Jim Harbaugh calls out Clay Matthews

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said about Clay Matthews Monday morning.

Q: What’s your reaction to the aftermath of Clay Matthews’ illegal hit on Colin Kaepernick?

HARBAUGH: I think there was a lot going on on that play or series of plays. You had the third down play where we got stopped short. That brought up a fourth-and-one. We got called for an illegal formation and the Packers chose to take that penalty and made it third-and-six when they could have had the fourth-and-one. We would have gone for it on fourth-and-one. They anticipated that and that’s why they backed us up.

And then Colin scrambles out of bounds and we get the personal foul. You talk about launching, you talk about a clothesline to the neck area of a quarterback six, seven feet out of bounds – I was standing there, I was struck. I had seen this play before. I thought of Emlen Tunnell. You all know he was, No.45 on the Giants. Back when that was legal, he would stand there in the middle of the field and wait for receivers to cross and he would clothesline them and their legs and feet would fly up in the air and their backs would hit the ground. I was struck: I’m seeing Emlen Tunnell here!

And then Joe Staley jumps in and locks him up, and somehow Joe Staley gets a personal foul called on him. I looked at it with my own eyes and I saw two punches thrown to Joe’s head – well, one punch and one open slap. If you’re going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap.

That young man works very hard on being at being a tough guy. He’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.

But Bill Levy’s crew is, in my opinion, one of the best in the NFL. But first of all, it never should have been offsetting penalties in my opinion. That being said, whether it should have been a fourth down, we would have gone for it anyway. The next play was a third down, we come back and hit Anquan Boldin for the touchdown. All in all, there was a lot of things going on in that stretch.

The other one was the entire Packers’ bench cleared, the practice squad players, coaches, they were all out of their bench area down around the goal line. There was no repercussion for that one either.

Q: You had said in the run up to the game that all the tough talk was tantamount to targeting the quarterback. Does that hit on Kaepernick bolster that sense that they had it in for him from the start?

HARBAUGH: Like I said last week, usually a man will tell you his bad intentions if you just listen. That certainly was a cheap shot, launching, clotheslining to the neck/head area. Bad play. Now in Emlem Tunnell’s day that was legal. In our day, that’s not legal.

Q: A lot of your players, Joe Staley for one, said after the game they have a lot of respect for Matthews. Do you have the same respect for him.

HARBAUGH: I don’t really have any more comments about it.

Q: Staley said he’s going to protect his quarterback in a situation like that.

HARBAUGH: I respect that.

Q: Of course. But he also said he does need weigh losing his cool in that situation. How do you coach that considering you may face it again this year with somebody going after your quarterback and the lineman running to defend him?

HARBAUGH: When guys are going after each other after the whistle, looking to push and shove people, just lock up, protect yourself. We’re not going to back down from it. We’re not going to get pushed around after the whistle when it’s not being called. When the first offense isn’t being called you have to have a plan. For us it’s not to go pushing or throwing punches. Lock up and protect yourself. And Joe did that about as well as you could do it. If you call someone for that, you’ll have 30 flags a game. That happens all the time. That’s best I know how to tell them.

Q: As a player did you ever throw a knuckle punch to the helmet?


Q: You did not slap anyone either?

HARBAUGH: I would never.

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    1. Big P if I was the lineman I would have tackled him with all my power to the ground. I am glad he did not do that! I understand the dram is great for the nfl business but Mathews must receive a heavy fine since its the beginning of the season or other defenders are going to go all out and target ck!

      1. Not just for hitting CK, but for the punches. I have NO IDEA how he didn’t get ejected or at least another flag (like that would have mattered), he was right in front of the refs!

      2. I agree. I would have grabbed his locks and ripped em’ out. He would have lost his Head & Shoulders or whatever endorsement real quick. The drama is good for the NFL, but losing Kaepernick (who is quickly becoming the face of the league) because of an idiotic decision by a defensive player, would be extremely bad. They need to make an example out of him with the punishment.

  1. That play was total BS. The call against Staley was horrible especially since Matthews was the one throwing punches. The personal foul against Bowman on the sideline was total BS. The Packer player on the sideline was intentionally chest bumping him right in front of the official but then they get Bowman. It was absurd. Then the Matthews taunting non call. It’s obvious McCarthy went into this game with a total team philosophy of playing it dirty and trying to intimidate. Matthews deserves a fine so do many Packer players on the sidelines and so does McCarthy. Wonder if they had any bounty money on the line for taking guys out.

    1. Yeah, he didn’t hold the taunting pause long, but it seemed long enough to get called. If it was a Niner, they would have called it…and that’s on our home field!

      How is it they decide to let a little taunting slide and then get touchy on other calls like Bowman’s?

      1. And Bowmen was being taunted by players that were not even playing! There plan was to get whatever they could by getting under the skin of the 49er players and trying to get them out of the game!

      1. Actually I think he was relieved of his on the field position. It was brought up briefly on NFL network but I can’t find an article to confirm it, so please don’t quote me on it just yet.

  2. ball doesn’t lie. Kap put it in the end zone and made Matthews look like a fool. The Packers embarrassed themselves yesterday in addition to being embarrassed by the 49ers. Great day of football. 3-0 vs. Packers in the Harbaugh era.

  3. He’ll be fined, and if the 49ers meet them again….you can be sure the media will use it to epic proportions. Now let’s focus on the monumental task at hand, going into lair of the enemy and defeating them.

  4. Good post Grant. If you don’t mind… what do you think of Harbaugh calling out Matthews? I felt like someone needed to do it. I didn’t really like how many ESPN analysts were commenting on how the Packers got screwed because they reset the down, but they did not comment on the fact that Matthews threw punches/slaps… I believe Skip Bayless was the only analyst that pointed it out this morning on First Take, but Eric Allen was trying to defend Matthews. Seems like they were expressing strong opinions on the play without all of the facts.

    1. Herm Edwards actually brought up the fact that Joe Staley should never have been flagged and Tim Hasselbeck said in reality it should have been 1st and goal, not 4th and 2 with offsetting dead ball penalties…this was on NFL Live today…

    2. Referee Bill Leavy admitted after Sunday’s Packers-49ers game that his crew botched a call after Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and San Francisco’s Joe Staley both drew personal fouls, and that the officials’ mistake benefitted the 49ers.

      But that’s not quite right.

      The NFL now says it was the Packers, not the 49ers, who benefitted from the officials’ mistake on the play, because Staley shouldn’t have been flagged in the first place. The league office reviewed the play and determined that while Matthews was rightly called for a late hit on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the official who threw the flag on Staley for getting in Matthews’ face after running over to protect Kaepernick should not have done so.

      In other words, if the entire play had been properly called, it would have been first-and-goal for the 49ers at the 3-yard line on the next play. Instead, the officials made it tougher for the 49ers by making them re-play third down after the offsetting penalties. The officials erred in their enforcement of the offsetting penalties, which appeared to benefit the 49ers, but in reality there never should have been offsetting penalties to enforce in the first place. Only the Packers should have been penalized.

      Some may say it’s a moot point because the 49ers scored a touchdown on that third-down play anyway. But either way, the league has confirmed that this play was botched, in more ways than one. And because the 49ers scored a touchdown, the two wrongs equaled a right for San Francisco.

      The packers didn’t get screwed. Actually the 49ers did.
      This is the new NFL. Refs don’t even know the rules an have to be corrected by the nfl.

  5. B-rows mentioned in his latest post (2:56pm) that someone in the league admitted that Staley shouldn’t have been flagged. So it was all on the Dirty Slapper. What a fiasco of a strategy. Best thing to come out of all this was the comment from Kaep:

    “If you are trying to intimidate, you better have some other strategy.”
    Obvoiusly with his bad-ass headphones during the interview!!! hahahaha!!!

    David H

  6. He’s a bit brash sometimes but I am loving Harbaugh’s style more and more every day. He will defend his players to the bitter end. If Mathews somehow became a 49er there is no doubt Harbaugh would be defending him. It’s nothing personal. It’s all about the team and I love that. It really is like a family for Harbaugh.

  7. I can not wait for the Cold War to begin. Great start. Next the Seachickens. In there house. I am sure that the Jim is ready and willing to serve his Old Buddy Pete, up some Humble Pie. I believe this game will set the tone for the season. 28 9ers – 10 Seachickens.

    1. That would be a rather douchey question considering that everybody knew what Harbaugh meant with his comments. He was saying that men/tough guys punch with a closed fist, they don’t slap with an open hand, and he’s right. He wasn’t condoning violence, he was ripping Mathews’ manhood and his actions after a week of self promotion and tough talk. Don’t be that guy.

  8. Like I said before, Matthews should be immediately and thoroughly tested for PED’s. What I saw yesterday was textbook roid rage.

  9. If I’m Harbaugh why even answer the question. I mean you never answer controversial questions anyway, why open that garbage back up when it’s been thrown out?
    All he did was insult a player publicly and give then more motivation next time. Now Matthews already is a clown but why not take the high road and move on, you won, end of story.

    1. Prime,

      Harbaugh is known for having disdain for Pete Carroll, and Matthews is an extension of that from his college days at USC.

      1. Is that a fact or a guess? There seems to be too much fortune telling on this blog with so called former pro scouts, head coaches and overall football experts. It’s becoming really annoying.

      2. Jack,

        Those would be second or third level hard feelings, and you know what? I don’t think Harbaugh is above that, and I love it.

    2. Because he was seeing Emlen Tunnell there! Classic Harbaugh backing up his players. Always about the team and the family within. Gödel better put him between the hammer and the anvil with a fine, and a one game suspension…

      1. What do the insults thrown on this blog have to do with what kind of discipline Goodell is going to dish out? I don’t get it.

    3. Mathews deserves getting ripped, that was a ridiculous cheap shot. He was trying to injure CK. He lost control and could have seriously hurt Kaepernick. Harbaugh ripped Mathews over the whole ordeal, and deservedly so. I think Mathews is a great player and I believe he is contrite about the whole thing. The response from the players seems to indicate that. You just can’t go clothes lining guys six feet out of bounds, it’s flat out dirty play. This picture is ridiculous.


      1. Big P,

        Did you hear Aikman trying to explain how it wasn’t as bad as it looked because Matthews left his feet just as Kaep stepped out of bounds? Lame, very lame.

      2. Oh my god yes i was going nuts with my friends with bunch of packer fans around when i heard Troy and Joe Buck were stating it was not a big deal basically for Mathews to fly 6 feet and crash into the QB after he was telling the media the plan was to hit CK!

      3. ExGolfer, I heard about it and I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. It was one of the most gratuitous cheap shots I have ever seen. CK made a very obvious effort to get out of bounds and Mathews went WWE on him, six feet out of bounds! He clothes lined him! Imagine the talk on ESPN if somebody did that to Tom Brady or Peyton Manning…. I think some of these network guys feel like they’re on the outside looking in with CK. He is new school and he is good, very good. As he draws in a younger audience, how many of those people want to listen to Joe “The Douche” Buck? I’m 36 and I don’t want to listen to Joe Buck,I want to slap him. His man pass should be revoked. Side note: Coach Harbaugh might disagree with slapping Buck, he might prefer some knuckles. I would feel bad if I Hit Buck with a closed fist as he seems to be delicate and slightly feminine.

      4. Big P,

        What do you think Brady’s reaction would’ve been if 52 had clotheslined him like that? I think he would’ve been climbing over (or at least pretending to climb over) his tackle to get in 52′s face.

        CK not only didn’t go after 52, he tried to get his teammates away from 52, so they wouldn’t get flagged. That’s the epitome of poise.

  10. Lots of pre-game gab about RGIII , much worry about contact in the option. I can’t believe I’m not hearing any of the experts using CK’s template. Stay mostly in the pocket and sling it. RGIII has the arm strength, and I think he has the accuracy.

    1. BroTu,

      I still think RGIII has to show that he has fully the developed ability to read defenses the way CK, Luck and maybe Wilson do. Last year it seemed to me that the Redskins (are they ever going to change that name, BTW?) limited the reads he had to make. I’m sure he can and will develope the reading skills a pocket QB needs over time, but it remains to be seen if he’s there yet.

      Of the four QBs, I think RGIII has the most chance to regress this year. I also think Wilson may regress some, but that may just be because he’s the ‘Hawks QB and I want it to be so.

  11. Mathew’s should have kicked out period, for throwing a punch. Per nfl rules!! Why is no one talking about that? 2nd quarter and this game would have been over.

      1. AES,

        I believe Vick easily runs this offense. It’s all about speed and quickness. Philly will excel and so will Vick. The problem is this defense they have or don’t have! Lol.

      2. “Kelly’ offense looks like a buzz-saw. One problem; Vick is not an accurate enough QB to drive this fast sports car.”

        Imagine what the score would be if Vick could drive the sports car.

  12. I think the play benefits the league more than anyone. They’ve got another dramatic storyline, another “rivalry” play up. At the end of the day the 49ers would’ve won regardless of whether or not the ref gets that call right (either of the 3 potential ways he could’ve called it). 4th & 6, I think we still go for it in the red zone, they couldn’t stop Boldin…1st & goal, we punch it in…3rd & 6, we throw a TD to Boldin. Either way Matthews looks like a roided out idiot, and improve to 1-0 to start the season.

    Next week is a true rivalry. It’s gonna be tough game but I’m expecting a win.

    1. NinerRoc, you make a great point. NFL wants to create drama that’s why they love to have coaches like Jim H that are passionate and they want games to get the fans all hyped up so they can sell more air time. All this bs now is going to create tv and radio discussions and fans on both side are going to debate and will be eager for future potential playoff rematch!!! Here is a great marketing strategy in process.

      1. I think horrendous is the more appropriate term. Meanwhile that Eagles offense has come alive and looks downright scary. It says something when a back like McCoy has to take a breather late in the second quarter.

      2. Chip Kelly has a habit of making other teams look bad. We are fortunate to have Harbaugh, he and Kelly have faced each other few a times – a la LaMic.

      3. Grant, I remember you talking about how tough the Redskins game will be. Do you think the Redskins are gonna be good enough to compete with the 49ers, or do you think this is just week 1 blunders?

      4. Judging from the final score, I would say that it was just the Redskins as a whole needing to get in sync Roc.
        Looks like that path to the Super Bowl won’t be as easy for the Cowboys Grant.

      5. Grant,

        RGIII is not ready and should not be on the field. He has no sped and no quickness. He’s not throwing the ball off of his front foot. Therefore, he has no velocity on his throws. He is absolutely not healthy. That kid is going to end his own career with his impatience. Incredible.

  13. I don’t understand why so many have said that Nnamdi had a bad game yesterday. Apparently, they didn’t see the same game that I saw. Yes, Jordy Nelson caught a TD on him and Nnamdi played that horribly. However, he made at least 2 great plays on pass breakups on 3rd down. The worst play by a DB yesterday was the one by T. Brown when he just stood there and watched Nelson make the toetap catch near the sideline for 35 yards. I couldn’t believe he didn’t try and know Nelson out of bounds. Eric Reid was a player yesterday. Rogers played pretty decent as well. I was really let down by our pass rush. I wish they would have given Lemonier a few snaps. The kid brings so much speed from the edge. They have to rotate him in at some point. He could be an asset against Russel Wilson. Russel outruns D line,an and jukes pass rushers.

    1. The Jordy Nelson play/catch was one of those plays that happens very little. It’s was truly remarkable. I said the same thing as to why Brown didn’t try to push him or make an attempt at the ball but when you watch it, Brown turned the wrong way and Nelson stopped on a dime and Rodgers made one of the best throws ever.
      Nnamdi was terrible only because he missed some tackles and gave his guy way too much cushion. He will be better next game and beyond as he gets more comfortable in the defense.

      1. Nnamdi was definitely bad on the TD catch feom Nelson. He was so far away that I thought he expected help inside. He did miss that one critical tackle on 3rd and 15. However, he made some good plays to break up a couple of passes as well.

      2. Seattle will definately watch how GB attacked Nnamdi and probably test him early. He needs to play better and not be the weak link in the secondary. Now I don’t think SEA has as great a passing offense.
        I really believe Russell is overrated but this game Sunday could change my opinion if he can beat the Niners defense without M.Lynch carrying him.

    2. J23, I too was most disappointed with the pass rush. The secondary was kind of what I expected not much improvement from last year (outside of the brief exhibitions of the Reid potential).
      But with a rookie tackle and re-orged Packer’s line I expected more pass rush than what we saw. I thought they would keep the defensive deep out of trouble but now I am not so sure. It may be Kap who keeps the entire defense out of trouble this year if this game is any indication.
      I really wanted to see some mixing up on the outside with Haralson and the up and comer’s Lemoneir and Johnson. Now two of those possibilities are gone. And it would be nice if there was someone to fill in for all purpose Justin. But apparently not?

  14. Eagles are showing the changing of the guard. Welcome to the new NFL starring the Niners and the Iggles. Everyone else either get in line or get left behind…

  15. Can I ask for the participants involved in the Quest4Six fantasy football league to please leave in this thread who each of your are? I will be posting the results of Week One tomorrow, but in order to do so, I will need to know whose screen name is attached to their team name in the league.

  16. R.Wilson is not a better QB than A.Rodgers, but the c-hawks have better overall talent then GB. Their stadium noise level is the loudest in the league which makes it hard for any visiting team.
    But after watching CK and the rest of the offense on Sunday, the ‘hawks’ may not have any answers in stopping our offense.

    I don’t believe that the ‘hawks’ defense can stop CK and Co. This game will come down to our defense stifling Wilson and Lynch, which they are more than capable of doing.

    Early prediction (reserve the right to change, lol).
    49ers 33 – 17

    1. AES, you have quite a few negatives adding up to a positive. I have not seen the Seattle opener yet to compare and contrast.

      Here are my worries:
      I saw a whole lot of audibles from Kap that will be drowned out by the Seahacks very effective 12th man causing a lot more of those run out of clock penalties.

      The Boldin under the radar, underestimated, secret weapon has been let out the bag. Kap’s favorite target will most likely be much less open.
      They have big fast players to cover Vernon and Boldin. Will a deep target be possible requiring William’s to seperate plus time for Kapernick to launch?
      Sure could use Crabtree on this one. Will Patton make his debut with some underneath possession stuff and come clear just in time for the Kap check down?
      …..So the run game needs to get started against Seattle. Because so far it aint. And it will be needed in the noise and need for time of possession advantage.
      With Wilson’s escapability and an intact offensive line the pass rush could be less effective. No dime defense this time as Willis needs to stay in on this one.
      Pete Carroll is even more pissed since he lost his draft pick with potential on the PS to Harbs and Balke.

      Ok some pluses — they do not have the Niner play book as the Packer’s did and whom in my opinion made very good use of.
      Niner offense red zone looks to have improved.
      Reid like a fine wine will get better with every game.
      Special teams looks to be more solid than presea led me to believe.
      And finally, said one read option to the other my pistol is better than yours.

    2. Wished I could enjoy your enthusiasm, but I think we lose this game. It’s their home opener and I think the crowd will be the only deciding factor.

  17. Let me see if I heard you correctly:
    you cannot get your second wind until you get your first one.
    Was that it? Such a statement reminds me of my college philosophy course. Logical syllogisms…. If A, then B….

    Let’s try that other mantra: Who has it better than us? N-O-B-O-D-Y..!!!
    Well, except maybe some schmuck who decided to stay in San Diego.
    Just be an ordinary joe and focus on the basics.
    So to paraphrase Coach Harbaw:
    you cannot finalize a second _________
    until you pull the plug on ___________ #1.

  18. I’m hoping 49er coaches watched the Redskins get trashed by the Eagles led by Oregon coach Chip Kelly. Eagles ran the “don’t hold your breath” offense and got off 53 plays in the first half!! At one point in first half, Eagles held a 145 to 3 yards advantage in offensive production. The up tempo offense would have worked well against the Packers……and could help this week vs Seattle.

  19. Damn…Ray Ratto needs to update his wardrobe. He looks like he just came off the set of the 1983 movie “Risky Business.”……Did you see him at the presser?

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