|Coach Jim Harbaugh didn't agree with several of the calls late in the game. (US Presswire)|
Following the Super Bowl, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh told anyone that would listen that 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was interfered with and held by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on San Francisco's final offensive play of Super Bowl XLVII. One person who doesn't agree with Harbaugh: Jimmy Smith.
In an interview with KDSP-FM in Denver, Smith was specifically asked if he thought he got away with a hold on the 49ers final offensive play, "No... If you look at the play closely, you see him kind of push off my helmet immediately. So as a DB, what do you do?" Smith said via sportsradiointerviews.com. "If he's pushing off, you gotta make sure you got some type of grip so he doesn't push off of you."
As for a potential flag for interference, Smith blamed all contact beyond the legal five yards on Crabtree. "He ran directly into me. I had inside leverage. He ran into me," Smith said. "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 was later asked how many times he's seen the controversial play. His answer, "Every time I turn on ESPN."
Harbaugh may not agree with Smith's assessment of the play, but former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira does. "Would I have called that? No," Pereira said. "There is absolutely no way in real time that you're going to say ‘any type of material restriction' and that's what the book says, any type of material restriction that would've kept Crabtree from making the catch. Then Crabtree himself gave it away because if you look when the play is over he didn't complain, he never complained one bit, he didn't feel any type of restriction."
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