Especially once I learned that Harbaugh's response came in the form of a statement released by the team hours ahead of his regularly scheduled Friday news conference, my first thought was something along the lines of, "Methinks he doth protest too much." And a few minutes later, with the help of a retweet from USA Today's Mike Garafolo, I saw something that backed me up.
It is this Sept. 6 piece from Football Outsiders, in which Item No. 3 uses clear film evidence to support FO's own conclusion that Smith is indeed coached to hold the jerseys of opposing guards and tackles: San Francisco's secret? Holding.
They have a pair of top-tier defensive ends in Justin Smith, arguably the best 3-4 lineman in the league right now, and Ray McDonald, one of the game's most underrated players. Those guys are taught to grab the left outside of the offensive guard's jersey or the right inside of the tackle's jersey.
The umpire and referee, who are tasked with holding on the interior line, often can't see this -- there is too much congestion in the middle of that action. They are standing in the backfield, and can't see through the offensive linemen to get a look at the defensive end's hands. The grabbing prevents the blockers from getting over quickly enough to pick up the stunting blitzer.
Are you f**k kidding me
[ Edited by 94605NiNer on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM ]