NEW ORLEANS - Working separately, John and Jim Harbaugh each guided their team to the Super Bowl. They will be on opposite sidelines Sunday, John as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and Jim with the San Francisco 49ers.
Imagine how effective they could be if working together.
At their joint news conference Friday, someone asked the brothers if they would consider teaming up if either should be forced out of his current post.
"No question about it," John said. "We've had that conversation in the past. It just never really worked out timing-wise. I'd love to work for Jim. It would be the greatest thing in the world."
Jim, coach of the San Francisco 49ers, said, "Definitely, I would work for him."
Super Bowl tradition dictates that the coaches meet with the media separately two days before the Super Bowl. That custom was altered Friday because, after all, two brothers have never before coached against each other in the Super Bowl.
Wearing a dark suit, white shirt, striped tie and laced business shoes, John settled into a director's chair behind a Ravens helmet. Jim, wearing a 49ers hat, a sweat shirt, khaki pants and running shoes, sat in an identical chair behind a San Francisco helmet.
Calling it "an exciting moment," John ticked off the names of family members in attendance, including his parents.
Jack Harbaugh, their father, was a successful college coach. His sons followed in his footsteps, but on different paths. There was one time, however, when the routes nearly merged.
"We almost made it happen at Stanford at one time," John said. "It would be an honor to have him on the staff. He's a great coach. ... There's no better coach in the National Football League than this guy right here."
To which Jim added, "Well, Jack Harbaugh."
The family coaching tree could run even deeper one day. Jim's son, Jay, works for John as a coaching intern with the Ravens.
Although Jack Harbaugh received credit for molding the boys into coaches, the brothers said their mother, Jackie, also had influence on their growth into men.
"There is no one in the family who has more competitive fire than my mother," Jim said. "She competes like a maniac. ... She believed in me, John, and Joanie, and took us to games and played catch with us, shot baskets with us."
• NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the No. 1 issue in the game is taking the head out of tackles, and he urged players to get back to using shoulders and arms properly in tackles.
"I'll stand up. I'll be accountable," he said. "But the players ... coaches ... officials ... medical professionals have to do it."
In his state of the NFL address, Goodell also said the players union needs to allow testing for human growth hormone and said next year's Super Bowl at the stadium used by the Giants and Jets will "have an impact on future decisions for open-air, cold-weather sites."
• Texans RB Arian Foster said he has not spoken with his doctors about "any surgery," disputing a report that he was likely to undergo a heart procedure in a month.
• What: Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore vs. San Francisco
• Where: New Orleans
• When: 4:30 p.m. Sunday
• TV: Channel 13