CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 12: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears throws his red flag to challenge an official's call against the New England Patriots at Soldier Field on December 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Patriots beat the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lovie Smith
The changes to kickoffs weren't the only rules passed at the NFL owners meetings. Instant replay was expanded so that the booth assistant, the referee who reviews plays after the two-minute warning, will also review every scoring play. This takes the onus off of head coaches for play review and puts it in the hands of the officials. It also will prevent teams from lining up quickly for extra points after questionable touchdowns to prevent opponents from reviewing, and possibly challenging the TD.
But for the Bears, that's not enough. Lovie Smith is known to be a little quick on the draw with his challenge flag. An infuriating example of this came against the Redskins. Smith challenged the spot of the ball on first down, but didn't challenge a Jay Cutler fumble the play before. The fumble would have been changed to a touchdown, while the Bennett spot was not upheld.
So, NFL owners, this is a great start, but we need more than just the review on scoring plays. We need a review of Smith's challenges. We need an assistant to stand next to him and say, "Really?" before he is allowed to throw the flag. We need the flag attached to Smith's arm with a rubber band so that it will snap back and make him think.
What do we need to do for these rules to get passed?