“He ran directly into me,” Smith said of Crabtree in an interview on ESPN 102.3 in Denver, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I had inside leverage. He ran into me. So once he did that and tried to push off . . . I had to make contact. That was on him. He didn’t run a fade; he didn’t get away. He could have just ran and pivoted out or faded away from the ball, but he didn’t. He ran into me so he could make contact to push off to create separation, and I didn’t let that happen.”
Smith said that’s the way Crabtree plays the game, and that as a cornerback playing against Crabtree you have to stand your ground.
“He likes to run into you and then push you off,” Smith said. “I’m kind of taught to not let that happen. . . . And that’s the kind of way the game was played that day so the refs just let it play out that way.”
Smith said he has watched the play several times and that he’s sure he didn’t deserve a penalty.
“If you look at the play closely, you see him kind of push off of my helmet immediately. So as a DB, what do you do?” Smith said. “If he’s pushing off you’ve got to make sure you got some type of grip so he doesn’t push off of you. If I never touch him at all and he catches the ball, then it’d be San Francisco winning and why didn’t Jimmy make that play? So I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
And Baltimore fans are happy, too. San Francisco fans — not to mention San Francisco’s coach — do not agree.