San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh responded Friday to New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride's comments on the way 49ers defensive end Justin Smith plays.
Gilbride told reporters:
"Smith is a beast on the inside. He's strong, he does a 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."
Harbaugh responded with a statement after the team's Friday practice, saying via the NFL.com:
"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."
Gilbride praised the 49ers defense but also gave the officials something to look for. Harbaugh used the comments to fire up his team for Sunday's game at Candlestick Park.