49ers Blog and Q&A

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

November 12, 2008
Players didn't know ball placement until they broke the huddle

Offensive players today added to what their coaches said yesterday about the last confusing seconds of Monday's loss. That is, they had no idea about the placement of the ball until they broke the huddle and lined up.

Fullback Michael Robinson said he thought the ball would be a little inside the one. "It's a fullback type of inside play," he said. "It's designed for very, very short yardage." Was he discouraged when he saw the 49ers were actually lining up outside the 2 yard line? "No. I thought, 'I've got to make this work. This is Monday Night Football. I've just got to make it work.'"

Said Shaun Hill, perhaps the most calm and collected 49er - coaches included - at the end of the game. "The spot surprised me as well when we got up on the ball." Did it run through your mind to spike it, do something to chance the call? "Also, on top of that, we felt that the clock was going to start on the snap. If that hadn't been the case, then obviously there had been different things we could have done. But they wound the clock ... That kind of eliminates all of your possibilities."

The 49ers will be down two receivers Sunday against the Rams. Arnaz Battle (foot) and Josh Morgan (groin) are out. That means one-time practice-squad player Dominique Zeigler will be the no. 2 receiver at both split end and slot. The team signed former Stanford WR Mark Bradford to the practice squad. Bradford, a rookie, was signed by Dallas as an undrafted free agent earlier this year.

Dashon Goldson (knee) also is out. Frank Gore (neck), Barry Sims (ankle) and Delanie Walker (shoulder) did not practice. Gore injured his neck late in Monday's game.

Vernon Davis insists he had no chance to catch the deep end-zone pass from Shaun Hill that appeared to fall just in front of him in the third quarter. "He (Hill) just threw it. It was out in front of me. I just couldn't get to him." Davis said he didn't change his mind about the play after seeing it on film.

Davis also said he took a late hit from safety Antrel Rolle. But that wasn't why he was fired up (and why he drew an illegal celebration penalty) He said he was excited because he scored his first touchdown of the season on what he described as the most "difficult, crazy"catch of his career. Did he surprise himself? Answer: No. "I can come up with a play like that any time they throw to me. I just have to (have) the opportunities."

-- 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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