|RB Frank Gore said "it feels a lot different" with Jim Harbaugh coaching the team. (US Presswire)|
For Gore, 2012 has all the makings of a special season and it's primarily a result of the arrival of coach Jim Harbaugh.
Yes, the team went 13-3 in Harbaugh's first season and was a few breaks away from the sixth Super Bowl berth in franchise history, but there was still a feeling of uncertainty in the locker room because of how new everything was.
That feeling is gone.
"It feels a lot different," Gore said. "Even coming to the games, just knowing that we have a good team -- not cocky because we work hard all during the week -- but it feels totally different."
In wins against Green Bay and Detroit, both playoff teams from a year ago, there was never a real sense a 49ers victory was in doubt. By the virtue of late scores in both games, each ended with an eight-point margin -- technically one possession games -- but the score didn't reflect how well the team played.
"We've got great coaches; they work very hard," said Gore, who will pass Roger Craig for the most carries in franchise history (1,687) with his first carry Sunday. "They do a great job and put us in great situations."
It's a stark contrast to the reputation the team had under its former coach, Mike Singletary, who just happens to be preparing to slow down Gore this week in his capacity as linebacker coach and special assistant to the head coach for Minnesota.
In Singletary's final season with the 49ers, the team went 6-10.
Gore said that's a big deal.
"We kind of know what to do now [with the offense]," he said.
If that's the case, they did a pretty good job of faking it last year.