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NFL: Luck, Harbaugh to meet as rivals
By Janie McCauley
The Associated Press
First Published Sep 21 2013 07:00 pm Last Updated Sep 22 2013 12:54 am
San Francisco Andrew Luck kept San Franciscos prime-time loss at Seattle in the background once his workday ended disappointingly last Sunday in Indianapolis.
The Colts quarterback knows plenty well what to expect from his old college coach, Jim Harbaugh, and a 49ers staff featuring several former Stanford coaches.
Luck and Harbaugh face off for the first time Sunday at Candlestick Park, each trying to get his 1-1 team back on track.
"Its going to be tough. They obviously got to the Super Bowl last year," Luck said. "I have a lot of respect for coach Harbaugh in my years at Stanford with him and coach [Vic] Fangio and the rest of the Stanford guys on their staff. Theyre a premier defense. Its going to be a great challenge but I think were up for it. Itll be a fun week of work."
For Harbaugh, facing Luck might have a similar feel to coaching against his brother in the Super Bowl. Luck helped Harbaugh turn around Stanfords program and propel him into the NFL coaching ranks.
"Theres not a lot of weaknesses that he has," Harbaugh said. "Were going to have to be very sound, very good. Hes a top-notch quarterback in the NFL. Hopefully well be better for it as we play these top guys."
Emotions aside for players and coaches on both sides, here are five things to watch for Sunday:
REUNION TIME Colts defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois returns to face San Francisco after helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl last season.
Indianapolis tight end Coby Fleener, another former Stanford star, will be reunited with his college coaching staff, just like Luck.
Francois showed up for work Monday and went looking for Luck. He will offer any insight he can to help the offense, knowing Harbaugh loves to mix up things and pull out new wrinkles from that thick 49ers playbook.