Niners defensive coordinator quotes ‘Step Brothers’ to explain 49ers-Seahawks matchup

The San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks matchup on Sunday night is a lot of things.

It’s a winner-take-all game for the NFC West crown.

It’s hugely important for playoff seeding.

And it’s going to have a massive effect on the 49ers’ 2020 schedule.

One thing it’s not though? The Catalina Wine Mixer.

That comparison comes courtesy of 49ers Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh, who used the reference to the hugely important helicopter expo from the Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly classic “Step Brothers” during his Thursday media availability. Saleh referenced the comedy to describe Kyle Shanahan’s (and his former boss Pete Carroll’s) approach to big rivalry games.

“Coach Shanahan is the same in the regards to the approach,” Saleh said when asked about Carroll’s approach to rivalry games. “It’s not the Catalina Wine Mixer — you guys remember that movie? You know it’s not the biggest deal in the world. Not that we don’t understand what’s at stake and how exciting this can be. But your mindset should always be internally driven in that every day, every practice, every rep is a championship play, practice, rep, day, meeting … and you have to approach it that way. The opponent is just secondary.”

“To make it about them is not the approach you ever want,” he continued.

Better said than done. The Seahawks handed the 49ers their first loss of the season — a 27-24 overtime thriller on November 11.

And of course, winning the division, the No. 1 seed, and a bye in the first round will come down to the final-game-of-the-season rematch.

Oh, and to make things just a little more interesting, the Seahawks re-signed Super Bowl champ Marshawn Lynch just days before the rematch and only a few days after Lynch was seen handing out tequila shots at the Raiders’ final tailgate in Oakland.

“He’s a load to tackle,” Saleh told reporters. “He’s another player we’ve got to hit as hard as we can.”

Grant Marek is the Editorial Director of SFGATE. Email: | Twitter: @grant_marek

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