Jon Gruden: I knew I couldn’t challenge, threw flag as a message to Al Riveron

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Raiders coach Jon Gruden threw his challenge flag after a Chiefs touchdown with seven seconds left in the first half on Sunday. Anyone who knows the NFL rules knows that such a play can’t be challenged, both because it was a scoring play and because it came in the last two minutes of the half. So does that mean Gruden doesn’t know the rules?

Not according to Gruden, who said today that he threw his flag not because he actually thought he could challenge the play, but because he wanted to send a message to NFL head of officiating Al Riveron that he thought the play should have been overturned on instant replay.

“I threw a challenge flag with seven seconds left yesterday,” Gruden said, via Matt Schneiderman of the Mercury News. “I knew exactly what I was doing, by the way. It wasn’t a very sensible thing to do. I wanted to challenge Al Riveron in New York City because I have people in the press box telling me that’s not a catch. Seeing plays overturned by somebody you can’t even see, I thought with three timeouts and seven seconds left I’d use one of my timeouts by giving Al a little extra time to look at that. But I knew exactly what I was doing.”

The penalty for throwing a challenge flag in that situation is the loss of a timeout, so Gruden didn’t lose much by throwing the flag. In his mind, it was worth it.

22 responses to “Jon Gruden: I knew I couldn’t challenge, threw flag as a message to Al Riveron

  1. He should be fined for acknowledging he intentionally shamed the system and the executive. Stupid of him to throw flag, even dumber on his part to publicly relate why he did this.

  2. If the penalty for throwing a challenge flag is a loss of a timeout but the time taken for the ref to throw his flag and explain the penalty is longer than taking an actual timeout then it was a wise decision.

  3. The message to Riveron should be for the play before when officials stopped the clock when the KC receiver got out of bounds. He clearly ran backwards. They got the rule correct in Indy Jax, blew it here. Very doubtful KC could have run a play or spiked it if clock were running. Would have been end of half. Also should ask why leading w/ helmet rule is in place if it is not going to be enforced. Raiders got away w one yesterday and KC two that seemed to be exactly what league was claiming was going to stop.

  4. Who knows what a catch is now, anyway? Philly scored two TDs in SB that didn’t look like them, but there were at 8-9 pm on a Sunday in February, which is all that mattered. Good move by Gruden, though.

  5. I’m no fan of Chucky but I got no issue with this. I think he is telling the 100% truth. Or 95% I’ve been watching football for 40 years and I didn’t know that. But I would have done that just because frankly.

  6. He had no reason NOT to do that. Had 3 timeouts, there were 7 seconds left. It really is that simple, but must be made even more plain for some to fathom. But keep working that agenda!

  7. Not that it would have changed the ultimate outcome of the game, but that was not a catch.

  8. The pass was incomplete. I don’t blame Gruden. I can understand missing the original call, but the reason they have replay is to get the calls right. Some are borderline. This one was an easy one. It wasn’t even close. Maybe Al was using the bathroom or something.

  9. Gruden is a parody of himself these days but the NFL replay rules are a joke. I’ve never understood why you would be prohibited from challenging in the final 2 minutes provided you still had a timeout to lose if you were wrong. We’ve all seen plays that were supposedly being automatically reviewed where they didn’t stop play and thus seemingly didn’t take much of a second look at them. If a coach has a timeout to risk then he should be able to challenge at any time.

  10. As Bill Belichick brought up to the competition committee years ago, coaches should be able to challenge any and all plays and calls. The argument that it will lengthen the game is laughable as the coaches amount of challenges would stay the same. It wouldn’t be as bad if the head ref would admit they were wrong on occasion but god forbid the man behind the whistle be anything but infallible.

  11. They didn’t get out of bounds before that anyway, the half should have been over.

    The ball hit the ground and moved, you could see the laces move quite a but when it touched the ground. It wasn’t a TD.

  12. Belichick Rule: 2 challenges. Challenge any play, any, call, any time. So simple, so easy, so nevva gonna happen!

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