SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Jim Harbaugh may be the toughest quarterback the Giants face Sunday.

That’s the headline in a New York Daily News column, referring to the upcoming NFC Championship game and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

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“He played quarterback in the league for a long time, and he was known as a very tough guy,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “He just carried that over…You just knew Jim Harbaugh was going to be a good coach…But to be honest, I didn’t think it would happen this quickly.”

Madden praised all four coaches in Sunday’s conference championship games.

“I think they’re all pretty tough guys… Maybe there’s something there. Maybe the grinders and the tough guys or whatever are the guys that get there in the end.”

John said the best coaches are known for their competitiveness.

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“That’s the first thing you get, and the last thing you lose,” said Madden.

During the regular season, the 49ers beat the Giants 27-20.

“There’s a real advantage to having played, but it goes to both sides,” Madden said. “If you haven’t played against that person, you really don’t know the quickness, you really don’t know the strength compared to you… But if you play a game, then you have felt that and you go in and you know a little more… I don’t think because one team won that that means they’re going to win. I think that they both know that ‘we’ve played these guys before. We know we can play them.’ And you just go from there.” (8:05)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

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