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Kevin Gilbride's assertion fires up Jim Harbaugh

National Football Post

New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride alleged that San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith “gets away with murder,” and that didn’t go over well with Jim Harbaugh.

The 49ers coach was fired up about the statement, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Kevin Gilbride's outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith's play is, first, an absurd analogy," Harbaugh said in a statement released before his news conference. "Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league. It's obvious that the Giants coaching staff's sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating."

It’s just another storyline in what is setting up to be a juicy rematch of the NFC Championship Game from last season. With any luck, the actual game will match the hype, but we all know that rarely happens.

"Smith is a beast on the inside," Gilbride said to the New York media Thursday. "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."

How did Smith react?

"Whatever," he said. "Doesn't bother me. I'm going to have to look (Gilbride) up, see who he is."

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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