The 49ers appear to be setting up for a Rolling Stones concert. As reporters were waiting for Jim Harbaugh's noon press conference, Harbaugh was overseeing the arrival of eight massive speakers, each one about five feet tall. That's a huge step up from the sound system the 49ers have practiced with in recent years, including for road games this season in Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
"We've upgraded our sound system," said Harbaugh, adding that he's wanted new speakers for a while and that he finally got them from Stanford. "We've been trying to get that done for eight weeks. And we finally got that done."
The delivery has arrived just in time. Ford Field was a torture chamber for the Bears on Monday - they committed nine false starts - and the 49ers play there on Sunday. That city is primed not only by the Lions' 5-0 start to the season but by baseball's Tigers being in the American League Championship series. "You've got to be able to be ready to play without being able to talk and verbally communicate," Harbaugh said.
The 49ers tested the new sound system the right way -- with AC/DC's "Hell's Bells." Guns 'n' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle," Ram Jam's "Black Betty," Eminem and AC/DC's "Back in Black" were also being played as this blog was being written.
The 49ers put wide receiver Joshua Morgan on injured reserve today, ending his season. But Harbaugh was careful to point out that Morgan's broken leg - there was some stretched ligaments also associated with the injury, and Morgan had screws inserted in the leg- will not affect the rest of his career.
In fact, Harbaugh said the 49ers wanted to re-sign Morgan, who is in the final year of his original deal. "We've told him that," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "And we'll make that a priority."
Not only did the 49ers have a handful of veteran receivers work out yesterday, they worked out against each other. Harbaugh and his staff set it up as a competition, including a 40-yard race at the end. The winner of that race was practice squadder Joe Hastings. Brett Swain, the player the 49ers eventually signed, came in second.
The others who worked out were T.J. Hosuhmandzadeh, Chris Chambers and Brian Finneran. Harbaugh said the team considered signing two players. They settled on Swain because of his competitiveness, because of the fact that he plays special teams and because he played on Green Bay's championship team last year and his familiar with the West Coast offense.
It also didn't hurt that Swain was in San Diego when Harbaugh was coaching there. He played high school football at the same time as Harbaugh's oldest son.
Odds & Ends
Isaac Sopoaga appears poised to make his return from a staph infection. Harbaugh said he expected the nose tackle to rejoin practice today. Sopoaga was seen zipping across the locker room in a towel. He didn't have any bandages on his arms. Asked if he was back, Sopoaga - without breaking stride - flexed his right bicep and said, "---- yeah!"
â€¢ The 49ers released center Chase Beeler from the practice squad and signed former Arizona State receiver Kerry Taylor to replace him. Taylor is the nephew of former 49ers receiver John Taylor.
â€¢ Harbaugh said there has been no sign of Frederick P. Soft. That, according to Harbaugh, is the little guy who sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear when things are going well. In other words, there has been no indication that the 49ers' recent success, and recent awards, have gone to their head.
-- Matt Barrows