Justin Smith on Gilbride's comments: 'Whatever'

October 12, 2012, 10:14 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Yes, there's some holding going on in the middle of the line, 49ers All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Smith revealed on Friday.In response to the comment from New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride that Smith uses illegal tactics to hold offensive linemen, Smith made a statement of his own about who is really guilty of holding.
"They hold me," Smith said of offensive linemen, in general. "They hold me. That's the first I've heard of it (Gilbride's accusation). Interesting. They just hold. They're born that way."A meeting of two teams that faced off for the NFC championship last season got a lot more interesting over the past two days. On Thursday, Gilbride made a statement to the New York media that singled out Smith."Smith is a beast on the inside," Gilbride said. "He's strong. He does as good a job of grabbing ahold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place. He never gets called for it, so he gets away with murder."That prompted 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to issue a sharply worded rebuke of Gilbride's contention. Harbaugh released a statement and then declined to expound on his comments during his usual Friday press conference.RELATED: Harbaugh reacts strongly to Gilbride's comments
"Kevin Gilbride's outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith's play is, first, an absurd analogy," Harbaugh said in the statement. "Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league. It's obvious that the Giants coaching staff's sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating."Smith said he learned of Gilbride's statement on Friday. Initially, he said he had no reaction. When reminded that Gilbride said he gets away with murder, Smith quipped, "Hey, better than getting caught with it."Said Smith, "I really don't know what he's talking about, to be honest with you. But if he's trying to talk himself, get some bulletin-board stuff, good for him. Whatever they need to do."There's nothing to call. I don't know what he's talking about, to be honest with you. But whatever they need to do. I read some of the other stuff -- 'No respect.' They're the defending Super Bowl champs. Whatever. We'll be ready. They'll be ready. They'll come in and it'll be a good game. That's what it's all about."On Wednesday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin raised some eyebrows when he said, "Nobody gives us a chance to win. Well see."