49ers Blog and Q&A

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December 6, 2012
Roman: The option play is not going away


The pitch-option may have blown up on the 49ers on Sunday, but Greg Roman didn't sound like someone who was going to put the play on the back shelf. Roman, who called the fourth-quarter play that resulted in the Rams' only touchdown, said he thought the option was part of the future of football.

"I do - felt that way for a while," Roman said. "... I can remember Pittsburgh ran an option play against the Packers in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. It's in a lot of people's playbooks. Some people teach it more than others. But those type of plays put a lot of pressure on a defense. Again, it all comes down to execution."

Execution was a theme in Roman's weekly address to the media. While Jim Harbaugh has said several times this week that he and the coaches deserve the brunt of the blame for the botched pitch on Sunday, Roman didn't exactly follow that theme.

"You go back and look at every call and you judge it," Roman said. "And you judge your intent relative to who you're asking to do what. And you assess that decision. One thing is, when plays work, you generally say that was a good decision. When they're not executed, or they don't work, for whatever reason, hey, maybe we should have done something else. In that case, there's too many moving parts for that situation. Certainly when it was called, the result was not what we expected. It's just something you measure and you try to learn from and you move on, if it doesn't work."

Roman also was asked about the 49ers recent rash of penalties - 21 in the last two games, including eight offensive holding calls.

"It's not about play calling, it's about execution ultimately," he said. "That's something we've got to get a lasso around real quick. 49ers football - smart, tough, opportunistic football. And penalties certainly don't fit into that equation."

One more quote from Roman ... Asked whether someone like LaMichael James would have a specific role if he got into the game, Sunday, Roman said: "Whoever's active has got to be ready to handle everything. Certainly when you have a specific guy in with a specific skill set, you're probably going to lean toward what he's really good at."

- 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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