Harbaugh seeks clarity from NFL on play of Seahawks' corners


Harbaugh seeks clarity from NFL on play of Seahawks' corners

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh has an issue with the Seattle Seahawks' pass defense. And he is going to the league office in hopes of receiving some clarity well in advance of the 49ers' next meeting with their NFC West rival.The Seahawks have a pair of big, young cornerbacks who like to play physical at the line of scrimmage. Richard Sherman, who played under Harbaugh at Stanford, is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. On the other side, Brandon Browner is listed at 6-4, 221 pounds.Several times Thursday night, Sherman and Browner appeared to get away with possible defensive holding penalties while locked up against receivers Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Kyle Williams.RELATED: Alex Smith makes it too easy for defenses
"I wouldn't use the words, 'locked up,'" Harbaugh said Friday, the day after the 49ers' 13-6 victory over the Seahawks. "We'll take that up with the officials (NFL office) and get their view of it."Quarterback Alex Smith said Sherman and Browner probably should've been called for illegal contact "several times" in Thursday's game."If this is a point of emphasis of no contact after 5 yards, no question," Smith said."They've done it all year. When they played Green Bay, they were doing it to all those guys, (Greg) Jennings, all those guys. You turn on the Patriots (film) and same things," Smith added. "That's what they do. It's who they are. They're good at it. It's what they play, big corners, physical guys. I don't know how we didn't get a call. It seems like it gets called once a game and then it doesn't get called again."Harbaugh said he hopes to get a well-defined answer from the NFL after submitting his official inquiry.
"I think it's just important thing to address," Harbaugh said. "What is this all being defined as? Is it physical play within the rules? That's the biggest question. Is it within the rules what's happening. We have to ask that question. We have to know what the interpretation is."There was another specific play that Harbaugh could not believe went the 49ers' way. On a second-and-10 from midfield, Smith was beginning to throw as Seahawks defensive lineman Chris Clemons grabbed Smith by the facemask. The pass, intended for Michael Crabtree, went awry and referee Walt Anderson did not call a penalty on the play."It's not impossible to throw the ball when your helmet is turned and you're looking out the side of the earhole, but it makes it a lot harder," Harbaugh deadpanned.

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.