49ers coach Jim Harbaugh could be hearing from the league this week after he lambasted the officials who worked Saturday night’s game against the Texans.
The NFL has instructed teams and coaches not to make public statements about replacement officials or the lockout of the regular officials, something that Harbaugh stuck to early in his post-game press conference. Harbaugh made reference to things he’d been instructed not to comment about early in the presser and then said that “per instructions, I will not be commenting on the officiating” when asked about the officials allowing time to run out in the first half after a defensive penalty called on the Texans. By rule, a half cannot end on an accepted defensive penalty.
Harbaugh’s lips were a bit looser when he was asked about his first-team defense giving up just a field goal. He commented on that effort and then took a big left turn to the officiating.
“Big interference call in third quarter was some big yardage on that drive. I don’t know. It’s interesting. I don’t have the pulse on this game,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “What was it exactly? Us? Them? Some crazy, wild calls. Were they accurate? Weren’t they? We’ll see. I have a headache, though. I have a darned headache. A lot them didn’t seem like they were in the ballpark.”
Asking teams and coaches to lay off the officiating was wise by the league because complaints from players alone about their work won’t generate a tremendous amount of buzz on their own. For that to work, though, the teams and coaches have to be willing to play along. Harbaugh wasn’t willing on Saturday.