Here’s what 49ers interim coach Mike Singletary had to say during the Q&A after the 49ers’ 29-24 loss to the Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.:
Q: Can you talk about the sequence at the end of the game, the play call, why Michael Robinson from the 2 ½ yard line on the final play of the game?
Singletary: You know what, I really don’t know. I think Coach Martz felt that there would be a cavity inside, so he made that call.
Q: Could you have handled the final seconds better?
Singletary: I do. I think we could’ve done a heck of a lot better job. I talked to the referee on a couple of those. For whatever reason, we weren’t quite set. It looked like Shaun (Hill) was taking all day, but we had to get guys aligned right or it’s a penalty. So we had to wait on the guys to come before he could spike it.
Q: That was the confusing part. (Jason) Hill catches the ball to the 1-yard line with 40 seconds left and you don’t get another play off until there’s 20 seconds left. What happened?
Singletary: The only thing I can say about that particular time is you have guys that were trying to get back to the line of scrimmage. Shaun was trying to get the call in time, and trying to get everything settled. We lost about 10-12 seconds at that time, which was ridiculous, but it happened.
Q: Mike, what are the emotions you’re feeling right now? You played a lot better than two weeks ago against the team that’s leading the division. But then what happens at the end of the game. How do you grasp what happened out there?
Singletary: I’ll tell you exactly how. I came in and just basically told the team what it is. We’re that team right now that got ourselves up and ready to go. We have a vision that we believe in, thoroughly. But that vision is not yet carried through. The first one is ball control. We did not do that. I got to give them (
Q: Were you happy with the intensity and the mindset you saw throughout the game?
Singletary: How do I say this? I can’t say ‘happy’ because I didn’t expect anything different. It’s not like we go out there and go, ‘Wow, you guys are playing hard.’ If we don’t get that, I might as well go home. I’d just say that we got to grow up. If we want to be a great team, we have to finish. We have the other part coming. The guys are playing hard and they are focused. But that’s not good enough. They know that; I know that. It just tears your heart out. So in these next seven weeks, we got to refocus, come back , , , you think it took character for this week – this is exactly what I told them – it’s going to take character for this week coming up. We got to go get it done. It’s as simple as that. It’s very frustrating and very difficult to put into words everything I feel. I’m being very calm, OK? – to say the least.
Q: Could this game be so demoralizing that you have a carryover? Or is that your job to make sure it doesn’t do that?
Singletary: That’s my job. There will be no carryover. Carryover to what? We’ll be fine. We got a great group of guys in there who want to win. But we just got to learn how to win. That’s it.
Q: How did you feel about how
Singletary: I just told him, ‘Great catch, let’s remember to be smart.’ And that was it.
Q: How do you characterize the penalties. There were a lot of penalties where the refs changed their minds?
Singletary: I can’t even begin to go there because I have to look at it myself. It was happening so fast and there were so many things going on, so I don’t want to go to the officiating side of it and say anything because I have to look at it and sit down and analyze it. There’s too much going on. It felt like it got crazy and got out of hand at the end of the game, at the most critical time of the game. That’s when it got sloppy. That’s all I can say about that.
Q: With Shaun Hill, the run he had with his helmet off, the touchdowns he had, but the turnovers in the second half. How do you sort out what kind of performance you got out of your quarterback?
Singletary: Shaun wants it. He’s trying to make something happen. He goes back and we’re driving down the field and thought he saw a guy open and tries to throw the ball underneath. If he gets it to the guy, ‘Hey, great play, he makes something happen’ and you love the guy. But it didn’t happen that way, so it’s ‘What a dumb idiotic thing to do at such a critical time.’ Shaun is a blue-collar guy. I love Shaun. I think Shaun was trying to do everything he possibly could to do it the right way. So, it’s a shame that it ended the way it did. I have no apologies. All I’m going to say is the same thing I told them: My heart is torn out because we lost, obviously. But it also tells me something else: We just have to learn how to finish football games. All the other stuff is right there. All the other stuff is right there. But we cannot do the things – giving the ball away – we cannot do it and give us a chance to win.