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.

Injury report: 49ers DL Dial sits out practice with elbow


Injury report: 49ers DL Dial sits out practice with elbow

SANTA CLARA – Defensive lineman Quinton Dial was held out of practice Wednesday due to an elbow that places his availability in question for the 49ers’ game Sunday against the New York Jets.

Dial returned to action on Sunday against the Chicago Bears after missing the previous game with neck and knee issues. Newly acquired defensive lineman Chris Jones started the past two games in place of Dial.

Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch continues to be hobbled with a high-ankle sprain. He has missed the past five games with the injury. Lynch took part in limited practice on Wednesday

Did not practice
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
RB Shaun Draughn (ribs)
LB Eli Harold (toe)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
Full participation
DT Ronald Blair (hamstring)
C Daniel Kilgore (hamstring)

Did not practice
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
C Nick Mangold (ankle)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
LB Julian Stanford (ankle)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
DE Leonard Williams (illness)
RB Matt Forte (knee, foot)
S Calvin Pryor (concussion)
Full participation
WR Brandon Marshall (knee, foot)
CB Nick Marshall (ankle)
CB Marcus Williams (ankle)

Marshall: Fuzzy memory of first meeting with Ward due to painkillers


Marshall: Fuzzy memory of first meeting with Ward due to painkillers

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Brandon Marshall supplied 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward with the first learning experience of his NFL career early in his rookie season.

Ward has a vivid memory of the game – just his second in the NFL – and the three touchdowns passes Marshall caught on him to lead the Chicago Bears to a 28-20 victory over the 49ers in the first regular-season game played at Levi’s Stadium.

But Marshall, now a member of the New York Jets, admitted Wednesday to having a fuzzy recollection of that game due to painkillers he was prescribed in order to play in the game. Marshall, an 11-year NFL veteran, was in his third and final season with the Bears.

“Well, I don’t really remember much about that game because, uh, I worked really hard to get back from a high-ankle (sprain) . . . I don’t want to go there,” Marshall said, beginning to laugh on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

“I’ll say it: I took a couple pain pills, so . . . I took a couple of pain pills to mask the pain. I really wasn’t supposed to play. I came back from a high ankle, you know, within 10 days. I was supposed to be out four-to-six weeks. So I don’t remember much from that game. I just remember catching those balls. That was pretty much it.”

Marshall was listed as questionable for the game. On the day of the game, ESPN reported, citing a source, that there was a "75 percent" chance neither Marshall nor Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) would play. Both receivers played in the game.

Marshall had five receptions for 48 yards with touchdown catches of 17, 5 and 3 yards while being matched in the slot against Ward, the 49ers’ first-round pick in that year’s draft. That game served as a study guide for Ward.

“Yeah, I watched it a lot,” Ward said. “It was my welcome-to-the-NFL game. Just looking forward to going against Brandon Marshall for the second time in my career.”

Ward will undoubtedly see plenty of Marshall on Sunday when the 49ers face the Jets on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. Marshall may not remember much from facing Ward two seasons ago, but he said he has been impressed with what he sees on film.

“I think he’s really tough,” Marshall said. “He’s tough and he’s crafty and savvy. This is a guy that seems to really study the game and understands his opponent. If you go out there and give him the same release two or three times in a row, nine times out of 10, he’s going to get the best of you. We have to do a better job than him this week of studying film and trying to outwork him mentally.”

Marshall’s revelation that his memory of the 2014 game against the 49ers is clouded due to the use of painkillers comes at a time when Warriors coach Steve Kerr last week said on the Warriors Insider Podcast that he tried marijuana in hopes it would provide relief during the back issues that forced him to take a leave of absence of nearly four months.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr told CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

When asked for his stance on whether the NFL should reconsider its position to include marijuana as a banned substance, Marshall received some direction from a Jets public-relations employee who could be heard in the background of the call saying that Marshall “knows better than that.”

But Marshall answered the question, saying that he wants to learn more about the subject.

“I do not have a stance on that," Marshall said. "That is something that I actually want to research more this offseason when I have time. I’m not a guy that knows about the benefits of what it can do for pain and other things. But I’d like to hear others’ opinions and really research the effects it can have on us -- positives and negatives.”