Harbaugh provides no answers for 49ers' blowout loss


Harbaugh provides no answers for 49ers' blowout loss

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh was not in much of a mood to answer questions Monday, one day after the 49ers had no answers for the surging Seattle Seahawks.

Harbaugh said the 49ers were not caught off-guard by the Seahawks in a 42-13 loss in which the team fell flat just a week after one of its more impressive victories of the season. And that comment, in itself, deserved an explanation that Harbaugh was not willing to provide.

"Like we said last night, we didn't do enough good things," Harbaugh said. "There's only one thing you can do after a battle, win or lose, and that's re-organize, re-fit and re-group. And that's what we'll do.

"We're going to move forward," Harbaugh said. "No explanations, no excuses necessary."

The 49ers' worst defeat of Harbaugh's tenure as 49ers head coach did not change how he views his own team, he said.

"I feel our team's leadership, I feel our team's intellect of the staff, talent of the players, the work ethic of the players will pave the way," Harbaugh said.

But the road became a lot more difficult, as the 49ers head into the week of the regular season as the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs. The 49ers (10-4-1) need a victory at Candlestick Park over the Arizona Cardinals and a Green Bay (11-4) loss at Minnesota to earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The only way the Seahawks (10-5) can win the NFC West is with a victory over St. Louis, coupled with a 49ers loss.

The 49ers have plenty of injury concerns as they head into the final game of the regular season.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith has an unspecified injury to his left elbow that has kept him out of action. The 49ers' defense has allowed 66 points in the six quarters without Smith.

"He's got an issue that he's working through," Harbaugh said. "(Smith) he has not undergone a procedure. . . (He's) working through some things to get strength back and he hasn't quite reached it to get into the game, yet."

When asked if Smith will require surgery after the season, Harbaugh said, "We'll see."

In addition, defensive tackle Will Tukuafu sustained a back injury in the third quarter Sunday night and did not return. He was seen Monday at the 49ers' facility with a brace on his neck.

Receiver Mario Manningham is feared to be out for the remainder of the season. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI examination Monday on his left knee.

Tight end Vernon Davis sustained what he told Harbaugh on Sunday was a mild concussion. Davis will have a chance to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

In other notes:

--Harbaugh had very little to say about Seattle coach Pete Carroll's comment that the 49ers are "one of the slowest teams" as far as getting to the line of scrimmage and snapping the football.

"There were a few instances where we were slow," said Harbaugh, who added that the team does not want to continually run the play clock to the last seconds before snapping the ball.

--Harbaugh, who turned 49 on Sunday, denied an incident from earlier this season that Seattle safety Earl Thomas recounted to Mike Silver of Yahoo!Sports. Thomas said Harbaugh mocked the Seahawks with a sarcastic salute as he drove past the Seahawks' team bus on Oct. 18, following the 49ers' 13-6 victory at Candlestick Park.

"Happy Birthday -- that's what you get," Thomas said. "Yeah, he (honked at us). It seems like he tries to be a professional in front of the camera, but he does his antics, like that, when the cameras aren't around. He's just a big kid. We don't worry about that stuff. We just play the game. The best team won, and it was convincing."

When asked about the incident, Harbaugh said, "That did not occur. That was a fabrication. . . I can't remember time when I've left and the other team has still been there this entire season."

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

The New York Giants released placekicker Josh Brown, the team announced on Tuesday.

The NFL suspended Brown for the season opener in Dallas for violating the League’s Personal Conduct Policy.  That suspension was based on his May 22, 2015 arrest on domestic violence charges, which were dismissed approximately five days after the arrest.

Brown served his suspension, returned to the Giants on September 12, and subsequently participated in five games. 

Last Wednesday, approximately 24 hours before the Giants were to depart for London, new information was released by authorities in Washington State.  The new materials disclosed a history of alleged domestic violence by Brown.  On Thursday, the Giants announced Brown would not accompany the team to London, where they played the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. 

Last Friday, the NFL, at the Giants request and citing the documents released two days earlier, placed Brown on the Commissioner Exempt List. 

Today, the Giants released Brown.

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” said team president John Mara. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided.  We accept that responsibility.

“We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father.  We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.

“We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter.  We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Statement from Josh Brown:
"The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life.  My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man.  I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way.  In the coming days and weeks I plan on telling more of the pain I had caused and the measures taken to get help so I may be the voice of change and not a statistic.  In the interim I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."

New York Giants media services

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

SANTA CLARA -- In the early afternoon Monday after the 49ers’ day-after-game meetings concluded, the players were excused for the next seven days.

Coach Chip Kelly opted to give the 49ers a week break, rather than going through a couple days of practices before providing the players with a mandatory four consecutive days off during the bye week.

The 49ers on Sunday dropped to 1-6 on the season with a 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But there will be no extra practices to attempt to sharpen their performance.

“They’ve been at it since July 31st,” Kelly said. “They haven’t had more than one day off in a row. So I think at this point in time that’s what our whole MO has always been.

“They’ll meet with our strength and conditioning coaches. They have their lifting programs in terms of what they can do and what they have to do. And I think at this point in time we need to heal up. I think it’s a good break for them to do what they need to do and that’s the way I’ve always done it and our teams have been fresh coming out of the bye week.”

While the players will be off for a week, Kelly said the coaching staff will continue to work through Friday in an attempt to identify areas in which they can improve and snap out of their six-game losing streak on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium.

“We’ve got a lot of self-scout that we have set aside,” Kelly said. “We’ll be in here all week kind of looking at what we’ve done in the first seven games, what have our opponents done to us in the first seven games relative to what we thought going into the game based on the break downs. Did they change?

“If they were 60-percent pressure going into our game and they were only 30-percent pressure in our game, trying to delve into how people are defending us. How are people attacking us from an offensive standpoint in terms of attacking our defense and what their tendencies were going into the game and then what actually transpired in the game. So we’ve got a lot of film work and a lot of studying to do here during this week.”

Kelly reiterated on Monday that he is not looking at leaving the 49ers after this season. He said he has not heard from any schools with coaching openings or potential openings. Kelly said he has tried to remain focused on his job through the longest losing streak he has ever experienced as a coach.

“No one’s happy, so I don’t know if the word’s anguish, but I mean obviously you try to keep it consistent in terms of your approach to everything that you do,” Kelly said. “I don’t think being consistent and being even-keeled means that it doesn’t bother you or that you’re not frustrated in terms of what’s gone on.”

Kelly said the 49ers have the talent to win games. When asked why the coaches have not been able to extract more victories, Kelly placed the blame for the team’s poor play on himself and his staff.

“That’s on us,” Kelly said. “I agree 100-percent in terms of what you’re saying. But our job is to put our players in position to make plays and we’re not doing a good enough job of that right now.”