Here’s the transcript of a phone interview Sunday night between pool reporter Tim Booth of the Associated Press and Al Riveron, senior vice president of officiating, who leads the video review team in New York, regarding the final two Seahawks offensive plays in the 49ers’ 26-21 win at the Clink.
Q: Can you explain why there was no review for pass interference in the end zone on the third-down incompletion on the pass intended for Jacob Hollister?
A: Based on what we saw (on video review), we didn’t see enough to stop the game. But we did review it. We see the offensive player come in and initiate contact on the defensive player — nothing that rises to the level of a foul (that) significantly hindered he defender. Nothing that is clear and obvious through visual evidence. The defender then braces himself. And there is contact by the defender on the receiver. Again, nothing which rises to the level of a foul based on visual evidence. Nothing happens that rises to the level of a foul while the ball is in the air before it gets to either player.
Q: Can you explain what you saw on the final Seahawks play about whether Hollister broke the plane prior to hitting the ground?
A: The ruling on the field was that of a fumble and then recovered by the defense and run back, so we have to let the play play out. Remember, we start with the premise that the ruling on the field is correct. So we stopped that play and we look at several things.
No. 1, is it a catch? We confirmed that it was a catch. No. 2, does he break the plane of the goal line prior to being contacted and being down by contact? He is contacted. We see that he maintains control of the football when he hits the ground. Additionally, he doesn’t break the plane of the goal line. So now he’s contacted, he’s short of he goal line, and he’s on the ground, which means the play is over. There is no fumble. So we reverse it to down by contact and short. At which point there are nine seconds left in the game and the ball turns over on downs. The defense takes over. First and 10 coming out inside the one-yard line.