Harbaugh knew the rule, after all

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Harbaugh knew the rule, after all

SANTA CLARA -- When Jim Harbaugh threw the red challenge flag to appeal a non-reviewable play in the first quarter Sunday, TV cameras caught Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz appearing to yell, "Know the rules, Harbaugh!" As it turns out, Harbaugh did know the rules. And that's why he threw the flag, Harbaugh said Monday, a day after the 49ers' 25-19 victory over the Lions.Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford. But one official called it incomplete after he saw Patrick Willis dislodge the ball from Pettigrew's grasp while both players were on the end-zone turf.This season, all scoring plays are reviewed in the booth. So coaches are prohibited from throwing the challenge flag on any play resulting in points.Harbaugh, who said he did not hear Schwartz from the other sideline questioning his knowledge of the rulebook, knew the rule. And that's why he threw the flag.
"No, we knew that you cant challenge a scoring play," Harbaugh said. "But just the way it transpired and we saw the (signal of) incomplete pass by the back judge, and then the referee came over and they huddled and talked. Then, touchdown went up."That just seemed very quick that (the Lions) were lining up to kick an extra point and (I) didnt know if they really had the review to know where that stood. I threw the challenge flag to give them more time to look at it. But, yeah, we knew we couldnt do it.When asked if taking a timeout would've been the proper move, Harbaugh answered, "Take a timeout? Kind of wanted to save those.By throwing the challenge flag, the 49ers did not lose a timeout or one of their two allowable challenges -- because the challenge never occurred. The 49ers were penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff, which resulted in a touchback from Lions kicker Jason Hanson.So the 49ers began their next drive at the 20-yard line. On the 49ers' four other kickoffs, they started from the 20, 18, 20 and 17. So, really, the penalty did not cost the 49ers anything.Was it ever explained to him why referee Mike Carey did not review the play?They said that they did get confirmation down from the review booth that it was a catch," Harbaugh said.

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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