49ers coach Jim Harbaugh takes verbal jab aim at Packers’ Clay Matthews
Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers offered a parting shot at Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews: Slapping is not the tough-guy way.
The Associated Press
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers offered a parting shot at Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews: Slapping is not the tough-guy way.
Harbaugh said Monday that Matthews threw one punch and slapped 49ers left tackle Joe Staley when they tussled after Matthews’ late hit on quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter of San Francisco’s 34-28 season-opening victory over the Packers on Sunday.
“If you’re going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap,” Harbaugh said. “I think if that young man works very hard on being a tough guy, he’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.”
Matthews promised leading up to the game that Green Bay would target Kaepernick after he ran for a quarterback-record 181 yards to beat the Packers in the playoffs eight months ago, and Matthews did just that. On the play, he threw his right arm around the lower part of Kaepernick’s neck.
“Like I said last week, usually a man will tell you his bad intentions if you just listen,” Harbaugh said.
“That certainly was a cheap shot, launching, clotheslining to the neck-head area. Bad play.”
While Matthews was flagged for a late hit, Staley received an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that Harbaugh didn’t think was right.
Staley immediately came to Kaepernick’s defense on the play.
The penalties were offset and the 49ers scored on the next play, which officials later said should have been fourth down rather than a repeated third down.
NFL officials said a review showed Staley should not have been penalized.
“After reviewing the play, Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino determined that Joe Staley should not have been penalized,” spokesman Randall Liu said in an email.
“It should have been first-and-goal for the 49ers from the Green Bay 3-yard line.”
Harbaugh said, “That’s what I saw.”
San Francisco visits the Seahawks in a much-awaited NFC West matchup on Sunday night.
Rivera says Panthers need to open up their offense
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the team’s offensive approach was too conservative in Sunday’s 12-7 loss to the visiting Seahawks and needs to change.
Rivera said the Panthers need to “look at getting the ball vertical.”
In Carolina’s first game with new offensive coordinator Mike Shula calling the plays, quarterback Cam Newton attempted a mere three passes beyond 10 yards downfield, according to STATS Inc.
Newton finished with a career-low 125 yards passing and averaged 5.4 yards per completion.
• Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s illegal low block in Sunday’s game against Minnesota will be reviewed for potential discipline, league officials said.
Suh hit Vikings center John Sullivan during an interception return and the penalty against him negated a touchdown during Detroit’s 34-24 victory. Suh said he wasn’t going after Sullivan’s knees.
• On the injury front, Carolina right guard Garry Williams (torn left-knee ligaments) is out for the season; New England running back Shane Vereen (broken wrist) reportedly will miss a few weeks; Jacksonville rookie cornerback Dwayne Gratz (high ankle sprain) will miss at least the next three games; and X-rays on Dallas quarterback Tony Romo’s ribs showed no structural damage.