Whisenhunt says coaches are reminded of red-flag rule before every game


As the NFL prepares to inevitably change a rule that never should have been put in place, let’s not forget that Lions coach Jim Schwartz knew the rule and nevertheless violated it.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who benefited six days ago from the rule that wipes out replay review if a coach asks for one when one is automatic, explained on Friday that coaches are reminded before every game to not throw the red flag after touchdowns or turnovers.

“They make a point of telling you before the game, on turnovers and scoring plays, you can’t throw the flag,” Whisenhunt said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.

Still, Schwartz did it, even though Falcons coach Mike Smith had done it only four days earlier.  While it’s highly unlikely any coach will do it going forward, the best approach would be to hand the flag over to someone who both knows the rule and won’t be prone to make an emotional decision when a horrible call is made.

32 responses to “Whisenhunt says coaches are reminded of red-flag rule before every game

  1. The rule should only be changed to still allow review of the play in question if they throw the flag. Still keep the penalty attached to it though. That way the call is correct and they are penalized for breaking the rule.

  2. This is why I have no real problem with the rule. It is just so easy not to break. How many times a week do we hear all scores and turnovers are automatically reviewed? Gotta be about 50 times every weekend.

  3. Schwartz got pissed and automatically threw the challenge flag (he admitted this). How shocking….a case of Schwartz’s lack of impulse control! I wouldn’t expect anything else from this man, and his personality has rubbed off on the players (Suh, Titus Young, etc).

  4. Why should the rule be changed? Joe Gibbs called two timeouts on consecutive plays and was penalized. That is a stupid rule but it didn’t get changed. The fact that Jim Schwartz is both a douche bag and an idiot should not excuse him from responsibility and the rule is just fine. The real solution is to terminate Schwartz and to hire a smarter coach.

  5. Wasn’t Schwartz the one who ridiculed Jim Harbaugh for not knowing the rules during Harbaugh’s first season with the Niners (during the “backslap” game)?

  6. The Schwartz haters are leaving out the fact that when the penalty flag was thrown, he could be clearly seen admitting the error and saying, “that’s on me.”

    If you want to discuss the rule … go for it. But this is really just more Lions bashing and most of the haters didn’t even bother to watch the game.

  7. You didn’t say if they are reminded that throwing the flag will result in a challenge being impossible. It is so amazing that the rule is in place to prevent London Fletcher from kicking the football to delay the game. NFL is a joke.

  8. I think responsible challenge flag throwing certainly must be a minimal job function any owner should expect from his head coach. As an owner, if I could not trust my expensive head coach for that much, I’d be mailing out resume requests to new head coaching candidates. Having to delegate that to someone other than Schwartz is ridicules. A head coach needs to model self-control At All Times to his players not join them in the lack of it. That is even more true at the height of exasperation everyone feels during an obvious bad ref call. If Coach keeps his cool, he models that expectation to his players.

    Whether the rule is stupid or not is not really the problem. Who doesn’t have to follow stupid rules where they work?

  9. Okay, we get it. It was dumb. The coach was an idiot for throwing the flag. He lost his cool. Got it. Fire him if you want to Lions (I definitely would consider it on his next boner).

    But, it’s about as dumb a rule as there is in the NFL. It serves ZERO purpose other than for decorum’s sake. But, we aren’t talking golf. Football is a violent, emotional game, played with passion. And, because of that, I keep coming back around to, “why is that even a rule?”

  10. what is to keep a coach who knows a TD would be called back from throwing the flag to prevent the bad call from being brought back? Schwartz throwing the flag was seriously stupid. Kubiack throwing it would have been really smart. Take the points and 15 yards on the kick-off.

  11. Unnecessary rules come from bad management – I’m sure anyone who has ever had a job or is a citizen of the U.S. could tell you that. Get rid of the rule, and then legalize pot.

  12. Leave the rule alone. Teams with stupid head coaches should be punished. This is a good way to weed out the wheat from the chaff.

  13. I’d penalize them on any non-reviewable play where the challenge flag gets thrown. But I don’t really get where any advantage is derived when a challenge is made on a play that is already being reviewed. Play is stopped then, anyway.
    The intent of the rule was to keep guys from essentially getting a free timeout by tossing the flag out there for no reason.

  14. @jimmylions

    Schnartz is the douche bag that was laughing at harbaugh for the same mistake. At least harbaugh’s mistake didn’t cost them a TD (maybe the game). Face it, he’s a nitwit. He’s take lions back where they came from.
    Regarding Suh, he’s classless for stomping on people and kicking them in the groin.

  15. Just wait until a patriot scores a TD that’s up for review and belichick in his wisdom throws the flag before they can review it. Pats will be penalized 15 yards for an illegal challenge, but TD will stand, negating any review. It’s an insane rule. Penalize the coach for throwing the flag, but the review should not be nullified.

  16. Then why didn’t Mike Smith get the same treatment? Oh wait no he didn’t. The ref just told him it was unchallengeable & let him neatly & nicely tuck his flag back in while the play was reviewed upstairs & overturned! So don’t give that BS. This whole entire faux pa should of been taken care of well before that game, it’s been going on all year across the NFL! Replacement & Garbage Refs! We all know they don’t review all scoring plays otherwise Trindon Holliday wouldn’t have a record tying return to his name. It would be the longest run in the other teams touchback history! Take a bite out of reality! Swallow it & digest with your Turkey!

  17. what is to keep a coach who knows a TD would be called back from throwing the flag to prevent the bad call from being brought back?
    Because the rule is that you can’t benefit from penalty (in this case an illegal challenge delay call) that happens during a challenge. The Texans wouldn’t have benefited, play would have been reversed and the penalty would have been added.

    Don’t get me wrong. I hate the rule, but that’s the reason your idea wouldn’t work.

  18. This is awful protocol. Why are they being reminded? Let the smart teams retain their advantage for being responsible and out-thinking their opponent where they might be vulnerable. Leave it to the teams to figure out how the game works and let the strongest teams win and leave the weakest teams in the dust until they get the job done.

    Otherwise why not remind each team of every rule that exists. They are bound to make mistakes under any potential aspect of the rulebook, and either remind them or let them figure it out since that’s part of the game and it should not be a handicapped part of the sport. Otherwise the weaker teams should get the point spreads added to their score if they are an underdog if you want to balance things out for those that haven’t EARNED it.

  19. Schwartz knows the rule, he just got hotheaded and lost his cool after yet another giant officiating blunder. I’m not sure why people think the scoring review would have overturned the TD, after the extremely obvious muffed punt recovery which was given back to Houston erroneously by the refs and then upheld after the challenge.

    Also I personally believe the rule does NOT negate the review in this instance, it is just ambiguously worded and the refs interpreted it in a way detrimental to the Lions. I says “a foul that delays the next snap”…WHAT NEXT SNAP??? It was ruled a TD!!! There was no next snap pending! The automatic review should already have been underway, and even if it was upheld there would be a long commercial break before kickoff. Just like the Calvin rule, there really isn’t anything intrinsically wrong with this rule itself other than the refs that enforce it. They don’t use any football or common sense in applying it, they quibble over technical wording of rules without consideration of the principles they are based on, thus altering the outcome of individual matches and ruining the integrity of the game overall.

  20. Why should there be a penalty in the first place? Why not just use the timeout and consider it a lost challenge and review the play? Consider it a case of the coach forfeiting the right to an automatic challenge and using one of his given challenges instead.

  21. Does the NFL remind the refs before every game that a player is down when the elbow, knee and the forearm hit the ground? Maybe they should start.

    The real problem was how badly the refs missed the call 75 yards away from the goal line.

    The rule was not in place to test the head coach’s patience, nor was it’s intent to let the refs off the hook. Yet most seem quite content to let the refs off the hook.

    Until this rule is changed there is reason for teams test the competency of NFL refs by continuing to run to force a whistle. Given that refs will defer to a replay rather than make the right call on the field, it may create unnecessary scoring reviews, or make another coach throw the red flag in disbelief.

  22. Schwartz KNEW he had made a mistake – he was pointing at himself on the sideline just after the play saying “my bad”.

    It was his stupid mistake and it cost the Lions the game. It IS a stupid rule, but rules are rules.

    Change it.

    Game set match.

  23. I have to say Schwartz has been a disappointing coach. The Lions need a coach like Bill Cower to instill some discipline in the team. Schwartz could be a good defensive coach but is lacking as a head coach. The Lions have the talent to be a perennial playoff team, but excellence is in the details.

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