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Harbaugh Finds No Fault with Ahmad Brooks' Sack

Posted Nov 18, 2013

The 49ers coach did not downgrade his outside linebacker's performance Sunday in light of his late personal foul penalty.

The 49ers coaching staff evaluates every player after every game. The critique is meant to inform the player for his next game, not fault him for his last.

San Francisco found no fault with linebacker Ahmad Brooks for the sack and forced fumble that was nullified during the team’s 23-20 defeat to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon.

“When we grade a player, if he has a penalty, we give him a minus,” Jim Harbaugh said Monday. “We did not assign a minus on that play.

“Thought he made a great play, just didn’t get the result.”

READ: Brooks Shocked by Penalty

On 3rd-and-2 with three-plus minutes remaining and the 49ers leading 23-20, Brooks swept around Saints right tackle Zach Strief from his outside linebacker position. He extended both arms around quarterback Drew Brees, striking him above the shoulder pads.

The resulting personal foul penalty extended New Orleans’ drive and changed the complexion of the game.

“Thought Ahmad hit the right level, the shoulder level and the quarterback shrunk down and that’s the official’s call to make,” Harbaugh said less than 24 hours after the fact. “I’m going to see it the way I see it.”

The coach added that he is aware his “slanted” perspective is natural given his allegiance to his own players.

“This isn’t NASCAR, where the drivers and the owners after the game or the race get up there and start throwing punches at each other and questioning every call and in everybody’s face,” Harbaugh said. “We can’t argue about it. You know I can’t stand up here and make these comments. That’s two different worlds, NASCAR and professional football. It’s not our place as coaches to talk about that.”

Harbaugh had not spoken to the NFL regarding the ruling on the play as of his noontime chat with local media.

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