49ers' Boone: 'I thought those refs sucked'


49ers' Boone: 'I thought those refs sucked'

SANTA CLARA –- The 49ers were fuming after their 19-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, citing the inequity in calls that went against them from referee Pete Morelli and his crew.

The 49ers were penalized 13 times for 81 yards. But, more shocking, seven Cardinals first downs were delivered as a result of yellow flags on the field. In contrast, the Cardinals had just five first downs rushing in the game.

Guard Alex Boone was the most outspoken about the officiating decisions, including a penalty that was thrown when side judge Rob Vernatchi, running along the 49ers' sideline, bumped into wide receiver Torrey Smith while the 49ers’ defense was on the field. That 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a third-and-19 play gave the Cardinals a first down after an incomplete pass. But Arizona would have gotten a first down anyway, as safety Jimmie Ward was also flagged for illegal contact away from the ball.

[RECAP: Instant Replay: 49ers come up short in battle with Cardinals]

“I’m really not too worried about getting fined,” Boone said. “I thought those refs sucked.

“You call running into a player when nobody even touched you? I mean, if you don’t like what we say, then don’t throw a flag for it. That’s what I’m sick about this league. This is supposed to be a man’s game. Be a man. And that’s what pisses me off. It’s guys like that, working this league and work on this field, and we have to deal with it. Whatever. It was a terrible call. They had terrible calls all game. I don’t care what the league says. I don’t care what Roger (Goodell) says. It’s the truth. If you don’t like it, get the hell out of here.”

Morelli’s crew features the NFL’s only female official, Sarah Thomas. She did not make the call on that play. Boone and his teammates did not single out any specific official.

"I was in the wrong," Smith admitted about inadvertently bumping the official. "I messed us up."

Boone said there were calls throughout the game that went against the 49ers, including a bizarre sequence in the third quarter in which the 49ers' pass coverage was penalized four times in the end zone during a seven-play period.

“Yeah, I mean, how many pass interference calls did we have at one time? Four? Five? I mean, it’s football. It’s a violent game,” Boone said. “A lot of people don’t want to play it. Let us play it. It is what it is. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

The Cardinals had nine snaps from inside the 49ers’ 5-yard line as a result of four penalties in the end zone that resulted in automatic first downs.

Ward was called for pass interference; Tramaine Brock was flagged for illegal use of hands; Eric Reid was penalized for pass interference; and Michael Wilhoite was also ruled guilty of pass interference. Each of those infractions gave the Cardinals a new set of downs. The Cardinals eventually scored on David Johnson’s one-yard run.

Another play that proved pivotal came on the Cardinals’ winning drive. On a second-and-10 play from the Arizona 32, 49ers defensive lineman Quinton Dial broke free for an eight-yard sack of quarterback Carson Palmer. But Dial was called for roughing the passer for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

“When I watched the replay, I saw that he just kind of ducked into it and there was obviously nothing I could do at that point, just fall into him,” Dial said.

The play was a huge momentum swing. What would’ve been a third-and-18 play suddenly became a 15-yard gain and a first down.

Said Palmer, “There’s no debate here. He hit me right in the face with the crown of his helmet. I don’t think there’s any debate over that.”

But there was plenty for the 49ers to debate. The Cardinals were penalized seven times for 47 yards, but the 49ers did not gain a first down as a result of a flag.

“We don’t even want to talk about that,” 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin said. “I mean, felt like we were playing two teams today.

“I thought it was ridiculous all day. If you’re going to call the game that way, call it both ways. Don’t let it just be so lopsided that it’s blatant.”

Said 49ers coach Jim Tomsula, “I’m not going to comment on the officiating.”

NFL Rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett needs Frank Gore approval to wear No. 21

NFL Rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett needs Frank Gore approval to wear No. 21

New 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett has worn No. 22 his entire NFL career, but he'll have to choose a different number in 2019.

Running back Matt Breida wears the number, so Verrett reportedly wants to wear No. 21.  The 49ers told him he could under one condition, The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Monday morning. 

Gore, of course, is still an active player. He signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills at the start of free agency, and will play in his 15th NFL season. But, this seems to confirm the obvious: Gore is a lock to have his number retired by the 49ers. 

No. 21 seemingly has been in unofficial retirement since Gore signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. In each of the last four seasons, no player has worn the number.

[RELATED: Jed York says he punched a wall when Jimmy G tore his ACL]

And for good reason. Gore remains the 49ers' leading rusher (11,073 yards), and played more games (148) than all but seven players in franchise history. The 49ers toiled in mediocrity and turned into a contender during his decade in the Bay Area, and he was a consistent offensive centerpiece throughout. The Miami product rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all but two of his seasons with the 49ers. 

Gore told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce earlier this month that he wants to retire with the 49ers when he finally hangs up his cleats. It appears he won't have to wait much long after that for his number to be retired, too. 

49ers CEO Jed York says he punched wall when Jimmy Garoppolo tore ACL

49ers CEO Jed York says he punched wall when Jimmy Garoppolo tore ACL

PHOENIX — The 49ers placed 24 players on injured reserve in 2017, and 17 members of the organization spent time on IR last season.

CEO Jed York said he was almost the 18th.

The past several seasons have been frustrating for both fans and York alike, especially when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 last season.

“I’m glad I wasn’t on IR,” York said Sunday at the NFL owners meeting. “I was close in Kansas City. I thought I broke my wrist in Kansas City when I heard he tore his ACL.”

Now that some time has passed, York was able to explain the incident with a chuckle.

“It was a good punch,” York said. “Unfortunately, it was a stud. You’ve got to find the dry wall. That’s the key. It looks so much better to put a hole through the wall, as opposed to finding the stud.”

York said he has since moved past the frustration from that fateful day in Kansas City, which changed the trajectory of the 49ers' season. He put a positive spin on the injuries of Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL a week before the start of the regular season. Garoppolo is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, York said, while McKinnon is right on pace. Both are expected to be cleared to participate fully in training camp.

“I think our guys have been very strong-willed and tough-minded,” York said. “They are able to fight through those things. It allows you to build character on your team, and I hope that will serve us well going forward.”

[RELATED: Jed York says 49ers 'were definitely in it' on Beckham trade]

York said he has been keeping an eye on his franchise quarterback, and is excited for the season to come. He's also been able to put the 49ers' spate of injuries, which prompted an overhaul of their training staff, in perspective. 

“It’s frustrating, but it’s football,” York said.