Last night in the Eagles-Giants game, Andy Reid called a timeout just before Lawrence Tynes attempted a potential game-winning field goal. The snap got off after the timeout and Tynes pulled the kick wide, but he got a second chance because of Reid's timeout. On the second attempt he was straight enough, but lacked the distance.
I bring this up now because Jim Harbaugh was asked about it in his Monday press conference:
What is your take on icing the kicker? On whether it works, how does that play into a coach's strategy?
"I have some opinions about it."
"I don't have any need to. It hasn't come up yet. So, I don't have a real good reason for elaborating on it right now."
Maybe how it relates in the game, not specifically to the 49ers?
"Not really. Not a real good reason to do it."
This is definitely a Coach Harbaugh answer to this question. He is not one to engage in hypotheticals or even semi-related scheme and game-plan questions.
The 49ers faced this kind of situation twice last year. The first time came against the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 2 loss, and the second came in the NFC Championship Game. In the first instance, the Cowboys had first and goal at the 1 in overtime. The Cowboys had used a timeout, and then the 49ers called one as well. The 49ers timeout came before the Cowboys had fully settled into their field goal formation.
In the NFC Championship Game, Harbaugh again used a timeout. This time he waited until the Giants had their field formation set up, calling timeout several seconds before a snap would have occurred.
My own philosophy on this is you do not want to give a team two chances to make a field goal. I get the idea that making the kicker kick once and then have to kick all over again could be of some value. But I generally prefer the earlier timeout that isn't meant to be timed a split second before the snap. Let the kicker think it over, but otherwise, just give him one chance make it.
What do you think about it?