SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — From the moment Glenn Dorsey stepped off the plane last spring and met spirited 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, he understood San Francisco's winning vibe that he had seen from afar with Kansas City in the AFC.
Dorsey wanted to be a part of it, and little did the Niners know how crucial a stabilizing force he would be or how important the decision was to bring him in for depth on the defensive line.
"Even when I got off the plane and talked to Coach Tomsula, this is the time that we prepared for, the time that he told me when I got here: 'Hey, this is what we're going to be doing. We're going to work toward it and hopefully keep it going,'" Dorsey recalled.
Ever since nose tackle Ian Williams went down with a season-ending ankle injury during a Week 2 loss at Seattle, Dorsey has delivered with a steady presence in the middle for coordinator Vic Fangio's imposing, smothering unit.
This group is determined to return to Seattle this weekend for the NFC championship game and produce a different result after an embarrassing 29-3 defeat on Sept. 15 at noisy CenturyLink Field.
While Dorsey wasn't around for last season's Super Bowl heartbreak, he understands there is unfinished business associated with the 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that cost San Francisco the franchise's sixth championship.
This postseason run is "very close" to what Dorsey envisioned when he joined the 49ers last March on a two-year contract that could pay him up to $7 million with incentives.
Williams earned the starting nose tackle job out of training camp with Dorsey a versatile backup, then Williams went down with a season-ending ankle injury on a cut block by Seattle right guard J.R. Sweezy.
Dorsey watched the 49ers during last year's postseason, noticing "a team that fights, a physical team on both sides of the ball, special teams."
"Everybody works well together," he said. "We have a mindset that we're going to work hard no matter what. The weather, whatever it might be, whoever the opponent might be, guys just have it in their mind just to come out and grind it out no matter what."