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.


  1. lets keep it real, mike singletary has an opportunity to become
    a decent head coach, but he needs to do a few things to
    get into control of the driver’s seat:
    -fire mike martz
    -install a run-heavy, ball control offense
    -cut JT O’Sullivan
    -keep hill as his starting QB
    –cut Jonas Jennings
    -use vernon davis in the slot and match him up against CBs
    -send in more blitzes on defense
    -give more carries to michael robinson and use gore
    more often in the passing game.
    -continue to be more emotional and entertaining in his
    press conferences.

  2. I don’t know how many 49ers games you guys watch but they played better Monday night than they have all year, despite the outcome. They played inspired football. Say what you want about Singletary, but the players obviously respect him and they played hard for him. I’m not as quick to jump on him for saying ‘let it go’ because I think that energy would be better spent trying to get better. And they will get better.
    Even if Samurai Mike has to show his sword again.

  3. Mr Singletary and Mr. Martz:
    The game was lost when your team took forever to down the ball at the 1 and 1/2 yard mark after a great catch. Now that it was 2nd and goal with 20 seconds left, you decide to run. If you don’t make it you burn 3rd down downing the ball again. Dumb. You had 3 shots at the end zone and you traded 2 of them for a run. Stupid.

  4. The biggest thing to me is it was still only 3rd down…
    They should have spiked the ball and regrouped when the ball was moved back. The fact that weren’t paying attention when the call was announced is ridiculous.

  5. One problem Mike, if you watched the game you would’ve seen that they didn’t actually snap the ball until there was one, maybe two seconds tops on the clock.
    It sure would make all those Niner fans feel warm inside to hear, “whoops, our bad” Singletary should complain.

  6. Maybe the NFL should go to a points system like the NHL:
    2 points for a win
    1 point for a tie
    0 points for a loss
    1 point for a game that the outcome was altered due to bad officiating.

  7. Goldy: no they have not. They came close to beating the cardinals but it’s not like the cardinals are a super dominant team. In fact, the defense took a step back under Singletary. They held Warner(sacking him multiple times in the process) under 200 yards passing the first time around but this time around he destroyed them through the air. They played just as inspired under Mike Nolan as they have under Singletary. The only reason why people think different is the Seattle game where they came out uninspired. It’s easy to forget how close we were to beating the Eagles or how competitive we were against the Giants and Patriots. I’m happy Nolan is gone but lets not act like Singletary is making magic happen. Nothings changed with this team. I can’t wait until the season is over and we get a real coach.

  8. Florio,
    Did Mike Singletary do something bad to your sister or something? Holy crap you really dislike this guy. If you had paid any attention to Niner football this year you would see this was a much more competitive team that showed up on Monday night. Have you forgotten this was only his second game as a head coach? Mistakes will happen. If they are repeated, then I’ll take issue with that. Until then, Mike Singletary is an honorable, high character person who wouldn’t criticize you the way you do him if he had the chance. He’s also a Hall of Fame LB who played on the best defense of all time. You’re an arm-chair quarterback who has no positive impact on other people’s lives. He’s earned the right to pull his pants down. Even with your pants on, your ass is still showing.

  9. Coors Light is salivating at the prospects of landing rights to Singletary’s post-game media conferences.
    Coors Light: “We’re grateful you’re trying to help investigate what happened to the case of Coors Light that was stolen from us.”
    Singletary: “What I was trying to do was just get the information..”
    Coors Light: “On what happened?”
    Singeltary: “..which we were not getting clearly, and if we were, it was not the correct information.”
    Coors Light: “So did you find out who did it?”
    Singletary: “You look at the tape.”
    Coors Light: “That’s not going to help get it back to us.. it’s probably gone.. some guys probably drank it all up.”
    Singletary: “So in my mind, I’m going to let it go.”
    Coors Light: “You’re right.. we should do the same.”

  10. Mike Singletary blaming the game on the last couple of plays haha thats funny he must of been asleep for most of the game….. That game should have never even come down to that last minute. Singletary should be happy Arizona played so bad to make it come down to that play!!!

  11. That was an unfortunate loss. Hill shouldn’t have run so much time off the clock previous to this all happening. If he left more time on the clock we’re celebrating a win and you’re calling for Singletary to get signed on for next year

  12. Stanmort: It wasn’t Hills fault that so much clock ran off, Martz called for a sub of our goal line package when Hill was trying to spike the ball. If he spiked it earlier than he did, he would have been called for illegal formation and 12 men on the field. He was the only guy calm in the mass confusion.

  13. unbelievable. Perhaps they should blame the front four for completely not touching Warner all night, and Hill for throwing it to Arizona twice. At least they played hard for 60 minutes.

  14. Maybe if Martz had been upstairs in the pressbox like most offensive coordinators, he could have seen where the ball was spotted.

  15. This idiot doesn’t even realize the review gave them another chance. Flags were thrown on the third down that never really happened (play was blown dead because of the review) for an illegal formation. The niners had no timeouts so there would have been a ten second run off. Game over.

  16. Arizona had a bad game. The highlights for the 49ers were a kick return and a lousy lame duck lucky TD pass to Vernon Davis. And yes, if the Niners do this, this, this, this, this, that, and the other, they can win with Singletary. That doesn’t mean he’s a head coach though. They could win with me if they did all of those things.

  17. But your problem with the whole cluster of events is exactly the issue here, Mike. Martz called a play that he thought would work from where he was told the ball was spotted. If it’s a play the team thinks would work, why would they spike the ball to talk about it some more? That’s the whole point Singletary made about the clock running at the snap, instead of the whistle; as soon as the whistle blew, there was no time, even if someone realized that the ball was spotted wrong, to tell Hill to spike it. He HAD to hike the ball.

  18. They didn’t get victimized by the replay, they got saved. The clock was moving and there was a flag pulled when they clocked the ball just before the replay official challenge. It would have resulted in a 10 second run off and a lot less talk about what call Martz made.

  19. I know this is unpopular, but Singletary is right. If he called the league, or sent them tape, or an email, or said something in the press conference, what are they going to do?
    That’s the same thing they do with every other blown call or mix-up. All you can do by speaking up is get fined. So why do it?

  20. sniff sniff sniff… what’s that smell?
    Oh, its just Mike Martz.
    The entire country saw that the play was called as an atttempt to catch the defense unprepared. It was clearly a case of the offense outsmarting itself.
    And now its an entire organization is refusing to take accountability. First, Martz is a schmuck that has never been able to take accountability. Everything is always someone else’s fault. Second Singletary is where the buck stops.
    Singletary is spending a great deal of time trying to mend relationships he tried to burn last week. Hugging Davis after another bonehead play. Blaming the officials instead of himself. Had he blamed himself we all would have seen through that and assigned blame to Martz so he blames the officiating to keep heat off Martz.

  21. coors light: “mike what’s your opinion of coors light beer?”
    Mike : Can’t live with it, can’t live without, can’t do it”
    look at my eyes im crazy and half my hair is gone, aghhh”

  22. I think you answered yourself in the quote Florio as far as why they didnt know where the ball would be for the appropriate playcall….BECAUSE THAT WAS PART OF THE REVIEW….noone knew where it would be til he said it and they placed the ball…by then it was too late to change…
    WITH THAT SAID…the play should have been a spike all along…so it is moot point…lol…

  23. If Mike Singletary would have only pulled his pants down
    to his knees. The 49ers would have received more time to
    make a better decision on what play to call. Singletary
    should have saved his locker room drama for the football
    The bottom line is both Singletary and Martz are offering
    nothing but excuses for their bad coaching decisions. They
    should just accept the facts. One of them or both allowed
    the 49ers to lose a game which should have been won.

  24. Stan it wasn’t just Sean Hill wasting time. The previous play ended with 40 secs left and the ball is then hiked with 22 ticks left. Hill maybe wasted 8 seconds lining people up. The other 10 were taken up with hill waiting for the players the coaching staff decided to sub in. Yep no time outs, 40 seconds left, near the goal line, the coaching staff put in a different package. Brilliant.
    Not to mention he didn’t seem to know what play had been called as he starts off like he’s supposed to be in the shotgun. Thats coaching whether its Martz or Singeltary can be another issue. If you’re spiking the ball why the package change? If they were calling a play why change to a spike?
    Another odd thing on the spike play was that 1 wideout was lined up way behind the line of scrimmage on the far right side (49er point of view) of the field (watching the highlights, 6:25 version, you don’t even see him in the play except that a cardinal moves over 2 secs before the hike like he just noticed him coming in and after the play you barely see the WR).

  25. Complete BS by Martz and the 49ers. Remember some of Martz’ thinking on other teams that FIRED HIM?
    #1 – that running play would not stop the clock as he was tackled inbounds, the play was reviewed by the officials and they stopped the clock and once their decision was made as to where the runner was ruled down, the clock would immediately start whenever they signaled time was in. And they correctly told the 49ers the clock would start as soon as they signaled it in other words telling them to immediately lineup over the ball.
    #2- At that point Hill should have immediately spiked the ball,and then have the ability to run your best play in that situation instead of again listening to Martz complain about another stupid decision of his.

  26. Well said.
    As a Bears fan, and a proud Chicagoan of the best team in NFL history (’85 Bears beyond a shadow of a doubt … [would have been the ’07 Pats had they won the Super Bowl]), so as that proud fan, it’s very, very difficult to watch all of this unfold under Mike Singletary. He ought to be an extraordinarily successful NFL coach, and the start is just unfortunate. If the 49ers don’t hire him, he needs to be given a chance to succeed.
    And, of course, to be truthful, there is no excuse. The 49ers stink, and rightfully so.

  27. This is a joke.
    One point that is missing is, that the 49ers were out of time-outs. The replay gave them EXTRA time to figure out what the next play should be.
    And 2xMike could of course understand the rules better. When the officials are replaying if the runner was down by contact at the 3 yard line instead of the ½ yard line, where the play ended and the replay determines that he was down. Well, then the play starts at the 3 yard line.

  28. Martz helped Dic Vermeil win a Superbowl. Rip him if you want but this guy is a hell of lot smarter than 90% of the OC’s in this league.
    The 49ers suck for one reason. Eddie Debartolo is not in charge. Plain and simple.

  29. To Cardinal fans, the ending was a perfect storm. To most fans, they felt certain defeat snatched from the jaws of victory due to poor defensive play in the past minutes of the game. But VOILA!…TWICE the 49ers stumbled just short of the goal line and gave the Cardinals second and 3rd chances to avert disaster at home. This victory was more beneficial to the Cardinals than harmful to the 49ers. The Cardinals were supposed to win this game, and the 49ers got the moral victory of playing much better than expected. The 49er players won this game; the 49er coaching lost it. Time for Vernon Davis to moon Singletary?????

  30. playmaker says:
    November 11th, 2008 at 9:22 pm
    lets keep it real, mike singletary has an opportunity to become
    a decent head coach, but he needs to do a few things to
    get into control of the driver’s seat:
    -fire mike martz
    -install a run-heavy, ball control offense
    -cut JT O’Sullivan
    -keep hill as his starting QB
    –cut Jonas Jennings
    -use vernon davis in the slot and match him up against CBs
    -send in more blitzes on defense
    -give more carries to michael robinson and use gore
    more often in the passing game.
    -continue to be more emotional and entertaining in his
    press conferences.
    @ playmaker
    Sounds like another Tuesday Morning Quarterback who thinks, if given the chance, could resurrect an NFL Franchise. I’m sure its going to take a lot more than a laundry-list of suggestions from Joe Schmoe to turn this thing around.
    Best of luck, though, Coach Singletary and Coach Martz (in your job-hunting this offseason)

  31. sometimes you don’t want to spike the ball because, knowing Fartz, he’s got a play against the specific defensive personnel. if they spike the ball, it allows time for the defense to change personnel based on what the 49ers are doing. as a former coach/player… the ref on the line of scrimmage signals to the ref closest to the team’s bench to signal where the ball will be placed, that ref’s responsibility is to relay the information where the ball is placed, outside the one or outside the 3.

  32. How come I had more information than Martz and Singletary?
    The official clearly said something in the order of:
    “After further review, the runner was down by contact at the 2 and an half yards. There will be 4 seconds on the clock, and the clock when I blow the whistle”.
    All they needed to know was said by the official.

  33. I’m pretty sure the official, when announcing that Gore was down by contact after the review, said (on his microphone, to everybody), “The ball will be placed on the two and a half yard line, please put 4 seconds on the clock.” Perhaps not in those exact words, but he said it for everyone to hear..

  34. Did they even know it would be called 3rd down though? Remember that Hill had just spiked the ball to make it 4th down, and the Zebras essentially annulled that action AFTER replay. The 49ers didn’t have time to call another play, and unless I’m much mistaken, Hill’s helmet earpiece wouldn’t have been working due to the playclock.
    I have some sympathy for the niners here, because whatever you say, 4secs is not actually enough time to call a play in the NFL, on the road, at the goal line, when the game is on the line. What if Hill had spiked it and it had been 4th down? We’d all have been saying how they’d have been better running any play than one that cost the game – even a run.
    And yeah, remember that the niners tried to spike the ball. That’s forgotten in all of this, that they made that exact play to give themselves time to make a 4th down play, and it was essentially nullified by the Umpires. I have no time for people who can’t understand the realities of the NFL.

  35. The most annoying thing about that game was listening to Tony Kornholio. The entire second half he’s crowing about how Singletary will get a job as a head coach anywhere in the league if he just wins. Meanwhile he’s blowing his chance to win by employing the worst time management and worst play calls of any coach in history – including Andy Reid!
    When is ESPN going to get rid of that idiot?

  36. I do not know if was mentioned in a earlier post but maybe Mike Martz should quit being a control freak and sit up by the press box like most other offensive coordinators in the league

  37. Should have been a spike. This is obviously a moo point. Ya know, like what a cow thinks. It’s moo.

  38. Author: PHOOL
    I do not know if was mentioned in a earlier post but maybe Mike Martz should quit being a control freak and sit up by the press box like most other offensive coordinators in the league

    kevin gilbride stands on the field in front of giants bench. they are 8-1 and won super bowl last year. many other off co-ordinators like to be able to talk to their players face to face.
    note- martz and gilbride wear earphones connected to upstairs.

  39. Cardinal VICTORY!!!
    In a lifetime of typically losing a game like that WE WON!!!
    9er fans – good game
    stop blaming the refs…there were calls throughout that went both ways.
    I was at the game….Singletary will not last as an NFL coach acting like he does.
    LOVING IT – Cards are 4 games up in the division! YEA BABY!!

  40. Author: FreeAgentPro
    The 49er players won this game; the 49er coaching lost it.
    No! It was the ZEBRAS who had won this game FOR the 49ers(with one bad call after another keeping this score close and exciting purposely for the national TV telecast); the 49er coaching then lost it.

  41. “Singletary, get ready for the fines. ”
    They will never fine Singletary for wishing there was better communication by the officials. He never said they blew a call, or cost the 9ers the game.

  42. From ‘Spike’ Florio:
    “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.”
    Obviously, Florio doesn’t know the rules of football. The following is from Pereira:
    “Hill realized he could not simply spike the ball anyway. Pereira said that had Hill done that, the 49ers would have incurred a 10-second clock runoff in addition to the five-yard penalty because there was less than a minute left” – AP
    The complete explanation is here.

  43. Yeah, the 49ers suck…I hated how they fired Nolan, but I guess he needed to go…But for the first time in about over 10 years, I am paying attention to them. I think Singletary will work out his kinks. That was his second game as a head coach. I like the improvements I have watched from his first game. If San Fran gets rid of Mike, then San Fran should seriously consider moving to LA.

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