49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 5, 2012
Pitch play still gut-wrenching for Harbaugh


Jim Harbaugh today said he didn't think Jeff Fisher was taking a jab at him and the 49ers when the Rams coach questioned the pitch play that turned out so disastrous for San Francisco.

"I don't know what they were trying to do accomplish there, but we took advantage of one of their mistakes," Fisher said after the game.

Harbaugh said he thought Fisher merely was being quizzical. "That's the low-hanging fruit - 'What the heck were they doing?'" Harbaugh said. "But again, you learn from it. It's like somebody reached into your chest and stomach and started pulling the innards out without using any anesthesia. All you can do is learn."

Harbaugh reiterated that he deserved the brunt of the blame for that play. But he said there were some things Colin Kaepernick could learn as well. "The play we called in the huddle was a loser and we didn't have an audible for that play," he said. "But also, when the play is going bad, try not to make it any worse. It's a good thing to learn, too."

Several things went wrong on the play, including the snap from center Jonathan Goodwin, which was low. Kaepernick also had to retrieve a low snap on the interception he threw Nov. 25 against the Saints.

"That's an issue," Harbaugh said. "We want to improve that. It's tough for a quarterback, even on a pass play, to go down below the knees to get a ball, and then come up and get his eyes focused on where they need to be. So, we're working on correcting that."

Harbaugh would not say whether the league has responded to the 49ers' query about the intentional grounding call on Kaepernick that resulted in a safety. However, he did say that the NFL should reexamine the rule that prevented the play from being reviewed. Officials did not review the play because it was a penalty and penalties are not reviewable.

During the game, officials ruled that Kapernick's throw from the end zone did not reach the line of scrimmage, which resulted in the intentional grounding penalty. Replays, however, showed that while the pass landed out of bounds, it was well beyond the line of scrimmage, which made it a legal pass.

Finally, Harbaugh was asked about his 1996 star turn on Saved by the Bell. "A lot of people have been mentioning that lately," he said. "... My wife told me about it and a few players did. So they've been making quite a bit of sport of me because of that."

When it was noted that in one of his scenes he shakes Screech's hand firmly and then gives him a whack on the back that causes Screech to fall forward, Harbaugh (who had a similar encounter last year) laughed and said, "There's the evidence that it was just a normal handshake."

Harbaugh said he also was on an episode of 'The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.' First one to find a clip wins a Bee t-shirt.

Update: Well, that didn't take long. Looks like I owe someone a t-shirt. Here's the clip ...

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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