Michael Crabtree: I’m not going to blame the refs


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.

90 responses to “Michael Crabtree: I’m not going to blame the refs

  1. Good. You have no reason to blame the refs. The better team won and smacked you in the mouth in the process. Lucky for a power outage or that wouldve been a blowout

  2. Maybe some of that class will rub off on Jim Harbaugh and Frank Gore.

    So many reasons why the flag shouldn’t have been thrown anyway. Within five yards, or max a yard outside of it. Crabtree initiated contact. Uncatchable ball.

  3. Thank you Crabtree, finally someone who is not a POOR SPORT! If the 9ers would have should up before the lights went out then we wouldnt even be talking about ONE PLAY!

  4. Just looked up the word “elite” and this is the definition I got… SuperBowl MVP 1140 Yards, 11 Td’s 0 Int’s in 4 playoff games. Joe Flacco is elite!!! Deal with it haters!!!!

  5. Apparently Crabtree is the bigger man among bigger men.

    He knows there was a chance they might call it, but he also knows he and the DB were doing some handchecking to get position and figured the refs would see the tussle and let it go like they do 99% of the time.

    If Crabtree had gone down to the turf with the contact, chances were a lot better for a flag. He didnt do that because he knows that type of acting is cheap.

    In the end, Crabtree manned up and tried to get to the ball for the go ahead score and didnt quite make it. Not for lack of effort either. The ball wasnt thrown in the right place and everything else is a non-issue. Crab didnt want a cheap call.

  6. Kap and Gore yes, but how about Davis.

    Ravens didn’t have much of an answer for him,

    Gore really wasn’t THAT effective.

    Would have liked to see a pass go Vernon’s way.

  7. 100 percent agree with Staley’s comment. Roman has done a good job play calling for the Niners , but I was very surprised on that final drive that they didn’t have Colin or Frank try to run it for a TD.

  8. Objectively speaking: A) No ref is going to call interference that late in a Super Bowl unless it’s glaringly obvious. B) Ball was arguably uncatchable. C) Crabtree was all over Smith as much as Smith was all over Crabtree. D) If you go with Kaepernick, you live or die by Kaepernick, and yet the Niners never gave Kaepernick a chance to run the ball in. I was rooting for the Niners, but the result of the game was the correct one all things considered.

  9. Looks like to me, the way he ran that route, Crabtree was trying to draw the flag instead of trying to get open.

  10. I might be a bit bias but I didn’t see any holding at all on that play.

    If you want a flag for that you’re going to get PI flags on literally every single play.

  11. I wasn’t sold on this guy coming out of college. He had a shaky first couple years, complete with a holdout.

    I think he’s grown up a lot and he balled last night. That TD run after he got hit pretty good by two defenders was pretty amazing.

    He’s going to be a force on the 9ers offense going forward and a fun player to watch.

  12. of course he is not goign to blame the ref. They were both interferring with each other. The problem with everyone is that they think only the defense causes pass interference.

  13. Of course you won’t blame the ref since you shoved Williams to the ground on that same play. If there was to be a call it should have been two on both of them, the better choice is a “no call”
    Good to see one of the niners isn’t a whiner.

  14. I think the biggest non-call of the game happened right before this when Harbaugh DIDN’T CALL TIMEOUT….how is it that no one is talking about this?

    Call timeout and get the play they want on 3rd down…I assume the thinking is that Davis will be a marked man and see if they can slide Crabtree to the side for a catch and run. It FAILED miserably and instead of calling timeout and talking over what they want with his 2nd year QB starting only his 10th game at this level he allowed them to rush to the line and throw that? A super bowl title on a rushed pass interference prayer? Come on. Bad move by Harbaugh and in my opinion a bigger story than the 50/50 PI non-call.

  15. There was definitely holding on the play, but I’m glad the refs didn’t call it. Let the players play. Officials should never decide a game, esp the Super Bowl.

  16. The Niners tried getting a #2 WR last yr with Moss, Manningham and Jenkins and none panned out. In the draft they can go 2 ways. Trade up and select a WR like a Keenen Allen or a CB like Dee Milliner (they have 11 picks they can trade a lot, or Xaiver Rhodes.) They can also trade for Revis so they’ll probably be the Sb favorites for next yr.

  17. Harbaugh’s ego wanted to prove that “his guy” Kaep could do it with his arm.

    I’m glad the “classy brother” won the game. I’m sure we will see plenty more of the Niners going forward.

    However you never look a gift horse in the mouth. Sometimes fate can be a biiiiiatch.

    I’m just glad Niner fans got a taste of what it’s like to LOSE one of these, thoroughly enjoyed it!

  18. Staley, very nice to use minimum words. Maybe even less words if the media asked him how he felt about a missed holding call when CK7 ran right behind him for a TD during the rally.
    Reporter:”Joe, do you think you committed a holding penalty on Kapernicks TD run?”
    Staley : “no”
    If all people wanna do is complain about the penalties or no-calls during the game, all your going to get is OPINION. Get it? Oh pee eye en eye oh en. Do u want FACT. Who held up the lombardi? I rest my case.

  19. He’s right about the last play – there was contact on both sides and the 49ers had multiple chances to put it in the end zone.

    No whistles on that play was the right decision.

    But that Ed Reed offsides non-call was embarrassing. He LINED UP offsides.

    That could have changed the outcome of the game if SF tied things up then.

  20. I watched the game, the Refs sucked,maybe you were busy watching the pretty commercials to notice.

  21. Would have. Could have. Should have.

    Come on, Sore Losers, you got away with far more than you were shorted.

    You FortyWhiners got away with the fake roughing the kicker call to give you a closer and second chance to pick up 3 points. Replays show the kicker was NEVER touched and really feel on the rusher. What a fake and sorry call. Once the replay showed there was no foul, the TV guys shut their mouths and moved away from the truth. What a bunch of sissies they are and that is how bad they sold out calling a truthful account of the game.

    The FortyWhiners also hit a bunch of players out of bounds with not calls being made.

    Your DBs were hanging on to Boldin all game long with no calls on them.

    As a fan of neither team and an impartial observer, the FortyWhiners have proven to be a bunch of sore losers as they could not win the game on the field of play. The LACK of Content in your character is showing for all to see.

  22. the ball wasnt catchable, now had Flacco thrown it and not a rookie it would have been caught

    Flacco should have been in the bowl last year and won it this year

    He is Elite no matter what people say

    congratulations Ravens World Champions!

  23. There’s no reason to blame the refs. They were letting both teams’ corners get away with a few bumps all game. The refs were very, very consistent with their calls in this Super Bowl. In addition, Crabtree had his hands all over the Balt. defender.

    If you want to talk about anything, let’s talk about the “running into the kicker” penalty that gave the 49ers 3 points directly.

  24. To those saying CK should have run the ball – the Ravens brought zero blitzes on downs 1, 3, and 4. On second down, CK rolled right expecting the zero blitz but found nothing open in zone coverage.

    The Ravens were determined to to make Kaepernick beat them with his arm, and he couldn’t do it.

  25. I like the complexities and deceptiveness that Greg Roman runs in his offensive schemes but, time and time again he pulls out a bogus series of plays in crunch time. His genuis play calling suddenly becomes very questionable when we need it most….

    Roman and Harbaugh have to sit down and fix this in the offseason and I think Harbaugh realizes it more now! The biggest weaknesses they have on offense are mental: clock and situalional awareness!

  26. The Raven’s defense dictated the play calling. With everyone rushing the gaps and bracket coverage on Davis the one on one with Crabtree was where the ball HAD to go. They could have tried smashing it up the middle, but then we’d all be talking on the internet trying to figure out why they didn’t throw it.

  27. Staley was acting like a punk the whole game. He was trying to bully the wrong team. Niners lost their cool.
    BTW, how can the FIRST play of a Super Bowl be lined up wrong. Talented but dumb team.

  28. I thought it was kind of a lame play to call, just heave it up in the air and pray.

    49ers had to many failed opportunities during the game. To me the deciding factor was Jacoby Jones special teams touchdown.

  29. He sure wasn’t complaining on the PI on Roddy White at the end of the game in the NFC Chamionship now was he!!!?

  30. so Crabtree says he won’t blame the refs, Staley says they weren’t able to get it done and people on this posting and I’m sure others are calling them ForthyWhiners? 95% of you make no sense….also, changing the name of a team to something clever like ForthyWhiners, or the rat birds is something a seven year old would do……truths4all.

  31. Some of you fans don’t know how to win or lose with pride or class, raised with no sportsmanship, ravenator ect. lol! Classless! The lights went out and what it sucked the passion out of ray lewis and the team that’s up surd that happens to me too every time the power goes out in are city too lol! Ridiculous some of you fans.

  32. Putting your left arm around the bottom and grabbing the jersey is NOT Holding! Just ask expert Mike Pereira.

  33. Williams had both arms wrapped around Crabtree think that pretty much is holding, Reed lining up in the neutral zone and then jumping offside on the two point conversion try was a bigger no call. After all that being said the niners can only kick themselves for losing that game. Refs shouldn’t have been a factor at all.

  34. The 49er D changed for the worse sometime late in the season. All of sudden big points were being put up on them. Kind of like the Packers last season, they were able to win through offensive firepower. They could have won, but that was some weird play calling there, both on the 2 pt conversion and the final 4 plays.

  35. I agree the ravens brought a zero blitz, a vegas blitz or a jail house blitz, whatever you want to call it, thats because the niners spread out in a four wide pattern on all four downs, which was a major mistake, and thats where Jim Harbaugh and his coaches were outcoached by John Harbaugh.

    First and goal on the ravens 7 with 2:39 to go..

    the niners have the biggest offensive line in football.

    ..the should have lined up with the two extra o-lineman, #90 Isaac Siuapo in the backfield, and ran Gore, Kap, Gore and Kap four stratight times into the teeth of the ravens D, who were without their nose tackle Halati Nagi, who went out with a knee injury….

    and, if you are going to throw a fade pattern to anyone, it should have been Vernon Davis instead of Crabtree, but fade patterns only work to Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, neither of whom play for the 49ers…..

  36. The Refs made a bad non-call simple is that. 49ers should of had it first and goal. Thats the breaks. As far as Flacco being in this elite talk. Flacco is not an elite qb. Win 2 superbowls before you can be talked about elite. Without Denvers blow-up the Ravens are not even in the show. Just stating the facts….

  37. only problem I have is there is never consistency with officiating… NBA and NFL has become a joke, and those are my two fave sports and it’s insane lol…

    the way I feel is let them play, please let them play… high school, college, they let the kids play but its like at the highest levels there are sooooo many ticky-tack calls and nothing but whining… especially NBA

    so no that shouldn’t have been a flag, but there was a PI on the niners too that was phantom that was a flag, so just keep it consistent…

  38. Crabtree handled that well.

    Same thing happened to the Falcons on the last play of the NFC Championship. Roddy White was held, but as he put it, “you’re not going to get that call”.

  39. It’s funny how people see things differently. I saw a defender that was beaten, knew he was beaten and so he grabbed the receiver. The receiver then pushed the defender aside because that was the only way he could get free of the hold. I also disagree with this illusion that refs need to hold onto the flag in those situations. If it’s a penalty it needs to be called, especially when somebody is cheating because he is beaten. If the players are fighting for the ball and the defender or receiver wins because he is stronger then I say the refs should hold the flag. but when a player holds another player’s jersey with no attempt to play the ball, he is doing so because he is beaten and a penalty should always be called no matter the situation. The receiver only pushed the defender in response to the defenders attempt to cheat. I also believe Kaepernick should have thrown the ball to Vernon Davis instead and it wouldn’t have been an issue.

  40. If I had a choice, I’d rather “let them play” than have something like the offensive pass interference call on Darrell Jackson in the Seahawks v Steelers game, though the holding last night was much more apparent than the OPI was back then.

  41. That is how the reg. should be officiated. I think in the reg. season, that play gets flagged more times than not.

    With that being said, I prefer the older style aggressive physical side of defending, contact like that was legal 5-10 years ago, but with the new Passing league, it isnt. I just want to see consistency. What you call in the Reg. season needs to be called in the Super Bowl, dont change the rules just because you know more people are watching. If that is what you do, then you realize your rules are wrong.

  42. Everyone says you can’t call that late in the Super Bowl. If that’s the case this goes on Jim Harbaugh. He needs to know the 4th quarter Super Bowl rules. Run Kaep, make sure the O-Line illegally grabs the defenders and force the refs into a no call. If illegal is now legal, you have to take advantage of it and let it work for you. The Ravens did, the 49ers didn’t, can’t blame the Ravens or the refs for that, but now you know.

  43. The 49ers biggest mistake was not going to Vernon Davis more throughout the game. Davis was consistently getting separation and was also getting yards after the catch. Too much Crabtree and not enough Davis.

    Another thing that I thought they mucked up on, was the decision to keep Kaepernick penned up for most of the game. I know that Harbaugh was trying to trick his brother who was expecting a bunch of Kaepernick option plays, but come on, every time C.K. touched the ball he made a major impact. Big Mistake holding him back.

  44. It just felt like the ravens were allowed to “play” a little more than the niners were.. why is that so hard to agree with. How many drives got extended for the ravens,but ravens were literally swinging on niners and shoving refs. I know cully got away with one but 9 penalties to 2 smh

  45. I didn’t realize how annoying Ravens fans were until now. First of all, the Ravens didn’t “smack SF in the mouth”. It was an even game that came down to the last play. Secondly, Joe Flacco is not elite. He is a good quarterback. He is not Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Manning. And I can’t believe the fans are blaming the power outage as to why the niners dominated the second half. You guys won, be happy….don’t be douchy.

  46. I agree steelcurtain…Flacco is just as “elite” as Big Ben and Eli are, and neither are, but because of what he did this year, the risk he took by not signing his exstension and what the market will bear, he will get paid between 18 and 21M

    However, flacco is not a top 10 qb…imagine a draft right now consisting of qbs only….where would flacco go..somewhere in 11-20 range.

    problem with paying Flacco is the Ravens will have to cut numerous players to make up the difference…Boldin is due $5.5M..he will be cut….Jacoby Jones is due $3.8M, he may get cut too….Matt Burk at C will retire….

    I can see the Ravens going into the tank similiar to how Tampa did after they won super bowl 37…they had a mix of vets and young players, and then they had to start cutting players to fit under the cap, and they still have yet to recover..

    enjoy it baltimore…flacco is still not a top ten qb, I dont care what he thinks about himself…

  47. The play call on the final play was worse than the reffing. Even if Crabtree got his hands on that ball, he would have likely been pushed out of bounds. Harbaugh should be asking why they didn’t throw it up in the air for Vernon Davis to go get.

  48. Oaktown, youre right. It is on harbaugh. If jim actually thought.they were going to call a ticky tack 50/50 call in that situation, hes an idiot.

  49. two things—- Josh, you are spot on…the play calling sucked on those last 4 plays, plus they had to burn a time out to avoid a delay a game. Those precious seconds allowed the ravens to take a safety. Why not a quick snap on second down, not allowing the ravens to get set.

    Props to crabtree for manning up…he knows he could have been called for offensive pass interference just as much as the ravens could have been called for defensive pass interference. With that said put the raiders on either side of the ball, and the refs would have screwed the raiders with either call. A flag would have been thrown for sure- against the raiders

  50. I agree that they should have run the ball. I thought the same thing on that last 3rd and goal for the Ravens when they had Flacco roll out and then chuck it out of bounds. If you know you are going to kick the FG on 4th down, run the ball up the gut again!

  51. Eh, refs weren’t calling a lot last night. Was obvious. Torrey Smith was interferred with too going into the end zone, but nothing. So what.

  52. Its funny to see so many niner haters in everything I read about this team. There could be reasons for that. One, your team didn’t make it to the playoff and/or got beat by the niners. Two, you wished your team could be as good as the niners. Three, stop jumping on the bandwagon of any other team just because your team sucks. Be a true fan and stick with your team. One more thing, if you paid attention to the reffs the whole game, they favored the ravens from the beginning. The league should never let those reffs ever officiate a superbowl ever again.

  53. Of course he won’t. He CAN’T, given the amount of holding their offensive line got away with all season, and the contact that Crabtree himself initiated on the final play.

  54. onefamrecords says: Feb 4, 2013 1:17 PM

    Its funny to see so many niner haters in everything I read about this team. There could be reasons for that. One, your team didn’t make it to the playoff and/or got beat by the niners. Two, you wished your team could be as good as the niners. Three, stop jumping on the bandwagon of any other team just because your team sucks. Be a true fan and stick with your team. One more thing, if you paid attention to the reffs the whole game, they favored the ravens from the beginning. The league should never let those reffs ever officiate a superbowl ever again.

    Four, everything posted in the past two weeks is about the 49ers.

    Five, the Giants own your team and their fans have no reason to “hate” on your team.

  55. theralph2012 says: Feb 4, 2013 12:27 PM

    Anyone else sick and tired of athletes using the phrase “It is what it is”

    Blame John Fox. He started it, now 11 years later, everyone does it.

  56. I just LOVE some of these comments. First Crabtree was pushing off, coul dhave been called either way. But since this game was being lightly called to begin with, the Ref did the right thing and lef this laundry in his pocket. I don’t seen anyone whining about Torrey Smith being held and grabbed down field.. Second Joe Flacco. Funny how some called Matt Ryan elite, now that he finally won his first playoff game this year. Eli is about as hot and cold as the faucets on my sink. And he’s elite? Flacco is a top QB in the NFL. And yes, he can now be thought of as elite. If you can’t handle that, tough. Deal with it..

  57. He was held. But he also pushed off. Tough non call.

    Even with the Ravens run blitz all Frank Gore would have had to have done is make 1 guy miss to get a TD.

    The Niners play calling cost them a TD.

  58. For all the worries of “is Boger really the best ref?”, it seems to me that the fact you’re all arguing a few (mostly non-)calls, rather than one or more egregious mistakes (no blown fumbles/picks, crazy TD runs that should’ve been blown dead, etc.) is a good sign. There’ll ALWAYS be a few bad calls in a game, after all…

  59. Crabtree was confused on his route – based on how the coverage lined up on him (Jimmy Smith)…based on Crabtree screw up and hesistancy off the line – there was no way the ref was goign to give him that call. Generous of him to say he wasn’t goign to blame the ref…when in reality – we should all be blaming Crabtree

  60. The 49er fans complaining that there should have been an flag on that play … go watch the game again …. the first deep pass to Torrey Smith on the first drive … where was the PI flag on the 49ers?? There were only a total of 7 penalties called in the game and the 49ers DBs were getting away with a lot of the same stuff. The refs let them play … stop complaining.
    Remember what goes around … comes around … I did not hear the Falcons whining.

  61. Let us not forget that the 49ers got away with a no call vs the Falcons late in that game.

  62. I don’t believe Crabtree could have caught the ball and come down inbounds. The ball was too high.

    Consequently, the play that worked so well for the Ravens was the safety.

    I woulda rooted for the 49ers but for their crybaby coach. He is worse than St. Nick.

  63. v2the4….name 10 qbs that would be drafted ahead of flacco. thats nuts dude. he is getting better all the time and is a big game qb. no he isnt top3 or 4 but not in top 10…nuts

  64. raideralex99 says: Feb 4, 2013 2:49 PM

    The 49er fans complaining that there should have been an flag on that play … go watch the game again …. the first deep pass to Torrey Smith on the first drive … where was the PI flag on the 49ers??

    Cry like your coach has all year. Watch the 49er in the middle of the field get mugged on the kickoff return.

  65. If the ref make that same call when the 49ers played Atlanta when you def player was holding roddy white 9ers may not have been there. Get over it

  66. How can he blame the refs?! He initiated the contact!! Its that simple. He wanted to force the DB inside so he can push off and catch a back shoulder pass. Thing is Kaep couldn’t deliver it. Too much pressure and he floated it. That call could have gone either way.

  67. Yea, he could’ve called a hold, but then he would also have to call your push off which off-sets the penalty. Really your own fault. Karma.

  68. Historically awful-boneheaded playcalling by Jim Harbaugh/Greg Roman on the last four plays. One for the ages.

    Historically lopsided officiating favoring the Ravens the entire game. 49ERS WERE ROBBED. Period.

    Also, Michael Crabtree’s reaction to the absolute mugging on fourth down, was the absolute lowlight of the Super Bowl. How can you just walk away back towards the sidelines, like nothing just happened, after being robbed of a 1st and goal at the 2 1/2 yard line, and most likely of a SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP. I’m sorry, but some people are giving him credit for his reaction, I happen to think it was one of the lamest reactions of all-time, considering the moment and what just happened. He should have been absolutely irate, and done lots of yelling and screaming after that horrendous non-call.

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