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Morning Tailgate: Jim Harbaugh Quiets Play-Clock Concerns

Posted Dec 17, 2013

Jim Harbaugh addressed perceived play-clock issues in a morning radio interview.

Jim Harbaugh is a chess player.

We learned that after the 49ers coach made his Tuesday appearance on the KNBR Morning Show.

Host Paul McCaffrey talked at length about the 49ers using timeouts to fix what he perceived to be play-clock issues.

With the play-clock running down, the 49ers used two timeouts and had a delay of game penalty in a 33-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McCaffrey, like many in the media, wondered what was causing the 49ers to burn timeouts prior to his interview with Harbaugh.

PHOTOS: Best Images from 49ers-Bucs

McCaffrey interviewed the 49ers coach for 12 minutes and then Harbaugh went out of his way to address the radio host’s comments.

“I wouldn’t categorize it as plaguing,” Harbaugh said. “If that’s what we’re talking about, and you spent a lot of time talking about it this morning, then you’re doing a lot of other good things right if that’s the thing that worries you the most.

“Sometimes the play-clock is going to run down to 1, but you’re not always going to have 40 minutes of time of possession. That’s not a bad trade off. Keep that in mind.”

Harbaugh continued.

“We didn’t run a bad play,” he added. “We took the timeout. You get timeouts, you get three a half.”

Then the 49ers coach offered a unique comparison to the dilemma the team faced in Tampa Bay.

“Are you a chess player?” Harbaugh asked McCaffrey. “If you sacrificed a pawn to get the other person’s queen, would that be a good trade?”

Harbaugh agreed that it wasn’t San Francisco’s best game, but that his team is not stopping from striving to reach that ultimate level of performance.

“We’re always working to improve,” Harbaugh said. “That’s why I feel so good. That’s why I love our players, because they really play like they want to win the football game. When you’ve got that, you’ve got something really good.”

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate, presented by State Farm.

Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com looked at the loss of Bruce Miller to a scapula injury.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee outlined the 49ers playoff scenarios.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News offered game grades from the Bucs win.

Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com looked at the NFC West's 4-0 weekend.


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