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Lowell Cohn: Can't beef about 49ers' clutch drive

  • Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers acknowledges the fans as his team beat the Cardinals 32-20 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Sunday Oct. 13, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

Harbaugh moved his hand around and around. Grinding. He smiled. He is a man who likes words, although sometimes you wouldn't know it.

So, grinding meat was about being tough, wearing down the defense, grinding it out.

Allow me to interject that grinding the meat (pork? veal? chicken?) in this circumstance was the essence of good. With the game on the line, a team needs to become meat eaters — er, meat grinders. More on that grinding in a minute.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Another reporter asked, "Is it accurate to say that along with grinding meat you rattle molars? Is that part of the phrase or not?"

Harbaugh eyeballed the reporter. A look of surprise took hold of his face. "That's a different phrase. It's not rattling molars. There's nothing with molars," he said, confused.

"I talked to your dad," the unfortunate reported said. "I believe there's molars in there."

"No, you're referring to rattling fillings," Harbaugh said, straightening him out.

I apologize for this brief excursion into the land of mixed metaphors. Molars indeed. We are talking meat grinding and nothing else.

After the Harbaugh news conference, I walked into the 49ers' locker room looking for a cheeseburger. Not really. I was looking for offensive linemen, the meatiest men on any NFL roster. I wanted to ask them about Harbaugh's grind-the-meat metaphor, get their take on it.

Center Jonathan Goodwin: "I understand what he means. Almost running into a brick wall. Just seeing what you can get. That's the best way I can sum it up."


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