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Lovie Smith regrets non-challenge, candidate for biggest coaching gaffe of the season

In a Redskins-Bears game that looked like a three hour edition of “NFL Follies,” perhaps the most egregious error came from Bears coach Lovie Smith.

In Monday’s Ten-Pack, Florio did a good job explaining how Smith failed to challenge a Jay Cutler fumble at the goal line. (And if Florio didn’t do a good job, I’d have to say so anyway per PFT bylaws.)  The play almost certainly would have been overruled and called a touchdown. 

Smith admitted his error on Monday.

“You guys want to know about that on whether I should have thrown the
red flag on the 1-yard fumble down by the end zone,” Smith said per Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times

“Yes, I should have,
looking at it of course in hindsight. Normally if there
is a critical situation, I throw it whether I have a good look or not on
it. Didn’t have a great look on it. I understand the reason why, but
that was a critical play in the game.  I need to be able to make that call.”

This was the most unforgivable coaching mistake of the year. The non-challenge was the biggest play in the game.  A successful challenge would have given the Bears a 21-10 lead.

It’s insane to think Smith didn’t challenge the play at home, especially when you consider one likely factor in his decision.

We think Smith didn’t challenge the play largely because he lost a bad challenge on the play before. He essentially was flustered and didn’t want to look bad and lose all his challenges on back-to-back plays.

On the play before, Smith challenged the ruling of the spot of the ball on a 48-yard completion to Earl Bennett, even though he was set up with a first-and-goal at the one-yard-line.  That says a lot about the confidence he has in his offensive line.

His players probably feel the same about Smith’s ability to make critical game management decisions in the heat of the moment.

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41 Responses to “Lovie Smith regrets non-challenge, candidate for biggest coaching gaffe of the season”
  1. football maven says: Oct 25, 2010 5:06 PM

    Has anybody actually ever seen Lovey do any coaching on the sidelines? When the camera catches him, he’s always staring up at the big screen.

  2. Bell63 says: Oct 25, 2010 5:12 PM

    Thats exactly why he did, which is yet another reason that Lovie is a bad coach.

  3. BillW says: Oct 25, 2010 5:15 PM

    “Didn’t have a great look on it.” Well of course not! You’d have to be at the goal line to have a good look at it. What a fool.

  4. riverhorse says: Oct 25, 2010 5:15 PM

    he shouldn’t have to see the play at all. Some assistant should be looking at it in the box and Cutler should of been able to make the call for him as well.

  5. mattgso says: Oct 25, 2010 5:16 PM

    No we want Lovely-Smith and Jay “Jeff-George-Junior” Cutler to stay in Chicago for a long time!

  6. heyguru says: Oct 25, 2010 5:18 PM

    Lovie can take 2nd Place. Runner Up. Miss Congeniality. The biggest coaching gaffe of 2010 is Jerry Jones allowing Haystacks Calhoun to continue to “coach” the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a combination head-scratcher/butt-scratcher if ever there was one….

  7. Bordner says: Oct 25, 2010 5:18 PM

    As long as Lovie’s in Chicago, Chilly’s in E Dakota and the Lions are the Lions, the Packers will be perennial favorites in the NFC North.

  8. joetoronto says: Oct 25, 2010 5:22 PM

    Fire the bastard.

  9. omegalh says: Oct 25, 2010 5:24 PM

    Cutler and a 3rd for Orton. Dial it up Lovie.

  10. ninjapleazee says: Oct 25, 2010 5:26 PM

    Jim Harbaugh should coach the Bears in 2011

  11. 90ragtop says: Oct 25, 2010 5:26 PM

    “In a Redskins-Bears game that looked like a three hour edition of “NFL Follies,” perhaps the most egregious error came from Bears coach Lovie Smith.”
    ********************
    How in the world did anyone even notice? Those have to be the two most unwatchable teams in football.

  12. steve grogan says: Oct 25, 2010 5:26 PM

    MM in GB belongs with Lovie and Chilly. He is horrible.

  13. ringworm says: Oct 25, 2010 5:27 PM

    At least we know now that the Steelers didn’t get their gratuitous call at the goal line because of some coaching equality decision by the NFL
    So leaves me to ponder, is Lovie as mentally incapacitated as the same named character on Gilligan’s Island? For GAWD SAKES man, if you don’t want the gig in Chicago any longer JUST QUIT!!!

  14. BillW says: Oct 25, 2010 5:31 PM

    Bordner – that’s how bad it’s gotten in Chicago. I’m starting to want the Packers to win the division.

  15. AFCroxNFCsox says: Oct 25, 2010 5:32 PM

    This just makes up for the Calvin Johnson gift in Detroit. Get over it.

  16. Plankshelmet says: Oct 25, 2010 5:36 PM

    71 days until the Lovie/Angelo era comes to an end. Angelo is the real problem but at this point they both need to go.

  17. theMistofer says: Oct 25, 2010 5:36 PM

    Could be worse…Norv could be the bears coach

  18. SkolVikings says: Oct 25, 2010 5:40 PM

    I could not believe Lovie wouldn’t challenge that goalline push. Haynesworth made a ridiculous play on that, but replays showed Cutler pushed the ball across the plane. It would have been reversed on replay. Lovie’s assistants let him down there by not buzzing him to throw the challenge flag.

  19. Switch1 says: Oct 25, 2010 5:42 PM

    Stop crying Rosen-dweeb, Because you and Flubbio pick the Redskins to lose every week and it doesn’t happen. And to think you have a fanatsy football show, heh, glad I don’t listen to your picks~

  20. jesse_james1 says: Oct 25, 2010 5:44 PM

    looking forward to when the fudge packers come to Detroit yeah baby show me the money

  21. iusedtobeteddybayer says: Oct 25, 2010 5:52 PM

    Can’t count on Cutler to advise; with a Vandy education he was 22 befoe he knew/consulted his medical problems.
    Don’t we all know people too smart for their own good? Bear fans do.
    Again a grown man with bangs…I’m just sayin’…

  22. Tim Couch says says: Oct 25, 2010 5:53 PM

    Haynesworth knifed through there and blew that sh!t up. Kreutz was all rolling around on the ground looking for a weight to hit Haynesworth with since that was the only way he was going to stop him. I can’t blame Lovie for not wanting to waste a challenge on it.

  23. skinsfan703 says: Oct 25, 2010 6:06 PM

    It’s not Lovies job to decide to throw the challenge flag… The coaches upstairs who have TVs with all angle replays, they are supposed to tell lovie to throw it so they messed it up

  24. Trojohn says: Oct 25, 2010 6:07 PM

    Don’t you all know by now that INTERIM Coach Lovie Smith listens to elevator music in that headset he wears on the sideline? Reason number infinity why Lovie Smith, Jerry Angelo and Ted Phillips (aka Curly, Jerry & Moe) MUST be fired at season’s end.

  25. stunzeed2 says: Oct 25, 2010 6:13 PM

    Even if they would have scored; they would have eventually lost anyhow…..that’s how bad Cutler was.
    Water under the bridge; Skins’ are 4-3 and could be on top of the NFC East if the Failboys somehow get the stars to align correctly and beat the Giants.
    But they won’t. :(

  26. bmckay says: Oct 25, 2010 6:17 PM

    This is Lovey covering up for an assistant coach. Not to lessen his level of incompetence, but it should at least warrant a mention when you pretend to know what is actually behind his comments.

  27. 757 says: Oct 25, 2010 6:21 PM

    “Lovie can take 2nd Place. Runner Up. Miss Congeniality. The biggest coaching gaffe of 2010 is Jerry Jones allowing Haystacks Calhoun to continue to “coach” the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a combination head-scratcher/butt- scratcher if ever there was one….”
    I thought you were going to bring up the genius play at the end of the first half against the Skins…not taking a knee, losing the ball for a touchdown the Skins way…..

  28. dscjmc says: Oct 25, 2010 6:38 PM

    This guy is a buffoon! He stands on the sideline game after game with that same lost look on his face. Bring in The Chin!

  29. esox66 says: Oct 25, 2010 6:53 PM

    the best weapon the Packers, Vikings and Lions have is Lovie Smith….although it will never happen, NOW is the time for another NFL franchise in Chicago.

  30. JimmySmith says: Oct 25, 2010 6:59 PM

    Technically you are correct, it was the biggest coaching gaffe of the season. All the way up to the Sunday night game when Clueless Col Klink let a Packer’s TD stand due to a non challenge.
    The difference is that the Bears are in first place and could afford a gaffe at this stage of the season, the Vikings are struggling just to win a few games and could not afford Klink’s sheer stupidity, even at the $4 million salary . Ziggy must have a lot of money because he is paying his QB $20 million to throw 10 INT’s so obviously performance is not relative to the salaries he pays.

  31. NationalFelonLeague.com © says: Oct 25, 2010 7:50 PM

    Another Dungy protege. Stand on sideline and pretend like you know what you’re doing. Caldwell – the Silent Man – another wonderful protege listening to his IPod during the game.

  32. Champ Kind says: Oct 25, 2010 7:51 PM

    More importantly, you also cost me my game in Fantasy this week, Lovie, you spineless %&#$. From a rushing TD to a Fumble is an 8 point swing.
    Thanks a lot.

  33. Little Tommy says: Oct 25, 2010 8:05 PM

    Try to be patient with Lovie. 5 or 10 more years, he might get the hang of the job. Right now, he’s rather clueless, as is the rest of the Bears organization!

  34. Little Tommy says: Oct 25, 2010 8:10 PM

    This guy is a buffoon! He stands on the sideline game after game with that same lost look on his face. Bring in The Chin!
    *******************************************
    You’re right. He stands there and stares up at whatever he stares at. When was the last time we actually saw him TALK to anybody along the sidelines??? That stoneface lost look is starting to remind me of Dick Jauron. LOL. He did the same thing. Hopefully we’ll get the same disposition of this guy cause he’s truly clueless.

  35. CliveRush says: Oct 25, 2010 8:17 PM

    Bill Belichick has been asking the league to install a system that alerts the refs once the ball breaks the plane of the goal line. A camera on the goal line, sensors in the ball and ground anything, but do something to stop the need to review the play. If the ball breaks the plane a coach has no way of knowing and has to rely on the players or if he is lucky, a camera angle. The teams do not have to have a camera on the goal line to this day. Just plain dumb.

  36. Little Tommy says: Oct 25, 2010 8:33 PM

    It was real nice of Cutler to stand upright so he could get clobbered in there. Don’t they teach you (in high schoo or maybe even pee wee) to get low and get underneath all that oncoming humantiy??? He gets in and Lovie’s challenge/non-challenge is academic. YIKES. Besides, they’ve got Forte and they paid a boatload for Chester Taylor. Don’t we have a back that can get us a yard??? If not, kiss this season goodbye.

  37. winslow says: Oct 25, 2010 8:43 PM

    Another example of a terrific coordinator who was promoted to a job that is beyond his level of competence.

  38. OrtonsNeckBeard says: Oct 25, 2010 8:50 PM

    Out with Lovie, in with The Chin.

  39. theposse says: Oct 25, 2010 9:08 PM

    Has anyone even seen the play? It was close – too close not to challenge. But, it wasn’t a touchdown. No way the ruling on the field gets overturned.

  40. Philtration says: Oct 25, 2010 9:12 PM

    Lovie is this bad every week.
    He was this bad in the Super Bowl.
    Halas never intended his daughter or grandson to run the team.
    It was Virginia’s brother George Halas Jr. who was going to take over but he died and it all fell into the old lady’s lap.
    She and her son Mike were born into the team and they have done nothing other than survive childbirth.
    She likes Ted Phillips because he got the city of Chicago to pay for most of the renovations to Soldier Field (giving the Bears the smallest seating capacity in the NFL)
    Phillips does not know a thing about football so he keeps Jerry Angelo around to run the show.
    Angelo has no business running a team and got the job after the McCaskeys found him through a head hunter.
    No bullshit.
    They hired a consultant and they unearthed Jerry Angelo.
    Angelo keeps Lovie around because he is also clueless and a real NFL coach would strangle him for the idiotic draft decisions that he has made. He is just another version of Dick Jauron.
    Lovie is a so called defensive coach that wants the team to be a reincarnation of the Rams team that was all offense while he was there.
    He likes undersized quick players because he is too stupid to realize that he is no longer playing on the carpet under the dome in St. Louis but in the grass, snow and cold in Chicago.
    A finesse team where power is needed. He wants to drive a little sports car when he needs a 4-wheel drive truck.
    This is the same problem he has with Cutler. They are running the wrong system for his talent.
    Still trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.
    This group of clowns should have been shown the door after last year but there is no one at the top that can make that decision but an 87 year old woman.

  41. milly1842 says: Oct 27, 2010 6:21 PM

    I was at the game, and they showed 2 replays on the big screen that cutler was clearly in. The crowd was livid at lovie. There’s no forgiving this one

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