SANTA CLARA -- Jed York is a new-generation owner with a little bit of a mischievous side and, by the way, a team one victory away from the Super Bowl.

You could not imagine Paul Brown, Al Davis or Eddie DeBartolo firing off Twitter missives on their way to titles, could you?

(Well, not without a full-time censor at least.)

But here is York, the 49ers' CEO, with more than 1,000 tweets, alternately emotional, thoughtful, funny and always grounded and pointed toward a 49ers victory.

"Me sharing 140 characters here and there I think just allows fans to see that I'm a relatively normal person," York said in a phone interview Monday. "I try to give them some insight into the team or some insight into me, because I think fans deserve it."

But this, of course, is not a normal time for York or his 49ers, who make their second consecutive trip to the NFC Championship game when they play the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday.

At the same time, York's new stadium is rising right next to the team's Santa Clara headquarters -- every day, the clanging and tractor roar practically blot out the noise of practice whistles and thuds.

So what does York feel about all of this weighty activity around him?

"Still a long way to go," York said. "We've made some progress, but a long way to go ...

"I think the team is in a good spot, but our goal is to win Super Bowls, and that's what we need to do."

Which is pure York -- he has his uncle Eddie D's passion, and he also has absorbed and embraced the grinding focus of his two best hires, coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.

"You have to respect the fact that you've gotten there two years in a row -- it's very difficult to get there even one year," York said. "But we need to do better than we did last year."

The big difference: Last year, Alex Smith was the quarterback in the playoffs, and he played a great game to beat New Orleans, then not so well in the NFC title game against the New York Giants.

This year, Colin Kaepernick took Smith's place in November, just put on one of the great physical performances in playoff history and now leads the team into Atlanta.

"When you look at Colin, that's something that kind of happened," York said. "Coach made a gut call -- you have two guys you really feel good with, and that's a good situation.

"It definitely was a gutsy call, and hopefully it ends up being the right one. Colin has played great."

York acknowledges that it is interesting to reach the NFC title game and face Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who was such a large presence when he coached the 49ers from 2005 until October 2008, when York fired him.

In many ways, York says, Nolan initiated many of the fundamental changes that didn't take full form until Harbaugh's hiring in 2011.

"I think he is an unbelievable football coach," York said of Nolan. "He really helped establish a culture here that wasn't here before, about winning the right way, winning with class, being a tough, physical team.

"I think if things would've worked out differently, he could've been here for a long time."

But York, of course, is more than pleased with Harbaugh's leadership, achievements and full-force reinvigoration of this franchise.

And York said he absolutely understands why Harbaugh so often is clipped and guarded in public.

"He wants to win," York said of Harbaugh. "And he doesn't really mind being himself even if that doesn't put him in the best light with the media or anything like that, or with friends across the league.

"That's not what he's interested in. ... He's interested in winning. I respect that, and I know it's hard to try to hold yourself to that high standard."

Speaking of high standards, there is all that steel being stacked and lined up, just yards from York's office at 4949 Centennial.

"It's hard not to see it every day, because we're about 15 feet from it," York said. "It's been great to see go up ...

"I'm very impressed with the work, and we still have a long way to go with the stadium -- but it's fun to watch it go up and fun to start to put something together you've been working on for so long."

Can he enjoy it all? Eddie D told me last week that was his main advice to his nephew during this pressure-filled time.

Enjoy it, if possible.

"I'll tell you, though, having my son around definitely puts a lot more perspective to it," York said of his almost-3-month-old son, Jax.

"I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can. As much as we want to grind, win the next one and win another and do all that, you want to try to enjoy the moment.

"Even if it's just for a second, you have to respect that you're here. You can grind 23 hours and 59 minutes, but maybe one minute a day you can try to enjoy it."

And then it's back to the grind, to thinking about beating Atlanta, winning the franchise's sixth Super Bowl, finishing that stadium, and on and on.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.