Lions Coach Jim Schwartz: “It Doesn’t Take a Rocket Scientist to Look at that and Say it was a Catch”September 15, 2010 – 6:45 am by Eric Schmoldt
Week 1 of the NFL season will forever be known as the moment in time where we all learned what completing the process was. Calvin Johnson’s catch, or non-catch, or something in between, dominated the first Sunday of the NFL season as the Detroit Lions were robbed of a victory against the Chicago Bears.
Since then, Lions coach Jim Schwartz has been completing the process of answering questions from every media member imaginable. There’s nothing he or the Lions can do at this point except pick up the pieces and try to avenge the loss with Shaun Hill at the helm this week against Philadelphia.
Jim Schwartz joined 97.1 the Ticket in Detroit with the Morning Show to discuss how many times he has seen the play, whether he believed it was going to be ruled a touchdown, why he didn’t go off on the rule in postgame interviews, whether the players felt like they were robbed, if he believes the NFL needs to look at their rule and whether quarterback Matt Stafford is injury-prone.
On how many times he has reviewed the Calvin Johnson play:
“Oh I don’t know, probably a dozen. I saw it on the scoreboard a couple times as it was being replayed, probably saw it a couple times Sunday and then in film study saw it a bunch of times yesterday, so I’ve seen it a lot of times.”
On whether, based on his celebratory reaction post-review, he believed it was going to be a touchdown:
“No, I thought that the fans reacted as if it was a touchdown in Chicago. When he said, ‘The ruling on the field stands,’ everybody started booing real quick. I think they were thinking that ruling on the field stands, touchdown. They didn’t know that it had been called incomplete. It had originally been signalled a touchdown and another official came in and ruled it incomplete before going to review. … Down on the field, you can barely hear the referee … so I was just sort of reacting to the crowd noise.”
On why he didn’t go off on the play or the rule during his postgame interviews:
“I think it goes against everything that I believe as a coach. I believe we control our own destiny. I feel that we have enough talent here to win and we’re not gonna complain about officials, we’re not gonna complain about calls, we’re not gonna complain about rulebooks. For me, as head coach, to stand in front of the team and blame an official or blame a rule or something other than our play … I think sends a bad message to the team. Of course we’re emotional about a loss. There’s only 16 games and every game is dear and we want to win every game. But it also, to me, sends mixed messages to the team for me to react in a way that doesn’t put the blame for a loss or the blame for a victory on us as a team.”
On whether the players felt robbed in the locker room:
“I mean I leave what goes on in our locker room in our locker room. But everybody knows that it was a catch. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at that and say it was a catch. Now, it’s also ruled an incompletion because of the rule. I think if 100 people look at it, 100 people say, ‘Yeah, Calvin caught that ball.’ Calvin made a great play on that play. Shaun made a great throw, Calvin made a great play. That stands. There’s no way that you can take that away from him other than a technicality in the rulebook.”
On whether the NFL needs to look at the rule:
“They do that in the offseason. … They have competition committee meetings and they review plays like that. They submit changes that they think should be made. They’re voted on by the league. I think that there’s tweaks of rules during the season, but that rule’s come up before. … They’ve tried to make it black and white, rather than make it gray. I can appreciate their view.”
On whether Matthew Stafford is injury-prone:
“Playing quarterback’s tough in the NFL. People are trying to kill you on every single play. When you have 290-pound guys hit you from the blind side, he landed the worst possible way that you can land, on his throwing shoulder. I think injury-prone probably, to me, pertains to people that are getting a lot of real small, nagging injuries. … Matt’s a very, very tough guy. I don’t think anybody can look at that hit that he took in Chicago, the hit that he took last year against Cleveland, the hit that he took last year against Cincinnati and say anything other than life in the NFL. Those are big-time hits.”