Harbaugh disagrees with Coughlin's disagreements


Harbaugh disagrees with Coughlin's disagreements

"NFL Turning Point" on Versus featured a segment Wednesday night on the 49ers' 27-20 victory over the New York Giants. The show pointed out how the Giants were predictable on their fourth-down play at the end of the game.
Throughout the season, the Giants showed a tendency when they needed to pick up some yards. The concept is for the Giants' slot receiver to run a clearing route up the middle of the field, and the outside receiver enters the vacated space over the middle, where quarterback Eli Manning usually finds him wide open.The 49ers' strategy on the game's most-important play is foreshadowed when linebackers coach Jim Leavitt tells Patrick Willis on the sideline, "Pick him up a little early . . . 85," referring to tight end Jake Ballard.
And on the fourth-and-2 play with the Giants in need of a touchdown, Willis steps up and uses his right shoulder to jam Ballard at the line of scrimmage. The two players tangle, with Willis' right hand momentarily appearing to grasp Ballard's left hip.With Ballard re-routed and unable to run his clearing route, slot receiver Victor Cruz could not get open. And it didn't matter, anyway, as Justin Smith batted down Manning's pass.The day after the game, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he thought Willis should have been penalized, and the Giants should've had a first down."I think that it's safe to say that that was defensive holding, yes," Coughlin told the New York media.On Wednesday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he believed Willis played the situation perfectly."His arms never got involved," Harbaugh said of Willis. "He was playing Ballard off the line, saw his head dip down and I thought it was an outstanding play. There's allowed to be contact within the first 5 yards. I have to disagree with coach on that, that he was tackled. I didn't see Ballard be tackled by Patrick Willis."The other play that Coughlin thought should've been called a penalty against the 49ers was the Delanie Walker shift that prompted Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson to jump into the neutral zone on a crucial third-and-2 situation in the fourth quarter.
"You have to understand that the intent to deceive is something that has to be determined," Coughlin said. "The officials did not think that that was intent to deceive. We can disagree all we want. But it's obvious that it's a part of their plan and they execute it very well."Harbaugh said the intent is not to get the opponent to jump offside, but rather to "change the strength of the formation." Harbaugh is adamant that it's a legal, normal shift.
Here is the exact language in the NFL rulebook. The key words are "quick, abrupt movement" in the officials judgment:Rule 7, Section 4: Action at or Before the Snap
Article 2: False Start. It is a False Start if the ball has been placed ready for play, and, prior to the snap, an offensive player who has assumed a set position charges or moves in such a way as to simulate the start of a play, or if an offensive player who is in motion makes a sudden movement toward the line of scrimmage. Any quick abrupt movement by a single offensive player, or by several offensive players in unison, which simulates the start of the snap, is a false start.Coughlin also pointed out that on the other side of the formation, tight end Vernon Davis flinched. Upon re-watching that play, Coughlin had a good argument. But all the focus was on Walker and Tollefson on the other side of the ball.

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”


Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

SANTA CLARA – NaVorro Bowman, who sustained a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 4 of the 2016 season, has been a full participant as the 49ers return to the practice field this week.

Bowman worked with the first team at middle linebacker Wednesday and appeared to move at top speed as the 49ers went through the second day of on-field workouts at a voluntary minicamp.

The 49ers, under new coach Kyle Shanahan, are allowed an extra voluntary minicamp as part of their offseason program. Bowman's return to the practice field was the highlight as the 49ers enter their third-week of the offseason program.

In other notes:

--The 49ers had tryouts with three unsigned veteran players: cornerback Steve Williams, and offensive linemen Tim Barnes and Kitt O’Brien.

--Wide receiver DeAndre Carter made the best catch of the day on a deep throw from quarterback Matt Barkley. Carter beat Williams on the reception.

--Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is a candidate to play the “Leo” position, was held out of competitive drills as he continues to recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

--Ronald Blair lined up at the “Leo” position with the first-team defense and beat No. 2 right tackle Garry Gilliam for a sack in the “non-contract” drills. Aaron Lynch was at the “Leo” position with the second team.

--Tank Carradine lined up at the 5-technique, which is a position where the 49ers could target Stanford’s Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.

--Kyle Juszczyk showed the versatility that prompted the 49ers to make him the highest-paid fullback in the league with several pass receptions during the 90-minute practice.

--Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson lined up at the cornerbacks with the first-team defense. Robinson made a leaping interception of a Brian Hoyer deep sideline pass against Rashad Ross during 7-on-7 drills.

--Hoyer and receiver Pierre Garçon teamed up for a 20-yard completion on the opening play of the 11-on-11 period.

--Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who spent all of last season on injured reserve, did not practice due to a soft-tissue injury not related to his hamstring injury of a year ago.

--Offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah (soft tissue), tight end Je’Ron Hamm (leg), running back Raheem Mostert (soft tissue), linebacker Eli Harold (toe) and tight end Blake Bell (cut forehead) did not practice.