Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News posted an interview he recently had with former owner, Eddie DeBartolo and his thoughts on the 49ers and the playoffs.
DeBartolo: (without intro): Go Packers! (Laughs.)
Q: Well, you’ve always been such a Green Bay honk.
DeBartolo: Are you crazy? I hate that team!
I have nightmares about the Packers and the Cowboys.
It’s funny, no more than 10 minutes ago I emailed Jed and I just told him very simply, enjoy it, relax… enjoy the moment. And don’t worry about it, because truthfully Harbaugh’s got things under control.
I don’t care who agrees with me or doesn’t agree with me, and that includes sportswriters, I guess, the 49ers are way better than the Packers.
Q: Why do you think that?
DeBartolo: They just are. Got a better team. Got a better attitude. They’ve had some injuries that have hurt them, but they’re the best team right now in football.
I think they’re totally on a par with Denver. I don’t think New England is as good as Denver.
Now this is just some idiot sitting in Tampa that thinks he know what he’s talking about, but it’ll be déjà vu; I think the 49ers will be playing Denver in the Super Bowl.
Q: The last time that happened it turned out nicely for your team, if I remember.
DeBartolo: Yeah, it did. I don’t know if this one will be quite like that.
We had them out-manned. This one probably will be a little closer. They’re still a better team. Just all-around, they’re a better team. Think they’re better-coached than these other teams.
That thing that happened in Seattle, I mean, that happens. I remember when we won the Super Bowl and we had a so-so year (in 1994), but I remember Philadelphia beating the heck out of us, 45-14 or something (actually 40-8)… They beat us really bad.
Q: What do you think of Harbaugh’s switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick? Pretty bold move.
DeBartolo: Kaepernick, he’ll do fine. This is Jim Harbaugh; this is his forte. He’ll have him ready; he’ll have him all over the field. (The Packers) didn’t see him obviously the first game of the season.
I think if the 49ers will have trouble–and they’re not going to see it I don’t think–I think Seattle’s got a really good team. But I think Atlanta’s a tough game for Seattle.
The 49ers seem to have trouble with a real mobile quarterbacks, like Kaepernick, RGIII or like Wilson. And they don’t have that with (Matt) Ryan. I know I’m jumping ahead a little bit.
Q: OK, let’s get back to Green Bay then.
DeBartolo: Green Bay’s defense is… I don’t want to say it. And their offensive line is not very good.
But it’s a playoff, anything can happen. You know what surprises me is the line. Three points? I don’t know who’s making the line up, must be some guy that’s drinking a lot in Vegas.
Q: You think it’s too low.
DeBartolo: Oh yeah. When people asked me I thought it would be 7 or 8.
All kidding aside, I did send Jed an email. I told him, ‘I didn’t do this, but just enjoy it. Enjoy the moment if you can. I know you’re a nervous wreck and you will be up until game time. Everything’s in the hands of the coaches and players and Jim Harbaugh has everything well under control, I’m sure.
That was it. I just sent it to him.
Q: What do you remember about your series of playoff games against Green Bay? Most of them didn’t end so well for you.
DeBartolo: The Terrell Owens catch obviously was fine. That was a great moment. We went there and the first thing I remember happening is our big guy (Ted) Washington going down, first play of the game I think.
We just didn’t have real good luck against Green Bay. We held our own with Dallas. We had a great rivalry with Dallas.
The Green Bay-San Francisco rivalry has really kind of built up over the years. I think it’s something… first of all it’s great for football. They have it on at 8 o’clock in the East. It’s a big game. It’s great for football.
Come on, Rodgers is a great quarterback. He’s got some of his receivers back. But it takes more than that. You need a well-rounded well-balanced team. Geez, I sound like a coach.
Q: Or a guy who was a very involved owner.
DeBartolo: Truthfully, Green Bay’s not going to lay down and play dead. But I think the 49ers are better. I think they’re better than anybody in the NFC.
I think Denver’s going to win (this week) and I think New England’s going to win and they’re going to play and I think Denver will beat New England. Of course, I’ll probably be 100% wrong.
Q: And you’ve got a 49ers-Broncos Super Bowl then.
DeBartolo: The way Denver’s playing… You know, Tom Brady is phenomenal. I just don’t think they’re the complete team that Denver is. I watched two entire Denver games and they are so much better than I thought they were. And they’re getting better, that’s the crazy thing.
So I think it’ll be the 49ers and Denver in the Super Bowl. I just have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen in New Orleans.
Q: That’s right, your Super Bowl vs. Denver (SB XXIV, which the 49ers won 55-10) was in New Orleans, too.
DeBartolo: It was. It sure was. Déjà vu.