Jim Harbaugh on fourth-down: 'A penalty is a penalty'

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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One of the indelible moments of Super Bowl XLVII is San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh screaming for a penalty on Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith after Colin Kaepernick's fourth-and-season pass attempt to Michael Crabtree fell incomplete.

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Many spectators, commentators and former NFL players have argued in the week since that while it might have been an infraction, a referee should just let the players play in that situation.

Naturally, Harbaugh continues to disagree with that sentiment.

"I would say it exactly like Bill Polian: A penalty is a penalty no matter when it occurs in a game," he told KBWF-FM radio via SportsRadioInterviews.com.

"It could occur in the first play of the game. It could occur on the last play of the game, or any play in between. That's the rules of football. You let 'em play or let 'em get away with something. Which would you rather have? Let's play the rules of the game. ... If there's a penalty then it's a penalty -- doesn't matter what kind of game. ... It's the rules of football. If it's a penalty, you call it. If you see it, you call it. That's how I feel about it."

There are some fans in Atlanta who are wondering if Harbaugh felt that way after Navarro Bowman and Roddy White collided to essentially end the NFC Championship Game.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.