SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — The 49ers are gearing up for their first playoff game at Levi’s Stadium. The team will host the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.
On Tuesday, the team held a full practice and media availability.
“You don’t have to put any extra pressure on yourself,” said veteran tackle Joe Staley.
“It’s not, ‘It’s the playoffs, you gotta do something different.’ It’s all about doing exactly what you’ve done the whole entire year,” he said.
On the practice field, more media than ever focused on the player’s every move. The Niners looked businesslike and focused. But veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said in the locker room that players felt loose.
“When you got guys like Kendrick Bourne walking around the locker room, dancing and blasting music, it’s kinda hard to not be loose. I looked over at Sherm and said, ‘These guys keep us young,'” Sanders said.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was in a joking mood when asked about being fined $7,000 by the NFL for throwing a ball into the stands immediately after the win over Seattle at CenturyLink Field.
“I was pretty accurate on the throw, I thought,” Garoppolo said at a news conference prompting laughter.
The ball was hauled in by 49ers fan Mathew Pinelli, who drove all the way up to Seattle for the game. But the NFL considers throwing a ball into the stands a dangerous play because it can cause a scrum.
“I wasn’t trying to start a riot or anything. I was trying to throw it to that specific guy. He made a great catch on it. But yeah, I’m glad it’s a San Fran fan who caught that,” Garoppolo said.
Saturday will be Garoppolo’s first start in a playoff game. He said he expects the intensity and the energy to go up a few notches but is happy to be playing at home where the noise level on offense will be lower than it is on the road.