SANTA CLARA -- In carefully chosen words, no doubt designed to avoid a league reprimand, 49ers coach Mike Nolan said Monday he wasn't blaming Sunday's 37-16 loss to Pittsburgh on the officiating, but did direct one of his aides to contact NFL headquarters about a critical call in the game.
"The officials did not cost us the game," Nolan said at his weekly news conference. "We lost to Pittsburgh. However, NFL coaches and players are held accountable to a very high standard and level of performance. When we do not meet those standards, we are criticized by the media, fans and general public. That criticism makes us better."
Nolan's comment was in reference to a pass play in the third quarter that the 49ers thought was a clear catch by tight end Vernon Davis at the Steelers' 10-yard line.
With the 49ers trailing by 11 points, Davis, who was injured on the play, appeared to make a tumbling reception. The play, however, was ruled an incompletion by referee Gerry Austin when the ball slipped from Davis' grasp as he hit the ground after making contact with safety Troy Polamalu.
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COUNTY TARGETS VICK -- The prosecutor in the rural county where Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation plans to present "a host of bills of indictment" regarding the case to a grand jury today.
Surry County (Va.) Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter couldn't detail the exact indictments he will pursue, but said the local investigation and the federal investigation largely focus on different crimes. Vick, his co-defendants and lawyers will not attend the closed proceeding.
QUICK HITTERS -- Falcons coach Bobby Petrino said cornerback DeAngelo Hall faces "substantial discipline" that may include a suspension following his meltdown on the field and on the sideline against Carolina. ... Texans defensive tackle Cedric Killings was able to stand in the hospital Monday and doctors are confident he'll soon be walking, a day after he left the field on a stretcher after a headfirst collision with Indianapolis receiver Roy Hall. ... Bills tight end Kevin Everett lifted his right arm for the first time Sunday, a day after sitting up in bed for four hours, said Dr.Teodoro Castillo, his attending physician. ... Rams running back Steven Jackson will miss at least one week with a partial tear of his left groin. ... Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander has a cracked bone in his left wrist but will continue to play with a protective cast, coach Mike Holmgren said. ... Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny's season is over with a broken left forearm.
Bee news services contributed to this report.