Jim Harbaugh is not happy with the NFL. He believes the league’s read-option rules are “flawed and biased.”
Of course, Harbaugh is concerned because he has one of the league’s best read-option QBs to protect in Colin Kaepernick.
The read-option is a QB style of football where the signal caller has the choice to either pass or run based on the defense. The most recognizable read-option QBs are Kaepernick, RG3, Michael Vick, and Russell Wilson.
Kaepernick, of course, lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl and was one bad pass away from winning it all. Harbaugh has extra interest in keeping his QB healthy.
Jim Harbaugh doesn’t think the rules clearly define when a QB changes from a passer to a runner. This distinction determines how the defense is able to hit the player. Harbaugh thinks it’s unfair that a running QB is protected differently by the league than a classic drop back passer like Peyton Manning.
During his weekly press conference, Harbaugh said:
“I’m not advocating that they don’t hit the quarterback if he has the ball, but if he’s in the pocket I believe there should be a strike zone. Same strike zone that is given to the quarterback when he’s in the pocket and throwing the ball. I feel like you give a license now to players to hit quarterbacks at the knee or in the head.”
Harbaugh has called the league office to voice his concern. If his attitude is any indication, he was not happy with the answer.
The subject of read-option QB protection was brought up after Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews said the best way to stop a read-option QB was to hit him. Harbaugh was not happy and decided to let the league know.
Jim Harbaugh may disagree with the NFL on their read-option rules, but he does not plan to change his game plan this Sunday. The 49ers take on the Packers in a playoff rematch and one of the most anticipated games of the weekend. The brewing Harbaugh/Matthews war will only make things more interesting.