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SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh was asked Monday about the roughing-the-passer penalty that went against 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis on the drive that led to the Arizona Cardinals’ go-ahead points.
Harbaugh said he watched the coaches’ copy of the game film. And when asked about what he saw, Harbaugh at first demurred.
“It’s the day after the game,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “We’re not making excuses.”
But, when pressed, Harbaugh said Willis hit Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton exactly how the 49ers teach their defensive players to tackle.
“It looked like his face was up,” Harbaugh said. “It looked like he was making a tackle that was seeing what he hit.
“You do teach that, yes.”
The 15-yard penalty was called on a pass play that fell incomplete and moved the ball to the 49ers’ 25-yard line. Three plays later, Stanton hit rookie receiver John Brown for a 21-yard touchdown that gave Arizona a 20-14 lead late in the third quarter.
The 49ers were penalized nine times for 107 yards.