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PFT Planet poll: The Jim Schwartz rule

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On Thanksgiving, millions of football fans learned something surprising about the NFL’s rules: When a coach throws a challenge flag on a play that the referee was automatically going to review, it nullifies the replay review. So when Lions coach Jim Schwartz challenged an obviously botched call by the officials that gave the Texans a touchdown, the Texans got to keep that touchdown, even though the replay made clear that Texans running back Justin Forsett was down after seven yards of an 81-yard run.

But that rule will no longer exist if the NFL’s owners accept the Competition Committee’s recommendation: The Competition Committee is asking the owners to allow referees to go ahead and review a play when a coach wrongly throws his challenge flag. Under the proposal, the team whose coach wrongly threw a flag will be penalized, but the play will still be reviewed.

The owners will vote on the proposed rule at this week’s league meeting in Arizona. This is your opportunity to tell the owners what you think. Take our poll and post your thoughts in the comments.

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51 Responses to “PFT Planet poll: The Jim Schwartz rule”
  1. lgbarn says: Mar 17, 2013 1:25 PM

    You don’t have to be a Lions fan, I certainly am not, to know that this rule needed to be corrected.

  2. bennyb82 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:25 PM

    How about sensors in the knee pads and elbow pads that are triggered when that part of the body touches the turf?

  3. blueballz77 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:26 PM

    If a play is going to be reviewed what is the difference if the coach throws s challenge flag destroy the rule!!!!

  4. nomoreseasontix says: Mar 17, 2013 1:27 PM

    The NFL is getting to be like the government.
    More rules!
    The rules won’t matter if they don’t use competent, full time officials.
    Jerome Boger?!?

  5. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:28 PM

    As long as the coach still get a delay of game and loses the time out for the ‘challenge’ whether the call is overturned or not, that’s all it needs.

  6. zclorz says: Mar 17, 2013 1:31 PM

    Ravens world champs baby!!!

    (just trolling like all Raven fans)

  7. riverhorsey says: Mar 17, 2013 1:31 PM

    What is the purpose of a rule like that anyway PFT???

  8. cullimon says: Mar 17, 2013 1:31 PM

    It shouldn’t b a rule. 15 yards assessed on the kickoff or added to the run back

  9. modellforprez says: Mar 17, 2013 1:32 PM

    wonder if schwartz’s tongue is still stuck to that flag pole? its only been what 40 years…

  10. rl52hof says: Mar 17, 2013 1:33 PM

    The only reason I liked this rule is because of the irony of it looking back to last year when Scwartz was taunting Jim Harbaugh by yelling, “KNOW THE RULES!!” from across the field.

    Other than that, it’s gotta go.

  11. wattsrmyline says: Mar 17, 2013 1:35 PM

    Those must be Obama voters that vote NOT SURE

  12. thebigkahuna23 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:36 PM

    I am completely for changing the rule. I however do no support appeasing the few coaches who are stupid enough to violate the rule.

    There should be no excuse for a coach not to know a rule that simple. I mean for goodness sake my shih-tzu is better at deductive reasoning.

  13. mataug says: Mar 17, 2013 1:36 PM

    Right now, there are 120 people who voted no #smh

  14. ken0west says: Mar 17, 2013 1:38 PM

    Rule needs to be adjusted not removed. Guys like The Cheat would knowingly throw a flag on a unchallengeable play to snake a time out.

    When coaches throw the red on a play that cant be challenged or auto reviewed they should be heavily fined, but the game should not be impacted. If the red comes out on a play that can’t be challenged but should be auto reviewed no harm, no foul no fine.

  15. redngold1 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:38 PM

    I LIKE to see the coach throw the challenge flag. I don’t care if the play is reviewable or not. If not, pick up the flag. If play is to be reviewed anyway, pick up the flag. So the coach threw a flag, …so what.
    But then what do I know? I also like to see the players and coaches celebrate a score without being penalized.

  16. aldavis4president says: Mar 17, 2013 1:39 PM

    Ridiculous rule..I remember that game ..the rule needs to be trashed…and so do some other ones but that’s a topic for another day.

  17. ken0west says: Mar 17, 2013 1:42 PM

    @ redngold1

    ” So the coach threw a flag, …so what.”

    Its a free timeout, and will be and has been exploited.

  18. geddyn says: Mar 17, 2013 1:43 PM

    Best case scenario: If the coach throws a red flag on a play that should be automatically reviewed, treat it as one of the coach’s challenges.

  19. dd393 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:49 PM

    Seems like this rule is designed to trip up coaches for not knowing the rulebook line by line.

  20. yourignorancespreads says: Mar 17, 2013 1:50 PM

    Truth is that rule should have been like that from the beginning

  21. hieronymous27 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:51 PM

    Throwing out this rule is one way of protecting Schwartz from his own incompetence. Schwartz is the poster-boy for arrogance when it comes to relating to the fans and the press. Oddly enough, he has no reason for arrogance as a head coach. One embarrassing playoff lost and going from double digit wins to double digit loses should foster some humility. Sadly, that is not the case.

  22. flickaboogie says: Mar 17, 2013 1:53 PM

    The main problem was how the rule was enforced. I’ve seen games where coaches threw the red flag and never got penalized and some get penalized. If they are going to write a rule, make it so even the dumbest coach or ref knows how to interpret it.

  23. Stiller43 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:55 PM

    No punishment should turn a blind eye to what the correct call is/should be. Its ludacris it was even put into existence without any forsight to see potential issues.

  24. souldogdave says: Mar 17, 2013 1:56 PM

    The Coach that throws the redundant flag should be penalized AFTER the resolution of the original challenge.Anything else is stupid, what were they thinking? Delay of game or something is appropriate.Giving the Texans the td was thievery at the very least.And I can’t stand Schwartz he’s an idiot, but he was scapegoated and they were cheated.

  25. Stiller43 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:59 PM


    What about contact with other players? Those sensors would go off all the time…unless you had something on the playing surface to differentiate the contact delivered to the pads…seems impossible

  26. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 17, 2013 1:59 PM

    Nice legacy, Schwartzie.

  27. doublezero74 says: Mar 17, 2013 2:04 PM

    Rule change is totally needed. This is a smart move to change that. It’s about getting the call right. 15 yard penalty for being a dumbass coach but the play needs to be right no matter how unlucky Detriots fan vase is by having Schwartz be their coach

  28. warhammer420 says: Mar 17, 2013 2:05 PM

    The only thing that matters is getting the call right. This rule is asinine.

  29. jebdamone says: Mar 17, 2013 2:14 PM

    that was one of the most preposterous calls i have ever seen. it was also further made preposterous by the fact that later in the season (can’t remember what game) the exact same thing happened and the refs ignored the rule.

  30. zeekey2013 says: Mar 17, 2013 2:17 PM

    I don’t even like the lions but I was so mad how his knee was clearly on the ground but they would review it because he threw a challenge flag

  31. jebdamone says: Mar 17, 2013 2:22 PM

    the people that have made the argument its a free timeout please explain yourselves. if the play is going to be reviewed anyway, how does the throwing of a challenge flag affect the timing situation at all? its as simple as
    1) throw the challenge flag 2) see that the play is under review anyway 3) pick up the challenge flag 4) wait for the play to be reviewed.

    at what point is the coach getting a free timeout?

  32. Ponsonby_Britt says: Mar 17, 2013 2:27 PM

    Change the rule, and the head coach, and maybe the Lions won’t get jobbed in ’13.

  33. lorddarkhelmet says: Mar 17, 2013 2:37 PM

    because Schwartz was the only one to ever do this. Its crazy how common it is/was, the only thing different is the refs actually called him on it (usually they make the coach pick up the flag) and this time it cost the team a game. Glad the rule will be changed.

  34. takingbovadasmoney says: Mar 17, 2013 2:45 PM

    C’mon, the rule doesn’t need to be changed. You don’t see good, smart coaches like Jim Harbaugh or Mike McCarthy make the mistake.

  35. jerrygray721 says: Mar 17, 2013 2:46 PM

    i think the rule needs to for some posters here saying they get a free time out i’m puzzled by it because if they were going to review it anyway thats pretty much the same as a time out i do feel there should be atleast a loss of time out if the flag were thrown and the play was not reviewable.

  36. vmannj says: Mar 17, 2013 3:24 PM

    It’s obviously a stupid rule. But how many of you, like myself, LOVED watching this arrogant jerk Schwartz squirm? Especially after his “know the F—–NG rules!” outburst towards Harbaugh in 2011.

  37. EJ says: Mar 17, 2013 3:30 PM

    With the amount of money that the NFL makes, there is no reason at all to have a botched call. With technology being so high tech these days, the league should have an amazing camera setup at every venue that captures every angle on every play. No reason for slip-ups today.

  38. skinsfan4 says: Mar 17, 2013 3:44 PM

    Who are the 9% in the poll who are morons and don’t think the rule should be changed? It’s an idiotic rule to begin with.

  39. raoool says: Mar 17, 2013 3:46 PM

    Only the NFL could come up with a rule that says human (coach) error can render useless the (replay) system designed to reduce human (ref)error.

  40. racksie says: Mar 17, 2013 3:54 PM

    How about a Harbaugh rule, that stipulates when you keep throwing the red flag when you have used all your timeouts, and the refs keep giving you the review, you get banned from ever throwing a tantrum on camera ever again?

  41. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 17, 2013 4:05 PM

    It’s actually the “Dumb As Jim Schwartz” rule. They may change the rule but Schwartz will still be dumb.

  42. bmosh99 says: Mar 17, 2013 4:28 PM

    I’m surprised that 9% of the people actually voted for not getting the call on the field correct. I don’t understand why you would even bother watching the NFL if you care more about the officials feelings and not getting “shown up” than the call on the field being correct

  43. mjkelly77 says: Mar 17, 2013 4:29 PM

    Two things should come out of that Thanksgiving game where the Lions were robbed of a victory.

    Firstly, almost everyone agrees that the rule should change to include an automatic review, especially after such an egregiously blown call, regardless of what the victimized coach does.

    Secondly, Coach Schwartz knew the rule yet still threw the flag in a state of anger. Hopefully he’s learned to control his emotions, regardless of the severity of the erroneous calls that are made.

  44. mjkelly77 says: Mar 17, 2013 4:39 PM

    wattsrmyline says:Mar 17, 2013 1:35 PM

    Those must be Obama voters that vote NOT SURE

    I don’t know. One of them was talking about wearing magic underwear and only paying a 12% effective tax rate on a $20 million income. I’d bet that your tax rate was higher.

  45. dkinphx says: Mar 17, 2013 5:46 PM

    Here’s the thing…

    The point it to get it right. Losing the replay review when you inadvertently throw the red flag is unsportsmanlike conduct. That’s one reason to get rid of the rule.

    It’s also unsportsmanlike to assess a delay of game penalty when, in fact, the game is already delayed, BY RULE, in scoring situations. How is it even possible to delay a game that is already delayed? Automatic review of scoring plays makes this rule obsolete. Reason number two to get rid of this rule.

    Finally, given the inconsistency of NFL officials, it makes some sense that a coach should protect the possibility of review in these situations since you can’t always depend on officials to follow the rules. What happens if some day they’re all asleep at the wheel and forget to do a review of the score? I know it’s unlikely but then look at the “tuck rule” they put in place to cover an obvious botched call. Imagine the rule they’d put in place to cover a botched review. Third reason to get rid of this rule. Three strikes and you’re out of there officials.

    I can’t NFL officials aren’t screaming to get rid of this stupid rule.

  46. dkinphx says: Mar 17, 2013 5:49 PM

    Last line of previous post should have said ” I can’t “BELIEVE” NFL officials aren’t screaming to get rid of this stupid rule.”


  47. suhisbetterthanu says: Mar 17, 2013 6:28 PM

    Scrap it. Worst rule ever

  48. souldogdave says: Mar 17, 2013 7:11 PM

    bad rule. smith,you suck.

  49. WatchThis says: Mar 17, 2013 7:22 PM

    Basically, 910 Texan fans voted no.

  50. mungman69 says: Mar 17, 2013 7:43 PM

    That rule sucks.

  51. eightandeightlions says: Mar 17, 2013 7:48 PM

    The rule is not entirely perfect, but the outrage over how teams were “cheated” out of a touchdown needs to stop. That is 1000% on the coach, especially for a recent rule change. If a field goal is changed to only score two points in the off season, and a coach down three opts to kick a FG with time running out are we going to complain about the rule change only when some nitwit can’t remember that it changed? These rules are approved in the off season by the competition committee, which is made up of the actual team representatives. I would have fired Jim Schwartz, Mike Smith, and Mike McCarthy if I was the owner last season. A coach has NO excuse once the season starts. Nothing rise to say here..

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