NEW ORLEANS -- Strong safety Donte Whitner has been around long enough to know when his team is ready to play the next game. That time hasn't arrived yet for the 49ers when it comes to the Super Bowl.

Whitner said Tuesday that the 49ers still are in the midst of ironing out the kinks, breaking down the Baltimore Ravens and getting in tune with the game plan.

To that end, Whitner said, he looks for signs that tell him the 49ers are ready.

"I haven't seen (the signs) yet," Whitner said. "We have a lot of work to do."

There's one glaring sign that the 49ers aren't where they need to be right now, he said.

"You know when a team is ready to go, when we're not making mental mistakes," Whitner said. "I really haven't seen that yet. We still have work to do."

San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner tackles Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones during the third quarter of their NFC Championship playoff
San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner tackles Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones during the third quarter of their NFC Championship playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

Fortunately for the 49ers, they still have several practices to get to the desired level of readiness.

Given that, Whitner said he is confident that the 49ers will be as prepared as they can be when the game rolls around Sunday.

"I believe we are close," Whitner said. "We're close."

Whitner said coach Jim Harbaugh and the coaching staff are focused and making great strides toward getting the 49ers up to speed.

Once they reach that point, the 49ers still have to be on guard during the game for things that crop up, he said.



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