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.

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“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.”

Longtime 49ers scout Reggie Cobb dies from apparent heart attack at 50


Longtime 49ers scout Reggie Cobb dies from apparent heart attack at 50

Longtime 49ers area scout Reggie Cobb died Saturday morning in the Bay Area from an apparent heart attack, the club announced. He was 50.

“We are devastated by the sudden loss of a tremendous teammate and loyal friend, Reggie Cobb,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement.

“Reggie was an enthusiastic and passionate person who had a special ability to brighten up a room with his personality and infectious smile. For 10 years, the 49ers were better because of Reggie and these unique qualities that he possessed.

“He was a top-notch scout and an exemplary man whose years of service to this organization and the National Football League will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this time of mourning.”

Cobb played seven NFL seasons after entering the league as the No. 30 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1990 from Tennessee.

In his career as a running back, he gained 3,743 yards and scored 25 touchdowns while playing four seasons with Tampa Bay and one apiece with Green Bay, Jacksonville and the New York Jets.

He transitioned into scouting, serving two years with Washington and six with Tampa Bay before coming to the 49ers. Cobb was entering his 11th year as an area scout with the 49ers. In 2011, he was named NFC Scout of the Year by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

Cobb finished his college career ranked third on the University of Tennessee’s career rushing chart with 2,360 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a member of the school’s 100th anniversary team. He lettered in track and graduated with a degree in urban studies in 1990.

Cobb lived in Sugarland, Texas, with his son, DeMarcus, according to his 49ers bio.

NFL draft: 49ers should find starters at edge rusher, wide receiver


NFL draft: 49ers should find starters at edge rusher, wide receiver

The 49ers should be able to net major contributors – one on offense and one on defense – in the upcoming NFL draft.

But a few other newcomers will have an opportunity to work themselves into key roles if some of the projected starters stumble or are sidelined.

After filling some of the team’s starting needs in free agency, here’s a look at the 49ers’ top positional priorities heading into the draft, which opens Thursday in Nashville with the first round:

Edge rusher

Behind quarterback, the edge rusher spots are the most important positions on a football team. The 49ers added Dee Ford in a trade. The Kansas City Chiefs initially prevented Ford from becoming a free agent by tagging him with their franchise designation.

Now, the 49ers need another threat on the outside to complement Ford and inside pass rusher DeForest Buckner. More than likely, the 49ers will place a checkmark next to this position with their first-round draft pick.

Assuming the Arizona Cardinals select Kyler Murray at No. 1, the 49ers are widely expected to go with Nick Bosa. If Bosa is gone, then they could eschew an edge rusher to select another defensive tackle, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams. But outside linebacker Josh Allen is also a strong possibility in that spot.

A year ago, the 49ers top edge rushers were Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair. Marsh was cut shortly after the acquisition of Ford. Blair and Marsh tied for second on the team with 5.5 sacks. Blair is solid, but the 49ers’ defense would be a lot better if his role were reduced because they were able to bring in someone better.

Wide receiver

It is a high priority for the 49ers to add a starting-caliber wide receiver in the draft, in order to have the luxury of dialing back Marquise Goodwin’s role in order to accentuate his strengths and make him more effective.

Among the wide receivers the 49ers are known to have brought into their Santa Clara facility for pre-draft visits are A.J. Brown (Mississippi), Hakeem Butler (Iowa State), N'Keal Harry (Arizona State), Jalen Hurd (Baylor) and Deebo Samuel (South Carolina). All of those players could be available when the 49ers pick at No. 36 overall.

Dante Pettis, the 49ers’ second-round pick a year ago, looks to be on solid footing as a starter. Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne and Jordan Matthews have opportunities to work into significant roles on the outside. But the 49ers need to find another wideout who can carve out a niche. The newcomer does not need to be an every-down player. He just needs to have a unique skill set that coach Kyle Shanahan can implement.


The 49ers entered the free-agent signing period with Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert and Marcell Harris as the most-likely starting options. Then, they re-signed Jimmie Ward.

Despite Ward's history of injuries, the 49ers coaching staff – every 49ers coaching staff over the time he has been with the organization – has a high opinion of Ward because of how hard he plays. When he exited the lineup last season with his second season-ending fractured forearm in two years, Ward was playing better than anyone else in the team's secondary.

So Ward at free safety and Tartt or Harris at strong safety is how the 49ers envision opening the season. The 49ers could add more competition to the mix if they select a safety such as Jonathan Abram (Mississippi State), Darnell Savage (Maryland) or Nasir Adderley (Delaware) in the second round.


Among a group that features Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore, the 49ers should pluck out two starters and good depth. But there are enough questions about each of those four players that should prompt the 49ers to look hard at this position in the draft again.

Sherman is a bit of a mystery. He did not appear to be moving nearly as well as he did during his time with the Seahawks. That is understandable, considering he was returning from a torn Achilles. But Sherman was never really challenged because the 49ers had such large issues on the other side.

Verrett is a starter, but he has been unable to remain healthy. Witherspoon and Moore, the team’s most-recent third-round picks, have the size and skills to be reliable NFL starters. Now, they have to prove it through consistency.

Offensive line

The starting offensive line appears solid with tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, guards Laken Tomlinson and Mike Person, and center Weston Richburg. The 49ers need to cover themselves with better depth.

Guard is a spot where a newcomer can step in and conceivably beat out Person and Joshua Garnett. The 49ers could use a mid-round pick on a versatile lineman who could start off at guard and eventually transition into tackle.

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Other needs

Outside linebacker: Malcolm Smith and Mark Nzeocha are in line at the team’s starting strongside linebacker. More competition could be on the way.

Tight end: The 49ers would like to bring in a tight end to serve as George Kittle’s backup or pair with him in two-TE formations.

Punter: Bradley Pinion signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent. Justin Vogel, who was out of the NFL last season, is the only punter on the roster. Day 3 could be the spot for the 49ers to draft a replacement.

Kicker: Robbie Gould is conceivably locked up. But the 49ers showed that they are at least entertaining the thought of bringing in someone else when they showed interest in New England’s Stephen Gostkowski before the Patriots re-signed him.