After the end of the 49ers’ 34-31 loss to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, their coach Jim Harbaugh started his press conference by saying he believed that the team should have gotten a fresh set of downs at the end of the fourth quarter because wide receiver Michael Crabtree was interfered with and held on the team’s final offensive play.
Crabtree didn’t disagree with his coach’s take on what happened on the play, but he wasn’t willing to say that blame should be placed on the guys with the striped shirts for not throwing a flag at that point in the game.
“It is what it is, man,” Crabtree said, via CSNBayArea.com. “It was the last play, and I’m not going to blame the refs. It is what it is. It came down to the last play and it didn’t happen. (If) somebody grabs me, you always expect the call, but you can’t whine to the referee.”
A bigger topic in the 49ers locker room might have been the play calling on that final series, which featured a LaMichael James run and three passes to Crabtree while neither Frank Gore nor Colin Kaepernick got a chance to try to run the ball into the end zone. Tackle Joe Staley said “yeah” when asked if he would have liked to see another running play while several other 49ers expressed surprise about the choices by offensive coordinator Greg Roman. For Staley, that failure to push the ball into the end zone weighs more heavily than any non-calls.
“All the work we did in the offseason comes down to five yards, and we weren’t able to get it done,” Staley said.
Sometimes the simplest answer is the best one.