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Jim Schwartz rips "bone-headed play"

Just before halftime of Sunday’s Lions-Ravens game, Lions return man Aaron Brown picked up a Ravens kickoff that was bouncing toward the pylon at the 1-yard line. He got tackled at the 4-yard line for a three-yard return, costing the Lions either 16 yards or 36 yards, depending on whether the ball would have crossed the goal line or the sideline first.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz wasn’t pleased. In fact, he was so displeased that he wouldn’t even allow a Detroit News reporter to finish asking him about it during his press conference Monday.

The bone-headed play at the end of the first half?” Schwartz asked when the reporter started to bring up Brown’s return.

Yes, coach, the bone-headed play. What did you think of it?

“There are a lot of different things you can do in that situation, of which we have covered every one of his options right there,” Schwartz said. “One option is to establish yourself out of bounds and then touch the ball. In that case the ball is out of bounds and we get the ball on the 40-yard line. The other thing would be to let it play, and if it went out of bounds then obviously it goes out of bounds. If it goes in the end zone, then take a knee and we get the ball on the 20, and at least we have a chance.”

Brown is a rookie running back who has shown flashes of talent this season, but Schwartz pulled him from the game after that, and he said it’s possible Brown has lost his job as the Lions’ kick returner.

“I don’t want to say it’s his last chance, but sometimes another chance doesn’t come — let’s put it that way,” Schwartz said. “You know, you can’t count on another chance coming. When Wally Pipp called in sick, Lou Gehrig took over.”

It’s doubtful the Lions have a backup kick returner who’s going to prove himself worthy of any comparisons to Lou Gehrig, the former Columbia University football player who also dabbled in a little baseball. But point taken: If you’re a pro athlete, you don’t want your coach comparing you to Wally Pipp. Or calling you a bonehead.

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12 Responses to “Jim Schwartz rips "bone-headed play"”
  1. realityonetwo says: Dec 15, 2009 1:19 PM

    Sure, blame the rookie when your team gets outplayed, out-coached and clearly out-prepared.
    I think Schwartz was referring to himself getting “Pipped” out of town as his team continues to get pummeled.

  2. eagledan says: Dec 15, 2009 1:20 PM

    Didn’t see the play, but what if the ball didn’t go out of bounds. But took a funny hop into the end zone away from the return man. Isn’t the kickoff still a live ball that can be recovered by the kicking team.

  3. RickeyRick says: Dec 15, 2009 1:40 PM

    You can argue that the rookie, knowing how poor the team for which he plays is, realized that HE had a better chance of surprising the defense and scoring himself than the offense would have from the 20 OR the 40.

  4. leatherneck says: Dec 15, 2009 1:56 PM

    Sure, blame the coach when he has 15 men on injured reserve.

  5. jliskiew says: Dec 15, 2009 2:02 PM

    realityonetwo:
    Not quite sure how Schwartz’s quotes translate into solely blaming Brown for the loss… And if you think Detroit is losing because of poor coaching, then you haven’t looked at the “talent” on their roster lately…

  6. af16 says: Dec 15, 2009 2:04 PM

    I saw the play. There was NO WAY it was going anywhere other than out of bounds or end zone, and it was almost certainly going out of bounds. It WAS a boneheaded play.

  7. crispy says: Dec 15, 2009 2:10 PM

    Every return man should be forced to practice the “establish yourself out of bounds and touch the ball” play.

  8. sand0 says: Dec 15, 2009 2:11 PM

    Rookie players make rookie mistakes. The coach shouldn’t bash him. If the guy wasn’t ready, then it was either the coaching staff’s fault for putting him in there or coaching him well enough for him to be ready.
    Lions suck and get outplayed every week. Why blow up over a rookie mistake? Perhaps to draw attention away from the fact that the team just doesn’t play well.

  9. zod says: Dec 15, 2009 2:24 PM

    If I were a Lions fan, I would take hope in the fact that I now have a real football coach.

  10. MSWRavens says: Dec 15, 2009 2:27 PM

    leatherneck – Jim Schwartz is originally from Baltimore, coached for the Ravens, and is highly respected in these parts. I want nothing more than to see the man succeed and lead the Lions to glory…truthfully…but you can’t blame the 15 men on IR. We had more than that last year and made it to the AFC Championship game. Every team has a ton of injuries to deal with. The Lions have some great pieces in place, and with a couple more good drafts and sticking with Schwartz (and the Fords definitlely give their personnel time to succeed) I think he’ll be fine!

  11. ShadowWind says: Dec 15, 2009 3:11 PM

    Not being a fan of Baseball; Since the only way I know Lou Gehrig’s name is because of “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, I think I’d rather remain a nobody named Wally Pipp.

  12. Route36West says: Dec 15, 2009 11:21 PM

    “One option is to establish yourself out of bounds and then touch the ball. In that case the ball is out of bounds and we get the ball on the 40-yard line”
    Is that true? If it is Im schocked. Im not schocked that it would bring the ball out to the 40. Im schocked that I didnt know that. Its probly been a good 6 years since I have learned something new about football. I thought I knew everything when it comes to the rules.
    I knew if the ball went out of bounds it comes out to the 40 unless it goes out of bounds before 40 then it goes to the spot that it went out of bounds. I just didnt know that if your established out of bounds and you grab the ball its still considered an illegal procedure.
    I just dont think it makes sense you shouldnt be allowed to touch the ball when your out of bounds and help you advance the ball. If anything if your out of bounds and you grab the ball the ball should be spotted where you took it out of bounds.
    Who knows if its true then ok I learned something. Also if its true I think its 1 of the worst rules in the NFL. And if its not true then good I would hope the NFL wouldnt make a rule like that.

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