Before the 49ers’ Week Six game against the Giants, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh lashed out at New York offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Harbaugh claimed that Gilbride’s complaint about 49ers defensive end Justin Smith holding offensive lineman was an “outrageous, irrational statement” with a goal to “both criticize and influence officiating.”
And so, after the Niners’ Week Seven win over the Seahawks, Harbaugh complained about the extent to which Seattle defensive backs were making contact down the field with San Fran receivers, via a passive-aggressive request to the NFL for guidance as to what is and isn’t allowed.
On Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll reminded Harbaugh of his prior words.
“Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago when they were talking about not doing things like that?” Carroll told Brock & Salk on ESPN 710 in Seattle. “The Giants, Kevin Gilbride, or something like that? You know, I thought there was something about that, you know? Where we don’t go out and express our concerns and all.”
Carroll also addressed Harbaugh’s underlying concern.
“I think this was a very normal game for us in terms of how we played, and I’m surprised he felt like the receivers were so overwhelmed,” Carroll said. “I thought our guys did a good job. There’s always gonna be some calls that you can look at. But our guys played good, solid, hard football. And, you know, Vernon Davis didn’t get the ball and their receivers didn’t do much, Randy [Moss] got one. I’m sure there’s a little frustration on their part.”
Carrol thinks nothing will come of the request from Harbaugh.
“If the officials look at it, they won’t have anything to even look at,” Carroll said. “And I don’t think they even need to. It’s a regular game. Our penalties have really been going in the right direction, if you look at it. . . . I don’t a guy should be able to speak out and go ahead and cause an investigation. It’s too easy. I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
We don’t think it’ll happen, either. But Harbaugh’s goal likely wasn’t to launch an investigation. His goal was to both criticize and influence officiating in anticipation of the rematch between the two teams.
Kevin Gilbride would be proud.