Coach criticizes officiating in loss to 49ers

Updated: November 3, 2003, 8:36 PM ET
ESPN

ST. LOUIS -- Even after a 20-point loss, St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz couldn't resist sounding off about the officiating.

Martz criticized a handful of calls in Sunday's 30-10 loss to the 49ers, and also had a lengthy telephone conversation with the NFL's director of officiating, Mike Pereira, earlier in the day. At the top of his list were an offside call on a first-quarter kickoff that nullified a fumble recovery, and a roughing-the-passer call on Tyoka Jackson in the second quarter.

Martz said he ran a replay of the offside call "about 100 times" and couldn't see a violation. Apparently, Joffrey Reynolds, who recovered the ball at the 49ers 9, was the player whistled for the infraction.

"I guess if you had one of those things at the finish line, one of those photo (finish) deals, maybe that would be a little bit clearer to me," Martz said. "I think it's awfully close and to call it, who knows?"

Jackson was penalized for lifting 49ers quarterback Tim Rattay in the air and then driving him to the ground in the second uarter. Replays showed Rattay jumped to make the throw before Jackson ran into him, and the 49ers ended up getting a field goal for a 17-3 lead.

"The ball was just leaving his hand when Tyoka hit him, and you don't know if that ball's gone or not," Martz said. "There was nothing wrong with that hit. In my opinion it was not the correct call."

Martz also was miffed he had to use a challenge to have Torry Holt's first-down reception count in the first quarter.

The coach said he wasn't worried about talking about the problems, even though Ravens coach Brian Billick was fined $15,000 for criticizing the referees.

"It's not the fine so much I'm worried about, not that I've got the money to pay it or anything," Martz said. "I do appreciate the job they're trying to do and I'm not here to be really critical of the officials, I just felt there were some situations in this game that were not good."<

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