Notebook: Harbaugh brothers get ready for Super Bowl

Jim and John Harbaugh have exchanged a handful of text messages, and plan to leave it at that. No phone conversations necessary while the season’s still going. No time for pleasantries, even for the friendly siblings.

There is work to be done to prepare for the Super Bowl, prepare for each other, prepare for a history-making day already being widely hyped as ‘‘Harbowl’’ or ‘‘Superbaugh’’ depending which nickname you prefer.

‘‘It doesn’t matter who the coach is, what relationship you have with the person on the other side,’’ 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said so matter-of-factly Monday afternoon.


Their parents sure aren’t picking sides for the Feb. 3 matchup in New Orleans.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

These days, the Harbaughs’ father Jack, a longtime coach, stays away from game-planning chatter or strategy sessions with his sons. Baltimore’s John Harbaugh and his little brother have been doing this long enough now to no longer need their dad’s input.

Yet, they still regularly seek it. And, their father does offer one basic mantra: ‘‘Get ahead, stay ahead.’’

‘‘If I’m called upon, I’ll repeat that same message,’’ said Jack Harbaugh.

The Harbaugh brothers will become the first sibling head coaches to square off for the NFL championship — not that they’re too keen on playing up the story line that has no chance of going away.


‘‘Well, I think it’s a blessing and a curse,’’ Jim Harbaugh said Monday. ‘‘A blessing because that is my brother’s team. And, also, personally I played for the Ravens. Great respect for their organization . . . The curse part would be the talk of two brothers [coaching] in the Super Bowl and what that takes away from the players that are in the game. Every moment that you’re talking about myself or John, that’s less time that the players are going to be talked about.’’

Both men love history, just not the kind with them making it.

‘‘I like reading a lot of history . . . I guess it’s pretty neat,’’ John Harbaugh offered Monday. ‘‘But is it really going to be written about? It’s not exactly like Churchill and Roosevelt or anything. It’s pretty cool, but that’s as far as it goes.’’

Oddsmakers in Las Vegas made the 49ers a 4½-point favorite Sunday night.

Ryan to rehab shoulder

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sprained his left shoulder in the closing minutes of Sunday’s NFC Championship game loss to the 49ers, but would’ve been able to play in the Super Bowl, according to coach Mike Smith. Ryan was hurt just after the two-minute warning when hit by linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Ryan’s next two passes were incomplete, sealing the 49ers’ 28-24 victory. Ryan will need 3-4 weeks to fully recover from the injury, which was described as a sprained AC joint to the nonthrowing shoulder. No surgery is required . . . With Ryan out, Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster for Sunday’s game in Honolulu. Falcons safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore also joined the roster. Added to the AFC roster were Colts quarterback Andrew Luck; Texans tight end Owen Daniels; guard Zane Beadles and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas of the Broncos; Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and defensive tackle Randy Starks; and a trio of Bills: running back C.J. Spiller, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, and free safety Jairus Byrd.

Support staff


Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur is joining Chip Kelly’s staff with the Eagles, a person familiar with the hiring told the Associated Press. Shurmur is expected to be the offensive coordinator, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven’t announced any coaching moves . . . The Ravens announced Jim Caldwell, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach to interim offensive coordinator in December, will remain OC next season . . . Cardinals coach Bruce Arians named his coordinators, Todd Bowles (defense) and Harold Goodwin (offense). Tom Moore will serve as assistant head coach/offense.