SANTA CLARA — Coaches tend to gauge their team's readiness by how well they practice during the week. To that end, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is confident that his players are ready to play at a high level against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.

"I'm really happy," Harbaugh said on Friday about the way his team practiced this week. "I would say our Wednesday, our Thursday practice were outstanding. Our Friday practices have been really good the last three, four weeks, and today was as good as those or better. So, good preparation."

Another encouraging sign surfaced Friday during practice, when some players took added time to make sure they had down their assignments.

"There were a few times where defensive players asked to have the play repeated because they wanted to get it right," Harbaugh said. "That was good, taking ownership, on their part."

Now it's off to Atlanta, where the 49ers (12-4-1) take on the top-seeded Falcons (14-3) on Sunday for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

Harbaugh said he will spend part of his time on the long flight doing more prep work. Interestingly, the 49ers will not conduct a walk-through Saturday at the Georgia Dome, Harbaugh said.

Perhaps he doesn't feel the need after seeing how well his players practiced and prepared the past five days.

"It feels like a team that's determined, focused, ready to get on a plane and get ready to play a football game," Harbaugh said.


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One thing Harbaugh doesn't have to worry about is his players being too confident.

He said his players know what's at stake and many of them have the experience from playing in last season's NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants to draw upon.

Given that, Harbaugh said he has high hopes and expectations for his team during Sunday's game.

"I would like the focus and concentration to be the highest it's been," Harbaugh said. "I would like guys to go out and play the best game that they have ever played here."