Jim Harbaugh said today he wasn't trying to influence the officials a la Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride when Harbaugh questioned whether the physical play from the Seattle cornerbacks Thursday was within the rules.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll made that analogy when asked about Harbaugh's comments today on 710ESPN.
"Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago when they were talking about not doing things like that?" Carroll said of Harbaugh and the 49ers. "The Giants or Kevin Gilbride or something like that? I thought there was something about that where we don't go out and express our concerns like that."
Before the Giants and 49ers met in Week 6, Gilbride told the New York media that 49ers defensive end Justin Smith "gets away with murder" as far as defensive holding, a comment that drew an angry press release from Harbaugh, who accused the Giants of using their clout to influence the officials.
Harbaugh today said there was a difference -- he was asked about the Seahawks cornerbacks during a Friday press conference and he responded accordingly. "Any time you ask me anything about any of the officiating from the game -- the previous game or an upcoming game -- there's a way we've been instructed to handle that, and that is to not criticize the officiating and to address any concerns and just anything you want clarification or interpretation about with the officials in New York."
On Friday, Harbaugh was asked about the way Seattle's cornerbacks "locked up" with his wideouts. His response: "I wouldn't use the word 'locked up'. That's not the word I would use. We'll take that up with the officials and get their view of it."
Harbaugh agreed it was important to look into the matter since the 49ers will face the Seahawks again Dec. 23. "I mean, is it physical play, is it in the rules? I think that's a good question, is it in the rules? We have to ask that question and see what the interpretation is."
Asked today why he didn't say something more general, such as 'We're going to take it up with the league office," Harbaugh said he wanted to give a good quote.
"I can stand up here and say 'no comment' about any question," he said. "I try not to do that. I try to be professional, try to answer questions as best that I can."
In his radio interview, Carroll said he was surprised Harbaugh felt his receivers were "overwhelmed." When that was relayed to Harbaugh today, he chuckled.
"I'm not going to comment on or get paraphrased or let somebody quote somebody else and then have a reaction to it," Harbaugh said. "I think you pretty much know, we're from the sticks-and-stones school approach. Calling us names isn't going to hurt us."
-- Matt Barrows