'I feel like something special is brewing'

Jim Harbaugh sure knows how to give a victory handshake. And the 49ers sure know how to finish off watershed victories on the road. Harbaugh's exuberant post-game handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz after Sunday's defining 25-19 win had Schwartz chasing after him like a sore loser. Here, Harbaugh gives his takes on that exchange and other key moments in San Francisco's huge comeback victory.


Q: Was that just a tremendous, gut-check, winning performance by your defense against an explosive offense on the road?
Harbaugh:
I wholeheartedly agree. That was a great defensive performance by our football team. I'm so proud of our guys today.

Q: Can you explain what happened after you shook hands at the end of the game with Lions coach Jim Schwartz?
Harbaugh:
Yeah, yeah. I was really revved… I was just really revved up. It's totally on me. I shook his hand too hard. I really went in, and it was a strong, kind of a slap-grab handshake, kind of like the same as I've been doing with (Blake) Costanzo and a few of the other guys. So that was on me. A little too hard a handshake there.

Q: What else happened in there?
Harbaugh:
There was some in there … then bump to get bumped, it felt like a chest-bump there. But I don't take that personally. That was on me. It was a little too hard of a handshake. But a hell of a game. That was just one great game.

Q: What was Schwartz saying in there?
Harbaugh:
I don't know what he was saying. I really don't. I couldn't tell you what he said.

Q: You looked kind of agitated afterward when he started chasing you…
Harbaugh:
(Laughs). I was not agitated, believe me. Not agitated. Very happy. Very happy with the win. It's a great thrill of winning. Great feeling of victory. I'm really proud of our football team.

Q: How did you manage to keep Detroit out of the end zone today? The red-zone defense was superb.
Harbaugh:
Well, like I said, it was just a great team defensive performance by our guys. Pass rush was unrelenting, it was there all day. We thought we did a great job stopping the run. And 81 (Calvin Johnson) caught the ball and he's a heck of a football player, but we made plays and hung in there. It was a great defensive performance.

Q: Can you talk about your touchdown play on fourth down that won the game at the end?
Harbaugh:
We hit (Delanie Walker) on the slant, threw a strike to him. Delanie did a great job keeping his knee off the ground. As you could see the replay – we saw it about three or four times there from the field – and we got the ball in.

Q: Were you concerned when that final touchdown play went to replay?
Harbaugh:
Yeah, you always do. You wonder when you have to wait to see how it's going to come out. But it felt better when I could see the replay on the Jumbotron.

Q: It seems like you had to overcome a lot of your own mistakes today, like 10 penalties at halftime…
Harbaugh:
At least. We overcome a lot in today's ball game.

Q: Was there a message at halftime to calm down and get it together?
Harbaugh:
Everybody was saying the same thing to each other. You know, let's play with cool heads, let's make good decisions.

Q: What's a victory like this say about your players and your team considering the magnitude of the game and the way you were overcome that adversity?
Harbaugh:
It says we've got a lot of character. You know, they've got steel in their spine, they really do. I feel like something special is really brewing here.

Q: Can you talk a little about your emotions getting the best of you there at the end?
Harbaugh:
"I was very emotional about the outcome and how our players played. Hopefully you understand that. ... It fires me up. Fires me up a lot. I'm not going to apologize for that. If it offends you, so be it.


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