Harbaugh: “The Giants coaching staff’s sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating.”

SANTA CLARA — On Thursday, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith “gets away with murder” the way he holds offensive linemen and never gets flagged.

The 49ers’ just sent out Jim Harbaugh’s response, a statement he apparently made before Friday’s practice.

HARBAUGH: “Kevin Gilbride’s outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith’s play is, first, an absurd analogy. 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.”

Harbaugh’s Friday press conference starts at 2:15.

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