Friday, June 14, 2013

Kaepernick, Harbaugh downplay Dahl’s claim of tipped plays

On Wednesday, 49ers safety Craig Dahl said that his old team (the Rams) went 1-0-1 against his new team last year in part because the San Fran offense was letting it be known via formations and personnel whether a run or a pass was coming.

On Thursday, the team’s quarterback and head coach predictably shrugged at the idea that poor self-scouting hurt the 49ers.

The transcript of Kaepernick’s media session, posted by Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, further meshes with his growing reputation as a guarded-to-the-point-of-paranoid interview subject, who is more apt to give an awkward response than an entertaining one.

Q:  Were you tipping plays?

A:  Tipping plays, as far as what?

Q:  Not disguising them so people could read them.

A:  Um, we put up quite a few points, so I think the coaches were doing all right.

Q:  There were reports out there –

A:  I don’t read reports.

Q:  What about the game in St. Louis?  Did they seem overly aggressive to know when to blitz and they seemed to have your number in that game?

A:  They had a good scheme. There were things in that game we should have made plays, I should have made different decisions. I’m not going to chalk something totally up to what a defense was doing. I look at ourselves, first.

A similarly flat response came from coach Jim Harbaugh.  Here’s the relevant part of his transcript, as distributed by the team.

Q:  What about Craig Dahl’s assertion that you guys were tipping passes last year?

A:  That we were tipping passes last year?

Q.  Well, you were telling –

A.  Yeah, after the first game we played the Rams we saw that we were doing that.

Q.  So, did you change them?

A.  Yes, yes, adjusted.

Q.  So you don’t think that was an issue the second time against St. Louis?

A.  Not as much.

Q.  Were you surprised when he came in then and immediately said it? I mean, you already knew it. But, he talked about it?

A.  Yeah, of course we asked him.

Q.  That helped?

A.  It confirmed what we knew.

Q.  How often does that happen in the NFL?

A.  Tips?

Q.  Yeah.

A.  Probably a lot. Yeah, a lot.

It makes sense that Kaepernick and Harbaugh would dance around the topic.  Dahl’s claim that the Niners tipped plays against the Rams invites speculation as to whether they tipped plays against other teams — most importantly against the Ravens.

In the Super Bowl.

When the 49ers called a bunch of pass plays when on the verge of what would have been the game-winning touchdown.

If Baltimore coach John Harbaugh had been able to figure out the same code Craig Dahl had cracked, that information would have been useful, to say the least, with the Super Bowl on the line.

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