Even though the 49ers defeated the Packers 34-28 on Sunday, the verbal war wasn't over. Jim Harbaugh felt Packers linebacker Clay Matthews tarnished his 'tough guy' image and called him out on Monday for his slap on Joe Staley.
Matthews tackled Colin Kaepernick out of bounds which was flagged for a late hit. Staley protected his quarterback by coming to Matthews which drew a penalty of his own. Harbaugh wasn't scared to comment on the situation almost 24 hours after it happened.
"I think that young man works very hard on being a tough guy," Harbaugh said. "He’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap."
Harbaugh indicated that Matthews threw a clothesline at Kaepernick. It was a shocking moment for the head coach bringing flashbacks of his days as a player. He said Staley did the right thing by locking Matthews up and preventing the All-Pro linebacker from doing further damage.
After reviewing the tape, Harbaugh said Matthews initially punched Staley, but then cited that it was an open hand slap. Harbaugh reacted to the action of slapping with the following statement:
"A man will tell his bad intentions if you listen. It was certainly a cheap shot launching a clothesline to the neck area. If you're gonna come to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open-hand slap."
Harbaugh continued to defend his LT Staley when he was locking up Matthews. He encourages teammates to have each others backs and not retaliate with any punching.
It will become very interesting if these two teams meet in the postseason with this bitter feud between Matthews and the 49ers.