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Old 11-11-2008, 07:12 PM   #104
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Posted by Mike Florio on November 11, 2008, 9:15 p.m. EST

A day after one of the more bizarre finishes to a Monday night game that we’ve ever seen, with the Niners attempting to win the game via a dive from beyond the two yard line, coach Mike Singletary and offensive coordinator Mike Martz are blaming the outcome on the quality of the information they received from game officials before the last play of the game was called.

Said Singletary on Tuesday: “It was very difficult getting the information that we needed. I was on the field constantly talking to a couple of the officials about where the ball would be spotted [and] how much time we needed to get back on the clock. I thought we needed 12 seconds to be back on the clock. They gave us four and then the ball was moved as I left those two guys going back to the sideline. They moved the ball back to the two-and-a-half yard-line, or something like that.

“Meanwhile, Mike Martz gets the information that the ball will be — the clock will start on the whistle, rather than the snap because, to me that is the rule. It should be that the ball – the clock starts on the snap of the ball and not on the whistle. It was – what I was trying to do was just get the information, which we were not getting clearly, and if we were, it was not the correct information. That was the most frustrating thing about the last minute.”

The biggest problem with the information, or lack thereof? Martz thought that the Niners were getting the ball on the half-yard line, which prompted him to call for an inside run by backup running back Michael Robinson.

Said Martz, who insisted that the ball was placed a yard farther from the goal line than it actually was: “We did not know the ball was going to be on the three-and-a-half [yard line], obviously, or we would have never called that play. We thought that we were going to be given back time on the clock. We thought the ball was going to be somewhere around the one-yard line. The play made two yards, so it’s a moot point whether it was on the one [yard line] or the one-half [yard line]. It doesn’t matter. He would have scored. If it’s on the three-and-a-half, obviously, we don’t do that play. . . .

“I still didn’t know until this morning,” Martz added. “I left the stadium thinking we didn’t make it because we were from the one-and-a-half or the one-yard line. I left the stadium thinking that the ball was still, we just – I couldn’t believe that we couldn’t punch it in from the one-yard line. I was upset with that. I didn’t know it was on the three – I couldn’t see from where I was. It happened so fast, half the guys up here didn’t know. We didn’t know. You look at the tape and it’s on the three-and-a-half [yard line] or three-yard line, wherever it is.”

Martz said that former Niners coach Mike Nolan even called on Tuesday to chine in regarding the situation. “He said, ‘Hey, you got victimized by the replay,’ which is basically what happened,” Martz said. “I guess there’s really nobody to blame other than, it was just a real lack of communication there that probably wasn’t very good.”

So what does Singletary intend to do to make his displeasure known to the league? Well, nothing.“

I’ve been told that I should probably go ahead and call the league, but it’s the last thing I want to do right now,” Singletary said. “I don’t need to hear that, ‘Well that’s on us.’ I don’t really need to hear that. In my mind, because they’re not going to change anything, the game’s still gone. So in my mind, I’m going to let it go.”

Still, the obvious thing to do with four ticks on the clock would have been to spike the ball and then regroup for the next play. If there was any doubt (and apparently there was plenty) about where the ball would be spotted or what the next/last play should be, the solution was simple.Kill the clock.

So we don’t want to hear pissing and moaning about information or the lack thereof. The big scoreboard in the stadium shows :04. The clock starts on the referee’s signal. And so Hill calls for the snap at that moment and takes a step back and slams the ball into the ground.

Four seconds is more time than you think. Count out four seconds right now. It’s enough time for a professional athlete to recognize that the referree has called for the clock to start, to then call for the ball to be snapped, and to then spike the ball into the ground.

As to the notion that Martz didn’t know the ball was going to be placed outside the one yard line, what the hell was he doing while the prior play was being reviewed? Surely, one or more of the cast of thousands whom the team’s front office employs was in position to let Martz know that the ball was beyond the two when Frank Gore’s knee had struck the ground.

So the message from Singletary and Martz is simple: “We’re just going to let it go. After we blame the whole thing on someone else.”

Frankly, if the 49ers keep these guys around after the 2008 season, they deserve to continue to suck.
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