49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 26, 2007
Pereira defends "incomplete" call

As many of you undoubtedly saw, Mike Pereira, the NFL’s head of officiating, gave his take on Vernon Davis’ controversial “incompletion” a few minutes ago on the NFL Network. Pereira, of course, supported referee Gerald Austin’s contention that Davis did not clearly get two feet on the ground. Instead, he said Davis had one foot down and that safety Troy Polamalu’s hit forced the second foot to touch the grass before he was upended. “That’s the key,” Pereira said. “Did he complete the catch?” Davis did not clearly establish himself as a runner, Pereira said. Under that scenario, Pereira said, Davis would have to have maintained control of the ball as he hit the ground. Pereira then showed a frame in which the ball appeared to hit the ground as Davis was landing.
My reaction? If I ever committed a crime, I would want Pereira and his team sitting next to me in court because it seems as if they worked very, very hard to come up with a plausible scenario to defend Austin’s call. Remember, Austin’s argument at the time of the call and immediately following the game is that Davis “barely got the second foot on the ground” not that Polamalu drove that second foot into the ground. Austin also said that Davis failed to make a “football move,” a term that was eliminated from the NFL rulebook during the offseason regarding what constitutes a catch. Kudos, however, to Rich Eisen, who grilled Pereira pretty hard during the segment even though they both work for the NFL. No journalistic lapse there …
-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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