Mariucci Takes Blame, Learns
November 12 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Steve Mariucci lost control of the game at the end of the first half against the Chiefs. It was the first time the coach looked more suited to coach the Bengals than the 49ers. Composure? There was none, and the result was an interception instead of at least three points.
With minimal time left on the clock, Steve Mariucci lost control on the referee after a poor ball spot, and then a prolonged process of setting the ball up. Mariucci burned a timeout just to yell at the referee after the 49ers had spiked the ball to stop the clock. With the clock ticked down to seven seconds, the instructions were not made clear for Garcia to throw the ball away if there was nothing there. Garcia tried to make something happen as the clock ticked down to 00:00 and the 49ers were left up by four instead of at least seven.
After the game Mariucci took full blame for the situation. "I learned something today, I concerned myself too much with the official at the end of the half. I was trying to get back some time on the clock and to no avail. I need to stay in better communication with Jeff and Greg on what we are going to do. We had a plan. There were instructions. And I let it go. I need to make it even more clear as to what the instructions are."
The issues carried into the locker room too, and full concentration was not applied on getting into the end zone. Luckily the defensive staff had a very productive half time meeting. "I made a throw I shouldn't have made," Garcia said. "I can't say what I said on the field. That play is just not typical of me. It's not the way I play football. But I can't compound a mistake by making a worse mistake. It's one of those things you try to put behind you, but the whole halftime I was fuming. That should not have happened."
The 49ers learned something this past weekend. Itís a mistake that wonít likely be repeated and a mistake that Iíve never seen Mariucci or his team make before. ďI have to take full responsibility," Mariucci said. "We are all still disappointed how that play at the end of the half turned out. You have to let it go. That's something you have to do mentally. We needed to shake it off and have short-term memory."
Normally the 49ers are a very composed and focused team. Now they will know how to handle each situation properly. Even the timeout Mariucci spent would not have been effective even if the referees agreed with him, the 9ers had run a play, and nothing can be changed after that point. There were clearly errors at this point of the game, but the 49ers biggest problem was not being able to regain their composure and put points up on the board in the second half of the game. Donít expect to see this team lose site of their goal again.