Atlanta Falcons: Smith admits to challenge flag blunder

Falcons head coach Mike Smith is to fast on the draw throwing the red flag after a turnover against the Cardinals making the play unable to be reviewed by officials during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 18d, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons head coach Mike Smith is to fast on the draw throwing the red flag after a turnover against the Cardinals making the play unable to be reviewed by officials during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 18d, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons coach Mike Smith may have cost his team a promising possession.

After Arizona’s Sam Acho knocked the ball away from running back Jason Snelling, Greg Toler appeared to flip the ball back into the field of play and Cardinals safety Reshad Johnson recovered.

Smith tossed his challenge flag when the play was going to be reviewed.

Fox referee analyst Mike Pereira tweeted, “If the challenge flag is thrown before the replay official initiates the review then the play is not reviewable.”

He noted that turnovers are automatically reviewed and that it’s an automatic penalty if a coach throws a challenge flag.

If Toler would have been deemed to be out of bounds, the Falcons would have had the ball at the 27. Instead, Arizona had the ball first-and-10 at their 45.

“We have to find a way for the coach not to throw a challenge flag at the wrong time,” Smith said.

You could see Smith trying to recoup his flag shortly after he made the toss.

“You’ve got lots of people talking in your ear,” Smith said. “It was my mistake. My guys bailed me out today.”

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61 comments Add your comment

tjhook

November 18th, 2012
9:16 pm

Well, you are man enough to admit your mistakes- I appreciate that. Now could you change RBs or at least run Turner on the outside more?

sam

November 18th, 2012
9:26 pm

I understand that’s the rule, but what’s the purpose? Seems the sensible thing would be just to remind the coach that he doesn’t have to challenge on turnovers anymore. This was way too punitive in my opinion.

Me Too

November 18th, 2012
9:27 pm

Yes admit the blunder of starting Turner every week.

Larry

November 18th, 2012
9:36 pm

sam,

Agreed. Kind of like a judge that releases to freedom a serial murderer despite overwhelming and convincing evidence due to a technicality.

Just a stupid rule.

chuck

November 18th, 2012
9:38 pm

That has to be one of the most stupid rules in the NFL.

Ron Roberts

November 18th, 2012
9:39 pm

I have to ask; what’s the egregious offense, here? Delay of game isn’t a 15-yard penalty, and if ANYthing, that’s all it was… and not even that, when you consider replay officials were GOING to stop the game to review, anyhow, right? Just pick up the review hanky and hand it back with a “we were gonna look at it already, coach.”

jbill

November 18th, 2012
9:46 pm

Just proves Smitty is human..Go Falcons 9-1…wow!

SawThat1nce

November 18th, 2012
10:02 pm

Another stupid NFL rule.

Ford

November 18th, 2012
10:58 pm

And it is “too soon,not to soon”…you write for a living. Get it right.

Falcon James

November 18th, 2012
11:32 pm

I think the rule is asinine at best. But what really ticks me off if there was no one on the sideline to remind Smith that he didn’t need to challenge. He has a whole staff over and not one of them said a thing. Smith fell on the sword, but there are some folks up the box that have some spaining to do!

Mama Says

November 19th, 2012
4:27 am

The purpose of replay is to get calls right. Seems like the NFL is just acting like a spoiled child with this rule.

Reminds me of a child crossing his arms, stubbornly pouting and saying well i was gonna do that but now that you are telling me to I ain’t ! Cause I will do it when I want too !!!!

If the purpose for replay is to get the call correct, and that’s why the NFL adopted replay, to get things right, then basically this rule says we don’t care if the call is correct or not just don’t tell us we have to look at it. Seems to go against the intent of replay to me.

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder [...]

Mountain Man

November 19th, 2012
7:14 am

Coach Smith,

You also blundered in the post-game interview when you emphatically stated that your team is resilient in winning a game such as this. No coach, your team is LUCKY. Lucky that Arizona’s QB couldn’t hit a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald in the corner of the endzone. Lucky that Arizona has no offense to speak of.

Our defense saved our butts this weekend but lets be honest. If it were a middle to upper-echelon team that we were playing, we would have gotten blown out turning the ball over when and where we did.

They better get this fixed…quickly.

longtimefan

November 19th, 2012
7:22 am

Mountain Man-But were weren’t playing an upper echelon team, we won the game, our D is half our team and stepped up to the plate and the only thing that matters is we are 9-1.Every team in the NFL has flat weeks. We just managed to win ours.

Stepchild

November 19th, 2012
8:20 am

NOT a stupid rule. It is designed to stop the OTHER stupid practice that Coach Smith was allowed to perform and praised for earlier this year —> Stopping the game by calling timeouts when you don’t have any to call!!!!

If the play is not a challengeable play then you shouldn’t be throwing your flag around…..just like if you don’t have any timeouts you shouldn’t be calling them without PENALTY!!!!! GREAT RULE and I can’t wait till they fix the other loophole!! Idiots.

Stepchild

November 19th, 2012
8:29 am

And Coach panic mode Smith strikes again. When the team is having a tough game he does little to help. And now he “admits” it was his fault….well who else could you blame????? Not a smart coach….No Superbowl with this guy as HC. Look at all of the coaches that are better strategist….(Bellichick, Payton, Coughlin, Tomlin, McCarthy, Harbaugh, Harbaugh, Fox, Lovie Smith, Jeff Fisher…..heck …Andy Reid). M. Smith is a cheerleader at best.

jay

November 19th, 2012
8:43 am

So the flag on the ground constitutes what? If the game was going to be delayed anyway I don’t understand why they make the play unreviewable and cost the team an additional 15 penalty yards. All this over a flag on the ground. Dumbest rule ever!

My grades after Falcons ugly win

November 19th, 2012
8:55 am

Ford
November 18th, 2012
10:58 pm

And it is “too soon,not to soon”…you write for a living. Get it right.

Every blog entry is filled with errors. DOL…..How does this happen? Do you not utilize a spell check program?

Falcon fan

November 19th, 2012
9:03 am

Our luck is going too run out. Smith is not a take charge coach. Falcon o-line is worst in football.
Why not take McClure out of line-up. He is the weak link. You have Hawly, Konz that are bigger and can play center. This move has got to be made if falcon are going to win in playoffs.McClure has been good or a long time. He is now over the hill.
Dirk Koetter when he was hired I did not like. I know they are better OC that cold have been hired. He is not as good ad MM. At least MM knew tha Matt Ryan is a game managr not an elite OB that can carry Falcons. The defenses has figured DK out. He Had the Thirty second worst offense in football last year with Jags. It shows he i no Sean Payton
DKis not falcon answer for OC and Mikee Smith is not going to win A super bowl He is a Bobby Cox type manager. he will win a high percenatage of games , but he will never win a Superbowl.
Falcons only above averae coach is Mike Nolan. He is the reason falcons are 9-1 , more than smith or DK.

Falcon fan

November 19th, 2012
9:07 am

I wil add that, i read bloggers that are mad with ESPN and NFL channel. These men have played Pro football and thy can see what problem falcons have. They can not come out and say its Smith !!!!!!!

Stepchild

November 19th, 2012
9:21 am

Jay…it is in essence a delay of game penalty. Throwing the flag confuses the issue and forces the referee to come and address something with you that You should already know…..that the play resulted in a turnover and that ALL plays of that type are automatically reviewed….UNLESS….you force us to waste time talking to you – a coach that doesn’t know the rules and is SLOWING up the game.

Thats what falcons do…use the hurry-up offense to stand at the line of scrimmage for 20 seconds!

danny

November 19th, 2012
9:23 am

Is it just me or is this the STUPIDEST rule I’ve ever heard of?

Official: “Sorry coach, we were going to review it, but because you through a flag to challenege for us to review it, we are no longer going to challenge.”

Can someone please explain the point to this rule other than to confuse the common NFL fan.

Stepchild

November 19th, 2012
9:28 am

Danny….here you go:

It is designed to stop the OTHER stupid practice that Coach Smith was allowed to perform and praised for earlier this year —> Stopping the game by calling timeouts when you don’t have any to call!!!!

If the play is not a challengeable play then you shouldn’t be throwing your flag around…..just like if you don’t have any timeouts you shouldn’t be calling them without PENALTY!!!!

SirReal

November 19th, 2012
9:33 am

Geez…Smitty may be a bit erratic at times (thats my only real knock on him….head gets to spinning a 1000 miles a minute and he’ll end up making a rash decision or two with that bottom lip poked out.LOL LOL) but he’s still a GREAT coach. Who do you guys want? Rex Ryan? Jim Schwartz? How about Norv Turner? Please. After we finally win a damn playoff game, people can finally shut up about Smitty. He’s human, its a game, and we had a terrible terrible outing in all phases of the game. Tampa will provide a big test next week. We’ll see what happens then. They are good.

Stepchild

November 19th, 2012
9:33 am

Its just like coaches aren’t supposed to run on the field outside of the “coaches” box without penalty. It’s to help officials keep control of the flow of the game without coaches throwing flags, slowing down plays when they have no right to be interrupting the game. I just can’t wait for them to penalize coaches when they call timeouts when they have none.

okeetee

November 19th, 2012
9:42 am

Well, as bad as that was, it pales into insignificance when compared to the 9 coaches last week that failed to notice the play clock was running out…..had a time out in hand……didn’t call one…..and the game winning field goal of 51 yards by the St. Louis Rams was nullified by a “delay of game” 5 yard penalty that was subsequently missed from 56 yards out! Talk about a coaching staff that should be FIRED!!!???? My buddy thinks the coaches smoke as much dope as the players do these days!

jay

November 19th, 2012
9:57 am

@Stepchild, I’ve seen coaches throw challenge flags on plays that aren’t challengable. The ref simply tells them the play can not be challenged. There is no penalty and the coach is not admonished. In this case it was an AUTOmatic review. I’m not sure how much time it would take to say ‘coach this is an automatic review so no need to challenge’. Like I said this is a stupid rule and is very inconsistent when compared to other areas of the game regarding challenges.

Stepchild

November 19th, 2012
10:59 am

Maybe its time for Arthur to get in the Gruden sweepstakes?

Esquire

November 19th, 2012
11:32 am

Esquire

November 19th, 2012
11:33 am

Stepchild
November 19th, 2012
10:59 am

Maybe its time for Arthur to get in the Gruden sweepstakes?

***************************************************

Why?

Sam

November 19th, 2012
11:35 am

I swear the man wears makeup!

warfalcon

November 19th, 2012
1:50 pm

Will Smith have to stand up at the team meeting for his PENALTY ? LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flacons loose the next 7 games

November 19th, 2012
1:53 pm

Mr Blanks should of had of fired Smith 4 that. It couls of caused then the game.

Flacons loose the next 7 games

November 19th, 2012
1:57 pm

Yea I agreed we need 2 get Grudan as R head caoch. He has good defences which the Flacons need. U no he would get rid of Dunte Robersone and Perrier Jerry 2

warfalcon

November 19th, 2012
2:07 pm

Stepchild,GO TO BED YOUR TIRED.LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

warfalcon

November 19th, 2012
2:14 pm

@Flacons loose the next 7 games,learn how to count first and spell,only have 6 games,before you write,we do not needed a new coach,just need new fans and not the ones commenting on this blog.No doubt we are going to win,need better fans,with out the negativity.ONE GAME AT A TIME,LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

William

November 19th, 2012
3:46 pm

If turnovers are automatically reviewed why wasn’t the obvious fumble by Arizona not? That led to 3 points. Let us know please!

Wendell

November 19th, 2012
3:53 pm

This topic was covered on dirtybirdrock.blogspot.com

Thanks for the heads up D-Led

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder [...]

Mike Franklin

November 19th, 2012
4:40 pm

The zebras get more protection from rules than the players/

christopher blacklin

November 19th, 2012
5:09 pm

Does coach Smith have to stand infront of everyone in class since he committed a penalty??…lol

hiramsaint

November 19th, 2012
7:13 pm

i know i sent him a book entitled ” how to coach football for the galactically stupid ” last year

[...] We were fortunate, lets put it that way. We were fortunate to come out with the win more… Atlanta Falcons: Smith admits to challenge flag blunder – blogs.ajc.com 11/18/2012 Falcons head coach Mike Smith is to fast on the draw throwing the [...]

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Smith confesss to challenge flag blunder Falcons head coach Mike Smith is to fast on the draw throwing the red flag after a turnover against the Cardinals making the play unable to be reviewed by officials during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, November 18d, 2012. CURTIS … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder [...]

yep

November 20th, 2012
8:57 am

“If the challenge flag is thrown before the replay official initiates the review then the play is not reviewable.”
so what you’re saying is that if everyone is in agreement that the play should be reviewed, then it can’t be reviewed. yeah, that makes sense.

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder [...]

doggoneit

November 20th, 2012
5:12 pm

Important question: If i am the defense and I recover a fumble. and the refs call it a fumble. but I know upon review the fumble will be overturned. wouldn’t I the defensive coach throw the flag and take the penalty just so the play could not be reviewed?

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder [...]

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder [...]