthralled with defensive end Aldon Smith, who missed a month in an alcohol treatment center. "Teams who want to block Aldon Smith one-on-one," said Harbaugh, "are whistling Dixie."

Except for Arizona, the last 16 times teams faced the Seahawks in Seattle they were whistling in the dark.

"We're spending a lot of time thinking about that," said Harbaugh, "answering those questions than going back six months or 12 months or 13 months."

Kaepernick had an answer when someone suggested the Seahawks have the 49ers' number. "Those other games don't really matter," the quarterback said. "The biggest thing is we haven't played well."

Much of that has to do with the Seahawks and the raucous home crowd, the so-called "12th man."

Asked if he were tired of the constant references, Kaepernick responded, "We only have 11 men on the field, just like them."

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