Jim Schwartz: I don’t know what to say to Suh, Fairley about penalties


Officiating was a big issue around the league once again on Sunday as questionable or outright baffling calls affected the outcome of games in Cincinnati and New England and led to the NFL having a discussion with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier about what went on in Baltimore.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz also spent some time on Monday talking about the officiating in his team’s loss to the Eagles. Schwartz was focused on a pair of calls in the fourth quarter of the game on defensive linemen Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.

Fairley was flagged for roughing Nick Foles on a play when he didn’t use his helmet to initiate contact and didn’t hit Foles too high or too low. LeSean McCoy scored just after that and Suh was penalized for holding Eagles center Jason Kelce on a failed two-point conversion try. Finding the holding on the play is as easy to do as finding Jimmy Hoffa’s body, leaving Schwartz to wonder what he’s supposed to tell his team.

“It’s difficult, because one of our things we try to do with penalties is try to learn, ‘OK, this is why they called holding on you, this is why they called pass interference’ so that you can try to learn from it and be in better position the next time,” Schwartz said, via the Detroit Free Press. “And in these cases, I honestly don’t know what to tell Nick Fairley or Suh on those plays.”

The Eagles converted their second chance and tied the game at 14. The Lions grabbed the lead back on the ensuing kickoff before the Eagles rolled to the final 20 points of the game, but the issue shouldn’t be whether the calls cost the Lions the game. It should be that the calls were incorrect and that there’s no recourse for getting them right in an age when technology can provide more clarity.

Whether Schwartz or other coaches would want to challenge those calls is up to them, but it should be an option available to them.

36 responses to “Jim Schwartz: I don’t know what to say to Suh, Fairley about penalties

  1. The lack consistency is the key. The officials are to intent on calling penalties. Clean up and simplify the rules, call obvious penalties and get out of the way and let the folks paid to play, play.

  2. And this is why I liked the replacement refs. They for the most part didn’t call penalties at all, understood what they knew and let the rest play out.

  3. Officiating mistakes aside, I’d tell Suh that the reason he is getting called is that everyone knows he has been a dirty player and they are going to watch him more closely.
    Sow>>>Reap. It is pretty simple.

  4. Unfortunately, when your reputation proceeds you, the marginal calls are likely to go against you.

    Clean up your act and how the rest of the league views you (i.e. dirty play), and you can get to the regular levels of bad calls instead of the excessive level.

  5. Definitely 2 calls that made you scratch your head.. At the time it was a huge turn of momentum. But we just couldn’t stop Philadelphia’s running game in the fourth which is nothing to do with officiating. But I would like to sit down with those refs while we are watching the 2 plays in question and just ream them, cause let’s face it, those aren’t penalties and those refs should hear it from someone…

    Go lions

  6. You should read what Peter King said live while the refs did that to the Lions.

    It was upsetting to die-hard fans to say the least. Refs are incompetent or they’re in on something, at least that’s how it seems when you watch a Lions game.

  7. Did any of you people actually watch the game?? The calls weren’t marginal. The calls were so blatantly bad that you have wonder if there is something going on. WATCH THE TAPE. The NBA once thought they had clean officials.

  8. Problem dumplings…

    The two calls specifically mentioned were not even close to marginal. They were flat out ludicrous.

    Fairley didnt even hit Foles, he simply pushed him to the ground, as Foles was releasing the ball. And on the Suh call, You wont find any holding either, he was trying to drop off the line to chase the play while being blocked. If any holding happened on that play, it was on Klece’s part, not Suh’s.

    Suh’s penalty though may have been a case of wrong number as a replay briefly should DT C.J. Mosely (#99, not 90) may have been holding on the play. But it was only seen at a brief glimpse so it was hard to know if that was the case.

  9. Yes Suh’s reputation is the reason for him being called for holding the Center. Everyone knows he holds offensive lineman and prevents them from catching a pass, amiright?!?!

  10. I’m glad the amount of coaches and players calling out the poor officiating. I have watched the NFL since 1964 and the game under Gödel has turned me off in the last four years. Started with all the fines and now teams losing games because of such inconsistent and bad officiating.

  11. peed1 says it all – “The lack consistency”

    some sort of pattern is usually established early on in games in regards to how the refs will be making their calls. Whether it’s “let the boys play” or “nitpicking”, just call the entire game that way. If minor contact is being allowed between WRs and DBs, don’t call PIs late in the game. Nothing more unappealing to watch is seeing incidental contact suddenly being flagged at the end of a game or flagrant interference being ignored. The Browns-Pats game and the Panthers-Pats games being examples of each.

  12. I love the way detroits d-line plays ball. Physical and in your face. But their reputation and previous mistakes work against them. The issue with being the type of players who can be viewed as dirty because of the way they play the game is that refs will err on the side of penalizing them for borderline plays.
    It’s a shame they got flagged for borderline calls, but it’s because of how they play the game week in and week out that allows for the refs to pull the trigger on that call. Play clean all the time, boys. Then you don’t get screwed by the refs as much.
    This one is on you lions.

  13. I know what I’d tell Suh. If you grab the jersey it’s a hold. Doesn’t matter if you usually get away with it, if the jersey moves they’re going to call it (even if they still miss a bunch). Don’t grab the jersey!

    And I’d tell Fairley roughing the passer doesn’t make any sense at all any more. The league has to fix it. Not your fault.

  14. I didn’t see the Lions-Eagles game but it is a rare for a D lineman to get a holding penalty. The most obvious cases where it should be called is when a D lineman holds an O lineman to allow a blitzer to get through to the QB. Justin Smith might get called once in awhile but he/the 49ers do it a lot.

  15. jim “i don’t know why we lose” schwartz isn’t trying to give the impression that the game would have been different absent a couple of questionable calls, is he?

    because it looked to me like the kelce, mathis, and herremans handled suh and fairley all day. i mean shady got 200 yards between the tackles.

    but you can’t really blame the tackles…. personally i would give the credit to jim washburn and his wide 9 (let someone else stop the run, cause we’re only here to rush the passer), and the downfield blocking of the eagles linemen and recievers.

    and the homeless guy in the other story had it right…. the lions are sorry… and so is the coach

  16. I’m a Philly fan that was at that game and when they called roughing on Fairley, everyone hung their head down. It was a lousy call, and it was indefensible.

    What does Suh’s rep have to do with Fairley’s roughing call?

  17. You don’t know what to say because you’re not a competent coach.

    Belichick benched Talib for awhile during the game against the Panthers because he got pissed off at Steve Smith and started making moronic penalties.

    There’s nothing left to say to your players Jim, you have to take action.

  18. I’m so tired of the “reputation” excuse. It makes absolutely no sense to call more penalties on a guy ONLY because he’s made penalties in the past. A penalty should be called if a penalty is committed… Period.

  19. I had no stake in who one cuz I live in a sad AFC city not going to the playoffs but after those couple of calls I did wonder if the refs were determined to have the Eagles win.

  20. I don’t think people can take Schwartz seriously… I mean after the stomping incident on Thanksgiving years back they showed him pleading to the officials.

    Once again he shows below average leadership skills, tell them anything. He has a team that has the best WR in the league, a solid QB and a pretty talented roster.

    If he gets canned people are going to want to crawl through the snowstorm they played in Sunday to take his job.

  21. Back to back weeks the officials make up multiple phantom calls determined to ensure that the Eagles win. Move on. They want their Chip Kelly playoff story. Sorry, Lions. You were sacrificial lambs along with the Vikes and Browns, along with the Seahawks, because they cannot have Harbaugh lose out for the playoffs with Arians’ Cards breathing down their necks. Cards will get robbed vs. SF next week. Watch.

  22. Jim is just not focused and prepared, and there’s a whirlwind of issues going on and he’s just not being very proactive to do much and he’s just sitting idle and letting the storm pass instead of becoming a storm navigator, which is what we need right now.

  23. “Cards will get robbed vs. SF next week. Watch.”

    you must mean 3 weeks from now. 49ers at TB next week, then home at Atlanta, then they go to Arizona

  24. Another Eagles game filled with a couple of bad penalties by the officials……….hmm?
    Stay tune next week to see if another Eagles opponent shares the same fate as the Lions and Cardinals.

  25. aljack88 says: Dec 10, 2013 1:40 PM

    “Cards will get robbed vs. SF next week. Watch.”

    you must mean 3 weeks from now. 49ers at TB next week, then home at Atlanta, then they go to Arizona

    Whenever the game is. Watch.

  26. I used to love pro wrestling when I was a kid until I figured out that the winner was decided before the match. The NFL is now the same way.

  27. Definitely not a penalty against Fairley. The Suh call was correct. He had Kelce by the shoulder pad and drug him down the line. Defensive holding isn’t only when you hold a running back, receiver, or tight end. It can be called for holding a lineman too. Which is exactly what Suh did.

  28. starderup says:
    Dec 10, 2013 8:13 AM

    Officiating mistakes aside, I’d tell Suh that the reason he is getting called is that everyone knows he has been a dirty player and they are going to watch him more closely.
    Sow>>>Reap. It is pretty simple.


    This would make sense if Suh committed a penalty on the play. Yes he is being watched more closely because of his rep, and that’s expected. This is where your logic is flawed, Suh did absolutely nothing wrong on the play.

    So by your logic, Shwartz is supposed to tell Suh that even when he does nothing wrong he is going to get a penalty? That makes absolutely no sense. Shwartz mise well tell him to retire since even when he does nothing wrong it will be a flag….

  29. Don’t know what to say?? How about, “Stop this s–t now or you’re riding the bench!”? How about, “The team has the power to suspend you for conduct detrimental to the team and your constant refusal to follow the rules is a detriment to the team. Now shape up!”

    Of course, there is no chance they would actually follow through so there really isn’t much use of him saying anything.

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