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Justin Smith says he doesn’t know who Kevin Gilbride is

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Justin Smith #94 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 20-3. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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The war of words that erupted between Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh over whether or not 49ers defensive end Justin Smith gets away with holding left Smith asking just one question: Who’s Kevin Gilbride?

Gilbride said that Smith gets away with murder because he blatantly holds and the officials don’t call it. Harbaugh issued an angry refutation of Gilbride’s claims, accusing the Giants’ coaching staff of trying to influence the officials.

Smith wasn’t quite as angry as Harbaugh, possibly because Smith didn’t know who Gilbride was.

“I really don’t know what he’s talking about, to be honest with you,” Smith said. “But if he’s trying to talk himself, get some bulletin board stuff, good for him. Whatever they need to do. It doesn’t bother me. I’m going to have him look him up and see who it is.”

Smith also said he doesn’t understand why Gilbride is claiming he holds offensive linemen, because in Smith’s opinion it’s the opposing offensive linemen who hold him.

“I mean, they hold me,” Smith said of offensive linemen. “So, whatever. That’s the first I’ve heard of it. That’s the first time I’ve heard of an offensive coordinator complaining about it. I mean, they hold me. They just hold.”

A defensive lineman complaining about getting held is the norm. An offensive coordinator complaining about a defensive lineman holding is something we rarely see, which is why Gilbride’s comments gained traction this week. And those comments are why Smith now knows who Gilbride is.