BY SPNW Staff 06:47PM 10/19/2012

Harbaugh complains about Seahawks’ tactics

Not satisfied with merely beating the Seahawks, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh began a campaign Friday to win the rematch by whining publicly and to the league office about what he believes are illegal tactics by Seahawks cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.

“I wouldn’t use the words, ‘locked up,'” Harbaugh told in San Francisco Friday.  “We’ll take that up with the officials (in the NFL office) and get their view of it.”

Niners quarterback Alex Smith agreed that Sherman and Browner probably should have  been called for illegal contact “several times” in Thursday’s game, won by San Francisco 13-6.

Jim Harbaugh

“If this is a point of emphasis of no contact after five yards, no question,” Smith said. “They’ve done it all year. When they played Green Bay, they were doing it to all those guys, (Greg) Jennings, all those guys. You turn on the Patriots (film) and same things. That’s what they do. It’s who they are. They’re good at it.

“It’s what they play — big corners, physical guys. I don’t know how we didn’t get a call. It seems like it gets called once a game and then it doesn’t get called again.”

Sherman, who played under Harbaugh at Stanford,  and Browner are in their second seasons with Seattle, which has lost four in a row to San Francisco and plays the 49ers in Seattle Dec. 23. Harbaugh is deploying an old tactic by attempting to call referees’ attention to purported cheating by opponents.

Receivers Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Kyle Williams combined to make six catches for 63 yards. Running back Frank Gore led the 49ers with five catches for 51 yards. The Niners’ longest pass play was 18 yards.

Harbaugh wants a definition of illegal contact from the NFL after submitting his official inquiry.

“I think it’s just important thing to address,” Harbaugh said. “What is this all being defined as? Is it physical play within the rules? That’s the biggest question. We have to ask that question. We have to know what the interpretation is.”

Harbaugh complained about another play that replays showed was legitimate. On a second-and-10 from midfield, Smith was beginning to throw as Seahawks defensive lineman Chris Clemons grabbed Smith by the face mask. The pass, intended for Crabtree, fell short and referee Walt Anderson did not call a penalty.

“It’s not impossible to throw the ball when your helmet is turned and you’re looking out the side of the earhole, but it makes it a lot harder,” Harbaugh said with a a straight face.


  • Harbaw blows

    Cry about it.

    • art thiel

      If all he does is get Seattle players and fans to dislike him more, he’s done a little part of his job.

  • James Barber

    …And Justin Smith gets away with murder. What’s the difference?

    • art thiel

      The difference is Harbaugh’s boys do no wrong.

  • This is EXACTLY the same thing the Giants o-line coach was doing leading up to their game with the 49ers and Harbaugh LOST IT. I guess it’s okay for him to do it.

    • art thiel

      Harbaugh didn’t invent the seed-planting. But he made sure to do it ahead of the next Seattle game.

  • eric killian

    Given that San Francisco’s DBs play basically the same way not sure Harbaugh really wants to call attention to physical DB play.

    • art thiel

      He’s creating distractions, and baiting Sherman, whom he knows well.

      • eric killian

        I know I’m just sayin he should beware of unintended consequences. It would be wonderfully ironic if the league did start cracking down on physical DB play and it hurts the Niners D as much or more than the Hawks:-)

  • Coach Tuengel

    The Seahawks play dirty…..Bunch of thugs…..