Jimmy Smith: I didn’t interfere, Michael Crabtree ran into me
On the 49ers last drive of Super Bowl XLVII, some fans and players thought Baltimore Ravens corner back Jimmy Smith interfered with Michael Crabtree. The play was controversial enough that head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke about the play during the press conference after the game. However, if you ask Ravens corner back Jimmy Smith, the referees made the right call not throwing a flag on that play.
“He ran directly into me,” Smith said of Crabtree in an interview on ESPN 102.3 in Denver, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I had inside leverage. He ran into me. So once he did that and tried to push off . . . I had to make contact. That was on him. He didn’t run a fade; he didn’t get away. He could have just ran and pivoted out or faded away from the ball, but he didn’t. He ran into me so he could make contact to push off to create separation, and I didn’t let that happen.”
Smith went on to say that Crabtree plays the game physically and any corner that is asked to cover him must stand his ground.
“He likes to run into you and then push you off,” Smith said. “I’m kind of taught to not let that happen. . . . And that’s the kind of way the game was played that day so the refs just let it play out that way.”
After watching the play multiple times, Smith still does not think he deserved to be flagged.
“If you look at the play closely, you see him kind of push off of my helmet immediately. So as a DB, what do you do?” Smith said. “If he’s pushing off you’ve got to make sure you got some type of grip so he doesn’t push off of you. If I never touch him at all and he catches the ball, then it’d be San Francisco winning and why didn’t Jimmy make that play? So I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
Of course, if you ask San Francisco 49ers fans that play was a penalty and should have been flagged.