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.

51 responses to “PFT Planet poll: The Jim Schwartz rule

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

  2. 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?!?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Bennyb82,

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

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


  31. 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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