The New York Giants continued to complain about the San Francisco 49ers this week. First, there was Victor Cruz talking about how Carlos Rogers disrespected him in the regular-season matchup last year by mocking his salsa dance after an interception. Then, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said “nobody gives us a chance to win’ over the 49ers on Sunday. Now, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is crying about 49ers defensive end Justin Smith getting “away with murder” by holding on defense.
Smith is a beast on the inside. He’s strong, he does as 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. Kevin Gilbride.
Gilbride is trying to accomplish two things with his ridiculous statement about Justin Smith. First, he is trying to motivate his players on the offensive line. When they do fail to protect Eli Manning, they can blame it on Smith holding or cheating. Second, this lets the referees know to look out for Smith holding an offensive lineman before he makes a move. It is also an attempt to downplay how good of player Smith is on the D-line.
Holding is rarely called on defensive linemen. Smith has only been called twice for defensive holding since 2009. Don’t forget it was Smith who batted down the pass that wrapped up the 27-20 victory for the 49ers over the Giants in their last regular-season game. In the NFC Championship game, Smith had a sack, four hits and seven tackles on Manning. You know Smith was already pumped for the game and ready to get revenge for the NFC Championship loss. Now his intensity will be even higher for the game after Gilbride’s comments. Expect big things from Smith on Sunday.
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh did not take Gilbride’s baseless comments lightly saying,
Kevin Gilbride’s outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith’s play is, first, an absurd analogy. Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league.