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49ers guarding against complacency

  • San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. the 49ers won the game 34-0. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh had to go out of his way last season to keep his San Francisco 49ers focused following big wins, even inventing a fictional character to get the message across to players.

Now Freddie P. Soft is back.

Only this time, players are on the lookout.

Coming off a 34-0 victory at the New York Jets, the 49ers (3-1) are taking a more active approach to guard against complacency heading into Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Candlestick Park. Or, as San Francisco prefers, a 4-inch character who tries to sneak into team headquarters and disrupt preparation.

Harbaugh joked Wednesday that Soft showed up a few weeks ago before practice but "other people noticed it first." He said experience with winning, which is no longer a surprise for a team that went 13-3 and finished a field goal shy of the Super Bowl last year, has taught his players Soft "might be lurking" at all times.


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