Officials advised Todd Bowles on whether to throw challenge flag

NFL: NOV 06 Rams at Buccaneers
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When it comes to making the decision as to whether to invoke the replay system by throwing a red flag, an NFL coach must make the decision on his own. With assistance only from his coaching staff.

On Sunday, Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles got assistance from the game officials during Sunday’s game against the Rams.

It happened after a Tampa Bay punt that seemed to not enter the end zone before bouncing backward and being downed at the five. The officials ruled it to be a touchback. Bowles considered challenging the decision, but the officials essentially told Bowles to not bother. addressed it on Monday. Bowles was asked about it during his day-after press conference.

“Well, the ref came over and told me that they couldn’t tell, and they watched the replay and couldn’t tell,” Bowles said. “They weren’t going to change it, so there was no need to challenge it.”

That’s not how it should work. The officials shouldn’t be advising the coaches. And any coach who relies on the advice of a game official does so at his own risk.

29 responses to “Officials advised Todd Bowles on whether to throw challenge flag

  1. An unsuccessful challenge would have resulted in the loss of a time out for the Bucs. That’s a big deal. A lot of people lost money at the end of that game

  2. I’m 100% fine with that. If they got the call right, the system worked. Millions of fans watch football because they enjoy the sport. Probably less than 1% are watching because they want to see the refs. The refs should be invisible. Just get the calls right and everyone is happy. Every coach has someone in the box advising him on when to throw the challenge flag. What a ref may have said or may not have said is irrelevant. They get a lot of calls wrong because the league doesn’t want to get all the calls correct. Probably manipulating games to keep them competitive for better TV ratings. That’s probably something more worth worrying about. But it’s a business and they’re making tons of money. Most of it coming from TV revenue. Just let the big dog lie.

  3. Florio, a similar thing happened in the Jets-Bills game when an official told Bills HC Sean McDermott that a possible INT by the Bills was deemed to be simultaneous possession, therefore challenging the ruling would be a waste of time.

  4. Not a Bucs fan, but it looked like there was a “slice of green” between the white line as they said on the broadcast.

  5. NFL refs have worked the replay system to a negative affect. Instead of calling the play as they see correct… they swallow their whistle to see what happens and hopes replays sorts it out. What often happens is “play calls as stands” because nobody is brave enough to call the right play.

  6. Bowles needs all the help he can get. Let’s face it, without a little help from Brady’s friends, they aren’t going far this year.

  7. Well not only that, they were actually wrong, and it was pretty easy to see on the replay.

    Where to begin?

  8. While I agree with Florio regarding the officials advising Bowles, I’m sure this happens quite regularly no matter who the coach or team is. What amuses me is how Todd Bowles went on to accidentally throw the crew that did him a favor, under the bus…

  9. The NFL is increasingly as much about the officials as the players and coaches. They decide way too many games. Some of it is the ambiguity of the new rules recently put in place. But there’s no doubt to anyone watching that this current generation of officials are relishing their new found power and celebrity.

  10. Kinda like they can’t tell what PI is, can’t tell what it isn’t, and wouldn’t change it even if they were allowed to. If NFL refs are the best in the world at what they do, that bar just not be that high.

  11. Not only did it happen, he’s just unashamedly telling us all that it happened. Either he’s totally unaware of the rules, or he just doesn’t care. With Bowles it could be either.

  12. Same thing happened in the Bills game about a clear interception. They said simultaneous possession – and advised McD it couldn’t be overturned. Touchbacks and Interceptions obviously have different impact – but not as much as the gross over officiating of the games. A call during critical moments – holding calls on the last drives, non calls – like pass inference can make a close game a blowout, or enable underdogs to win. It’s probably why the nfl doesn’t do anything to change it – and puts MORE emphasis on judgement calls like illegal contact. They should change the name of illegal contact to convenient first down.

  13. I dont recall, however, I thought this was 2nd half, which, (if the call would have been unsuccessfully challenged with the Bucs losing a time out) means they very well could have run out off time prior to scoring with 10 secs or so left. Didnt they burn time outs to even get the ball with under a minute left? Can you advise on that scenario ? Thank you.

  14. Not good. Official should receive some sort of discipline from the league. Ia close game the loss of a time out from a upheld challenge could mean the difference in the outcome of a game.

  15. This is like the WWE.

    Degenerates don’t bet on WWE matches.

    At some point, this house of cards will come tumbling down.

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