Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 9/26/12
BOARDMAN, Ohio - On this year's San Francisco 49ers business trip to Northeast Ohio, much is different than last year's maiden voyage. Starting with attitudes and expectations. For the second straight year, the 49ers are spending a week near the roots of the DeBartolo Family, the team's founders, in Youngstown, Ohio and practicing at Youngstown State University. It's a stop head coach Jim Harbaugh and team management dreamed up last year to save energy and trips across time zones. This year, the energy is not positive. The 49ers are coming off an upset loss at Minnesota, their first of the season after impressive wins in Green Bay and over Detroit. The trip here might become an annual rite, but this week the focus on Sunday's game at the Jets and correcting what kept the 49ers from remaining unbeaten last week. Looking back from a year ago to now, the suburban hotel that's home for five days this week is the same. Many of the players are the same. The standards are not. "I dont know the percentage of it," Harbaugh said. "I think were farther along than we were last year." Harbaugh wasn't much in the talking mood Wednesday. At this time last year, Harbaugh was still the new coach. The roster had lots of relatively new faces as the lockout cancelled all offseason activities, and just how good 49ers would be was pretty much a secret -- maybe even to themselves. "We certainly feel like were a lot further ahead now," quarterback Alex Smith said. "With that, nothings guaranteed. This is the NFL. But for sure I think we would all say we feel a lot more confident about where were at right now than a year ago." Last year, the 49ers came to Ohio at 1-1 and off a close home loss to the Dallas Cowboys. They won in Cincinnati on Sept. 25 despite not crossing the 50-yard line until almost the midpoint of the third quarter, then spent the next week in Youngstown before playing in Philadelphia, where they rallied to beat the Eagles, 24-23. They won eight straight and didn't lose until Thanksgiving in Baltimore. Eventually, they looked at last year's Youngstown trip as a bonding experience, one that helped them on the way to the NFC Championship Game. "Staying in a hotel like this, it's close quarters," offensive lineman Alex Boone said. "You're cramped. You just want to fight everybody because everybody's on top of you. You have to really just focus in and fight through all that. You really have to think about what you have to do. "I think it's a little easier this time because we did it last year. We understand it. Last year we won (the week before) we came here so this year it's tougher than expected. This year we're off a loss and we're just focusing on ourselves and what we need to do to get back to winning." Every 49ers player is just a few hundred feet from business headquarters this week. Smith said that can be a positive, especially coming off what would now be considered a rare loss. Besides the short bus trips for practice, it's all in at all hours this week. There just aren't a lot of smiles in the hotel. "I think when you come off a loss, you want to get back to work and make darn sure it doesnt happen again," Harbaugh said. "Thats the mindset we have every day, including today, to work on that in preparation for the game on Sunday."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carmelo Anthony does not speak to media after loss to Hornets

NFL Network suspends 3 analysts accused of sexual harassment

Winners and losers from Monday Night Football in Week 14

Patriots safety Duron Harmon yells at teammates in heated sideline exchange

Players avoid suspensions for mayhem in Jacksonville

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Russell Westbrook destroys Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with monstrous dunk

Are the Houston Astros preparing to lose Dallas Keuchel?

Watch Chris Paul embarrass Pelicans player with sick crossover

LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball to join Lithuanian team in January

Carson Wentz out for season with torn ACL

NFL threatens ‘significant discipline’ over mistreatment of referees

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

Free agent profile: Carlos Santana

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

Knicks GM: We have no interest in tanking

Top 10 Player of the Year candidates

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

The 14 most intriguing NFL draft prospects playing in 2017 bowl games

Why Antonio Brown deserves to be in MVP discussion

Is this when Zach Werenski and the Blue Jackets really get their season going?

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

NFL Week 14 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The best games of 2017

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

NHL Weekender: Caps gain ground, Kings ready to rule?

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker