49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reveals feelings on new pass interference rule

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reveals feelings on new pass interference rule

It's a play that will go down in history, all because a referee completely missed an obvious pass interference and kept his flag in his pocket. 

With the score tied 20-20 and just under two minutes left in the 2019 NFC Championship Game, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball reached the wideout. But there was no penalty, and nothing Saints coach Sean Payton could do about it. 

The Rams wound up winning the game to advance to Super Bowl LIII, causing quite the uproar in New Orleans and beyond. Such an obvious missed call led to the NFL implementing replay review for pass interference starting this upcoming season. 

"I don't think it will be as big of a deal as people think, because they've made it to where it's gotta be so obvious ... it has to be so clear that it's gonna be hard to change much," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said in an interview with NBC Sports' Peter King. 

Coaches now have a chance to use a challenge flag on plays where they believe pass interference occurred prior to the two-minute warning of each half and overtime. The new rule states that PI reviews after the two-minute mark and during overtime will be initiated by the replay official. The replay official only will stop the game when there is "clear and obvious visual evidence" that a penalty may or may not have occurred.

"When there's a PI called, you're probably always gonna be able to see something where someone's touching a jersey or something like that. And if you do that, then you can live with the PI," Shanahan said. "They won't be able to overturn it. So it's just gonna have to be a blatant bad call or missed call to be able to overturn it, and usually, those don't happen a ton." 

[RELATED: Why Kittle strives to be like 49ers teammate Sherman]

King said he's talked to some coaches around the league who will use someone in the coaches' booth specifically to look for pass interference. That won't be the case for the 49ers. 

Shanahan and his staff already have a coach in the booth who is assigned to anything that deals with replay. The new rule will just be another task on the coach's plate. 

While the rule is bound to raise some eyebrows at some point, Shanahan clearly doesn't envision catastrophic changes.

Ravens' John Harbaugh reacts to 49ers' Tim Ryan's Lamar Jackson remarks


Ravens' John Harbaugh reacts to 49ers' Tim Ryan's Lamar Jackson remarks

49ers broadcaster Tim Ryan was suspended for one game after comments made about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson following Sunday’s loss.

“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with the dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see the thing,” Ryan said on the show (H/T The San Francisco Chronicle).

The comments created a social media firestorm, but Ravens head coach John Harbaugh isn’t interested in furthering the controversy.

“I don’t really know too much about it or understand the context of it. It’s not relevant to what we’re trying to accomplish right now,” Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.

[RELATED: 49ers' Harris to start at strong safety for injured Tartt]

Former 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown will replace Ryan on Sunday’s broadcast in New Orleans.

49ers injury report: Marcell Harris to start in place of Jaquiski Tartt

49ers injury report: Marcell Harris to start in place of Jaquiski Tartt

BRADENTON, Fla. – Marcell Harris on Sunday will be back where he ended his rookie season with the 49ers.

Harris will take over as the 49ers’ starter at strong safety with Jaquiski Tartt out for at least one game after sustaining cracked ribs in the team’s 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13.

Tartt and backup defensive tackle Jullian Taylor (elbow) have been ruled out for the 49ers’ game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Two of the 49ers’ seldom-used wide receivers, Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis, are listed as questionable, along with left tackle Joe Staley. Goodwin has knee and foot issues, according to the team, while Pettis has already missed one game with a knee injury.

Staley has missed three games after surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated finger. He is expected to play Sunday.

All other 49ers players, including Dee Ford and Richard Sherman, will be available for Sunday’s game.

Harris started the final five games of his rookie season after being a sixth-round draft pick from Florida in 2018. He did not earn a spot on the team’s 53-man roster at the beginning of this season. Harris was promoted from the practice squad in October and has appeared in nine games this season.

“I’m real happy for Marcell,” coach Kyle Shanahan said on "49ers Game Plan," which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3). “He’s gone come a long way, in that he was a very good college player, tore his Achilles his senior year, which really hurt him. That’s why we were able to get him in the draft. It affected him his whole rookie year.

"He’s been able to string together about eight months where he has been healthy, and when you’re made of the right stuff, you have the talent and you can stay healthy, you usually just need the time.”

Harris took over for Tartt on Sunday and made one of the top plays in the game when he took the ball away from Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on a running play to create a turnover.

[RELATED: Sanders has been valuable resource for 49ers' young WRs]

49ers injury report

S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs)
DT Jullian Taylor (elbow)

WR Marquise Goodwin (knee, foot)
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
T Joe Staley (finger)