Harbaugh reviews 49ers' loss to Ravens


Harbaugh reviews 49ers' loss to Ravens

After reviewing the film from the 49ers' 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, coach Jim Harbaugh came to the conclusion that his team just didn't get the breaks."It was a very competitive game," Harbaugh said. "I thought evenly matched. The game turned on every play of the game, but there were also some big plays that swung the game. Never point to one or two or three or six plays but in this game there were a couple big ones.
"In those situations, the luck weren't with us on those. Those were two key plays of the game. There were others. I felt we were playing hard, playing well, and just didn't get points, didn't get the breaks we needed to win that game."Running back Frank Gore was called for a chop block when he executed a cut block on blitzing safety Bernard Pollard. But right guard Chilo Rachal contacted Pollard high as he was going down."Technically, it's probably the correct call," Harbaugh said. "We had finger prints. Literally, that's what Chilo (Rachal) had on the block. He had maybe six finger prints on it."It was a very unlucky set of circumstances for us there."On the Ravens' next possession, cornerback Tarell Brown had an interception nullified because he was called for pass-interference -- a penalty that awarded the Ravens 50 yards."You see the receiver (Torrey Smith) put hand on T-Brown first," Harbaugh said. "And it almost looked like T was going to get it off of him. Right at the point where it looked like we got grabbed, he grabbed and the flag came out. That kind of stuff happens all game. Sometimes it gets called, and sometimes it doesn't. Again, unlucky, unfortunate situation that we got called in that situation."Here are some of the other issues Harbaugh addressed in his conference call Friday afternoon with reporters:--The 49ers allowed nine sacks in the game. Harbaugh said three of the sacks came on plays in which the Ravens had the right blitz on to beat the 49ers' protection. He said three times his linemen got beaten physically, and at least a couple others could've been avoided if Alex Smith had "gotten the ball out quicker."--Right guard Adam Snyder sustained a hamstring injury that knocked him out of the game. When asked if he fears Snyder will be out for a long period of time, Harbaugh said, "I don't know exactly where it stands at this moment. Don't fear it. (Snyder is a) guy that bounces back quick and Chilo is up and ready to go."When asked if Alex Boone has the ability to play guard and compete with Rachal for the job, Harbaugh said, "We believe in Chilo Rachal. So we feel good with him at that position. If it's prolonged with Snyder, then Chilo will step up."--When asked if the 49ers suffered from three fewer days of preparation time, Harbaugh said it was not an excuse but he did see it as a competitive disadvantage."Both teams were under the same set of circumstances there," Harbaugh said. "The fact we were road team and we had to travel cross country, that put us at a competitive disadvantage. That's just the truth. It's not whining. It's not making excuses. It's just the truth."But we knew it and we had to overcome it. And we weren't able to. That, and that was a good football team. It'll make us stronger going forward. I'm not saying it was a short week or we were the team that had to fly cross country on a short week. That could've been the outcome if that were a Sunday game."--Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio stuck primarily with a four-man pass rush against Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who converted each of his six third-down pass attempts in the second half.When asked about the philosophy, Harbaugh said, "I thought we were pretty darn effective on defense. I thought our defense did a heck of a job. Really effective in the red zone again. After the interference penalty, second and a half-a-yard, and we kept them out of the end zone. They were losing yardage and had to kick a field goal. Really, it was only maybe three other drives where the Ravens moved the ball on us. . . . I thought our defense was effective with the scheme we were using."--When asked if this week was difficult week to face his brother, John Harbaugh, coach of the Ravens. "No, it wasn't a difficult week. It was a fast week. It was a game-planning week. It was practice and getting the players ready to play. It was tough on the ballplayers on both sides to get ready for this game. Disappointed we lost. It was an exciting game to be in."Harbaugh said he has no plan to talk to his brother about the game in the coming days.--On the performance of Alex Smith: "The first thing that stands out was how slippery he was in the ballgame. He does a great job of avoiding pressure. He was very strong in the pocket. It's a team effort, we all understand that. You wish you had a little more for him, and we could've held up a little better at times and executed and made the plays that would've led to more first downs and third-down conversions and getting the ball into the end zone."--When asked if there were open receivers, Harbaugh said. "There were times where they were coming open and he'd just gotten flushed. Even the throw to Braylon. It was an eitheror side. He could've gone to Braylon or Ted's side. He looked to Braylon. In hindsight, you know, wish he'd got to the other side and thrown it up to Ted with the way the coverage unfolded. We didn't get that break. We didn't get that right set of circumstances. It didn't fall our way. That's the best I can put it. And there were times when we had pressure when we didn't run the right route. We didn't get all the call in the huddle. The receiver only heard half of the call and didn't run the correct route. There were a lot of little things like that. We'll work to improve on them."--The team has the weekend off, and they'll return to work on Monday.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”