The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 13, 2012

Harbaugh fired up after Smith criticism

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is taking on another coach.

Less than a year after an on-field confrontation with Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz over a postgame handshake, Harbaugh is miffed with New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

Harbaugh accused Gilbride on Friday of making outrageous and incendiary comments about All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith in an effort to influence officials prior to Sunday’s game between the teams that met in the NFC title game in January.

Harbaugh made his remarks in response to Gilbride’s answer to a question Thursday about what makes the 49ers’ front line so hard to block on passing plays. The long-time Giants coordinator started off by saying the linemen have ability and great, quick players who are tough.

What angered Harbaugh is what followed.

“Smith is a beast on the inside, he’s strong, he does as good a job of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place. He never gets called for it so he gets away with murder,” Gilbride said. “That, in conjunction with the ability level they have, makes them as formidable as anybody we go against, and we go against some pretty good ones in Dallas’ and Philadelphia’s. They’re as good as anybody up front.”

Harbaugh kicked off his news conference Friday with a statement in response.

“Kevin Gilbride’s outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith’s play is, first, an absurd analogy,” Harbaugh said. “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 had no reaction to Gilbride’s allegation that he was getting away with holding.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Wie finally wins an LPGA event at home

    KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Michelle Wie began the week reminiscing about the first time she played on the LPGA Tour....

    April 21, 2014

  • Prizefighter Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies

    Rubin “Hurricane” Carter never surrendered hope of regaining his freedom, not even after he was convicted of a triple murder, then convicted again and abandoned by many prominent supporters....

    April 21, 2014

  • Young Clippers trying to mature against Warriors

    LOS ANGELES — The Clippers insist they just weren’t themselves in losing their series opener. They chalk it up to being too amped, which led to mistakes on both ends....

    April 21, 2014

  • Taylor Spears makes most of her first and final shot with balance beam national title

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Competing in her first and final NCAA championships, Taylor Spears left nothing on the table. After helping the Sooners to a team title Saturday night, the senior took home the individual title for balance beam Sunday ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Rangers happy with 7-3 homestand despite blowout loss

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Robbie Ross hadn’t allowed an earned run in his previous two starts, and the Texas Rangers had won five games in a row....

    April 21, 2014

  • ‘Cats can’t handle Heat

    MIAMI — Each of the last two Miami championship runs has been highlighted by moments where a sharpshooter enters a game and immediately provides a surprise spark. James Jones got his turn Sunday....

    April 21, 2014

  • St. Louis splits with Washington

    WASHINGTON — The Cardinals managed to score twice against Stephen Strasburg while starter Shelby Miller kept the Nationals offense quiet. Nine outs away from taking yet another series from Washington, St. Louis’ defense and bullpen ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Spurs rally to top Mavs, take 1-0 series lead

    SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs rode the wide shoulders of Tim Duncan to victory....

    April 21, 2014

  • Nene leads Wizards past Bulls

    CHICAGO — Nene dominated with 24 points, Trevor Ariza scored 18, and the Washington Wizards rallied from 13 down to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-93 in their playoff opener on Sunday night....

    April 21, 2014

  • Luke Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald believes he’s got the right game on the right course — and is ready to make up for so many near-misses at the RBC Heritage. Donald had an eagle and six birdies to shoot 66 on Saturday and take a ...

    April 20, 2014