SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about opposing defenses’ approach to stopping Colin Kaepernick and the read option.
Q: The referees went around the league this offseason and explained that while a quarterback is carrying out his fake on the read option, he is not afforded the protections of a passer in the pocket, he can get hit. Is that a concern for you with Kaepernick, and is it any different from what they explained to you last year?
HARBAUGH: Still doing some talking there. I want to fully understand what they’re saying.
Q: Is there a gray area?
HARBAUGH: I think so, a bit of a gray area.
Q: Defensive players have said they’re going to take advantage of that gray area and hit your quarterback. Do you agree that the quarterback is hittable in those instances?
HARBAUGH: My opinion is before the quarterback has declared being a runner, then he should be afforded the protection all quarterbacks are afforded. Until he declares and gets out of the pocket and starts running with the ball or running an option or carrying out a bootleg and attempting to run or pass when he’s outside of the pocket, but when he’s inside the pocket I believe he’s a quarterback until he declares that he’s a runner. Those are the conversations right now. Haven’t gotten final clarification on what it’s going to be.
Q: Do you think how the Ravens defended the read option in the Super Bowl was legal?
Q: So you’ve been in contact with the league?
Q: Do you think you’ll have a resolution before Sunday afternoon?
HARBAUGH: Probably not.
Q: Is that something you’ll be monitoring closely Sunday afternoon?
Q: Discussing with the referees.
HARBAUGH: Yeah, I’m probably going to discuss it with the referees before the game. You’re hearing all the tough talk right now. You’re hearing some intimidating type of talk, the same thing we were hearing a couple of years ago. It sounds a lot like targeting a specific player. You definitely start to wonder. A man will usually tell you his bad intentions if you just listen. And that’s being discussed publicly. You know what’s being said privately by what’s being said publicly. You hope that their intent isn’t going to be anything that’s outside the rules.