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Singletary's Notebook: Nov. 11



RE: Opening statement:**

"Good morning, or almost afternoon."

RE: How active were you in that game management part in the final minute?
"The last, I'll put it this way: the thing that I was trying to do most of all was to get all of the information, which was very difficult to do, and try and get that information to Coach [Mike] Martz so that we can make the best decision possible. 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."

RE: Why at that point, with four seconds left, why didn't you just spike the ball there and then have one play where you have a full 40 seconds to gather yourselves?
"You're asking me a question now that – I guess at that time, and I'm still a little bit unclear on it, at that time, because the clock was starting when the ref said that the clock was starting on the whistle, it happened so fast. The ref was over the ball. To me, what's supposed to happen is the guy standing over the ball, he backs up, and then that starts. He's over the ball and as he is moving back simultaneously the clock is moving. So, it's very difficult to try and get something going with four seconds left if that's the scenario. To me, it was not the correct protocol in order to try and get the spike and go from there."

RE: Did you get any answers from the league office this morning?
"I've got to be very honest with you. 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. 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. Just make sure that as we go forward that we make sure out here that we cover the things that we need to get covered and make sure we have the right protocols. The only thing I would like to have happen during this game, after this game, as a result, all over the league is for the officials – one official should go to the other sideline and one official should come to our sideline and say, 'This is the scenario. This is what's happening.' We have no idea. We have no clue what's going on and the referee stands out in the middle of the field and calls it, says whatever he's saying, but you can't hear it. You can't hear it on the sideline. It would be great if there was better communication on each sideline. Not just ours, but on each sideline about what the heck just transpired so that, now, the coordinator can make an intelligent decision. To me, that is a major issue in this game, and I'm sure others as well. But, for us, it's just very frustrating as you look back on it because Mike Martz made a call. He would have changed that call had he known that that ball was going to be moved. So the ball is being moved, but you're thinking it's still at the half-yard line."

RE: So, Mike Martz made that call on the belief:
"From the half-yard line. No one came to our sideline to say the ball was going to be moved. Someone should do that. There should be some people – we shouldn't have to stand over there and see the ball is being moved and while everything is going on, because we're trying to make the correct call. There were two things going on. I'm trying to see why can't we get 12 seconds back on the clock. Mike Martz is trying to figure out, 'OK, that's an issue there, hopefully we get that.' But at the same time, what is the best play to run here. In that particular situation, we had a guy that was going to go in motion, and then we were going to run the play. Because there were four seconds left, the guy just went ahead and aligned out there already because you don't have time for the motion. Then you get the other information that says the ball – the clock is going to start on the whistle, rather than the snap of the ball, that changes the dynamics of things. Then, the last part is when the guy is standing over the ball and as he is simultaneously moving back the clock is starting, you don't have time to do all that. There's just too much going on. In my mind, certainly, the first part of that – that whole 23 seconds that dissipated from the clock, that's on us. That's on me as the head coach. That's on us, and I will take that. There are no excuses for that. We just have to do a better job at that. But the other thing to me, the rest of that is communication. The responsibility of the officials to communicate with the head coaches on the sideline, the coordinators, to make sure that we're on the same page."

RE: It was still third down; did you think about spiking the ball?
"We were thinking about spiking the ball. But as I'm saying now, in my mind, I'm trying to figure out – I'm not sure we had the time to do that because of the motion away from the ball and the clock starting simultaneously. It is not the correct protocol."

RE: So there's no way Martz could change the call through the headset?
"The only thing I can say is maybe he had the chance to change the call, or something like that, but I'm thinking with everything going on and with all the things that are going on on the field, I don't know. I won't get into saying, 'Well, definitely he couldn't have changed the call or he could have changed the call.' And there's only so much time when the headset is on and when it is off. It doesn't stay on the whole time. It's on for a few seconds, and that's all you got [then] it's off."

RE: Was the man that was going to go in motion but wasn't able to, was that supposed to mimic last year's last-second win over the Cardinals, making them think that it could have been another end around?
"I'm not going to go there because I'm not sure that that was why it was called, so I don't want to go back to – so I don't want to hallucinate or come up with a theory or whatever. I don't want to do that."

RE: You mentioned the 23 seconds – that's on you. What happened there?
"We just changed personnel. We changed personnel. We're trying to get a call in. Shaun [Hill's] going to spike the ball, but if he spikes the ball without seven – at least seven guys – being on the line of scrimmage, then you're going to have to move the ball back because we're going to be penalized."

RE: Why would you change personnel if all you were going to do is spike the ball?
"I don't know that. I think it was one of those situations where you're thinking that it's going to go smoothly, a lot smoother than it did. It did not. We have to make sure – because our team is some of those substitutions it's not as easy as saying, 'OK, give me the big guys. Give me the little guys.' It's a little different than that. You've got a certain play that you're going to run when you move people in or move people out. I'm not sure why, but I know that Mike [Martz] knew what he wanted and he knew the people that he wanted to get in. It should have maybe taken ten seconds at the most, but, obviously, it did not."

RE: Is this something that will be covered this week in practice?
"It will be something because as we go forward we're just going to continue to get better. We have seven more games to play. We're going to have some good teams that we're playing week in and week out, and some of those games are going to be close. We just have to make sure that we're better on the back end of that thing coming down to the wire. We have to do a better job of managing it."

RE: Were you and Mike Martz in agreement on the general philosophy of play calling in the last couple of minutes?

RE: There was no incompatibility on that?
"No, no problem at all. We talked about those things even before things kind of begin to happen. We had an idea of when we were going to spike the ball, what play we were going to run, that kind of thing. So, it's not I'm trying to tell him what to run, or no we're not going to – it wasn't anything like that. We're on the same page; it was trying to make sure we were on the right page."

RE: There was some interaction after you decided to kick a field goal on fourth down and short. What happened there, and is that something where you would expect your offensive coordinator to want to go for it?
"The offensive coordinator always wants to go for it. I learned that fairly quickly, and Mike [Martz] is an aggressive guy, and you love him for that. I knew, and Mike knew, that we were going to kick the field goal. We had an opportunity to get points; we were going to take the points."

RE: Mike, back to another point with Vernon Davis. What was maybe the difference between this 15-yard penalty and the last 15-yard penalty?
"I'll tell you the biggest difference. The biggest difference was this. As I approached Vernon he saw me coming and he says, 'Coach, I know, I know. I have got to be smarter. I'm going to be smarter. I didn't want to do that. It just happened. I won't do that, you're right. I'm going to be smarter,' and I say, 'Hey, look I'm just coming to tell you great play, be smart.' But his reaction was not 'Wait, wait, wait, why are you doing [this]?' It was totally different. and we have an understanding and I was just proud of him. I've been proud of him, they way he responded, the way he's practiced. I mean he's just taken it up a notch and I'm really excited about him and what he's been able to do this week, and I'm really excited as we go through the rest of the season. But that was the biggest difference."
RE: Do you know what play Mike Martz wanted to call had he known the ball was on the two-and-a half [yard line] instead of inside the one [yard line]?
"Do I? No, because we never had an idea it was on the two-and-a-half yard line. We were thinking it was on the half-yard line and no one informed us of anything different."

RE: Wasn't there a booth review in which the ball was:
"In a situation like that someone should come to the sideline and inform us 'Hey, this is what the scenario is, this happened.' No one did that. That is the responsibility of the ref."

RE: And you could not hear the announcement?
"No, absolutely not. Absolutely not."

RE: Even though it might not change the outcome, don't you think you need to talk to the league office to get that part straightened out?
"That's the way I feel right now. Maybe I'll have somebody else call because I really don't want…in all honesty I'm really trying to move to St. Louis. I know what the result's going to be. They are not going to change it. It's going to be something explaining it, and I really don't want to hear that. I just…just let me go on to the next game. We've got another game to play Sunday, and we want to go get that game and that's what I want to be thinking about."

RE: Watching the game at home, the team looked quite different than it had maybe for at least a year-and-a-half, maybe longer. How do you quantify what the difference was last night?
"I think it was one of the things I was talking about last week. I think these guys are hungry. I know they want to win. Sometimes given certain parameters where you have a vision in place where they can see it, they can feel it and in a strange way they can taste it. It's coming. If we do this, then this will be the result and I think that holds true for us. That is our formula. If we can do this, this will be the result and for me all of my life, I don't need you to tell me 'Here's the solution over here and you find a way to get there on your own.' I always need someone to tell me 'Here's the solution over here and this is the plan as to how you get here.' That is the thing that I think that we have in place and the guys believe in it, and they are just going to continue to work and they're just going to continue to get better. So I'm excited about that for them."

RE: Given the chaotic nature of the last seconds and you've had a little bit of time to look at it, how did you like Shaun Hill's composure? He's taken some criticism by some fans out there that he should've just spiked it immediately when in fact he had to wait until things were set or else it would've been a penalty. How do you like how he handled those last wild and frantic seconds?
"Obviously you'd like to say that you'd like to see him handle it better, and I'm sure that he would say that he would like to see us handle it better. Then we would probably say that we'd like to see that we would to see the officials handle it better. But to stop the whole rat race of the thing, I will put that on. That's on me. That is my job to make sure that whatever is wrong that it gets done. And it gets done in the right fashion. That's my job. So, I will put on a jacket for that. I will wear it, we will fix it and we will go from there."

RE: You have to feel pretty good about the way your young receivers played even [Dominique] Zeigler on one of the last drives there…Jason Hill, the most we've seen from him. How do you feel about [Jason] Hill, [Josh] Morgan and [Dominique] Zeigler?
"I thought they definitely took a step in the right direction and they're doing some things that we asked them to do. I've had conversations with every one of them about what the expectations are and what they need to do, and where we're looking for them to be. We don't have any more rookies right now. We just have receivers and hopefully good receivers. So, they responded and responded very well. I'm very excited about what they did. They took advantage of the opportunity."

RE: Along the same lines, what about Chilo Rachal. He had a couple of brief moments there:
"As time goes on, we're going to try and make that happen more – give these guys a chance to get in and to me I think that's the only way a player can get better. You can have him in practice and have him go through things and look at him out there and say 'Hey, that's great.' But in a game situation as much as you can when the opportunity presents itself put him in and let him play, let him get an opportunity to grow and get better. So that experience factor is huge going down the stretch. I'm excited for all of those guys. Every one of them responded in a positive way."

RE: In three weeks you've been through more stuff: off the field, game management type stuff than some coaches might experience in three years. How did the game last night affect you? How does that help you?
"It is so exciting to me. It is very exciting, very exhilarating to be in the middle of that. At the same time it's frustrating, but it's what I need. I don't want what I want, I want what I need and that's what I need. My goal is be one of the greatest coaches of all-time one of these days. I need all the help I can get. I need all the fire I can get, and I'm getting it and that's okay with me."

RE: Any notable injuries coming out of this game?
"Right now, we've got to look at Josh Morgan. He has a little bit of a groin [injury] right now. We have to look at that and see what that is and how serous that is and kind nurse that along. Other than that, I think we're in pretty decent shape. We've got a little bang here and a little bang there, but that's football."

RE: Jason Hill, is he fine?
"I think he's fine. I'm pretty sure he's fine.

RE: Was Frank Gore on the field on that last run by Michael Robinson. Was he the one that was spread out?

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