SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – The San Francisco 49ers have started practicing for the Super Bowl surrounded by tight security and a lot of autograph-seeking fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes even though the practice field is closed to the public.

The Niners let the media watch a few minutes of their first Super Bowl practice, but team security, Santa Clara police and high covered fences kept the fans far away.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

That was a little disappointing for Elden Brown of San Jose, on hand with his wife and two young children, all in Niner red and gold, trying to get a signature from Patrick Willis.

Their sweatshirts were covered in Niners autographs.

“I already got Frank Gore. I got pretty much most of the players. I just need Kaepernick and Patrick Willis,” Brown said.

His 5-year-old daughter Selena did score a few signatures, including defensive lineman Isaac Sapoaga. But many fans left empty-handed, shut out by what one man called Coach Jim Harbaugh’s “extreme paranoia.”

Linebacker Tavares Gooden said there are some professional eBay-selling autograph hounds in this crowd, but he tries to stop and visit with what he calls the “real fans.”

“It’s well-appreciated. I just want to thank them for coming out, and thanks for the support,” Gooden said.

The 49ers will be the first team to touch down in New Orleans for the Super Bowl arriving Sunday at about 8:30 p.m. EST, according to the NFL.

The Baltimore Ravens are set to show up in the Big Easy on Monday around 5 p.m.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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