Chicago Sun-Times

Schwartz: Peppers 'clotheslined' Johnson on fumble play

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Lions coach Jim Schwartz disputed several key penalties called on his team against the Bears on Sunday and added that Julius Peppers could have been called for clotheslining Calvin Johnson on the first-quarter play that forced a fumble and led to the Bears first touchdown.

The Peppers-Johnson play happened on the Lions' opening possession of the game. After Matthew Stafford threw a short pass to Johnson, Peppers reached around Johnson's neck, first with one arm, then with two and knocked the ball loose. Brian Urlacher recovered and the Bears scored a touchdown four plays later for the 7-0 lead.

''Julius goes into attack Calvin. He hits him with a clothesline -- technically that's a penalty,'' Schwartz told Detroit-area reporters at his Monday press conference. ''You don't hear us saying that's a dirty play.''

The Lions were called for six penalties in the game, including unnecessary roughness on Kyle Vanden Bosch for a late hit on Matt Forte in the first quarter; a face mask penalty on Cliff Avril against Matt Forte; roughing-the-passer on rookie Nick Fairley against Jay Cutler and a chop block by center Dominic Raiola against Henry Melton. Ndamukong Suh also ripped the helmet off Cutler's head with no call.

''It was a tough, physical game,'' Schwartz said. ''They're a tough, physical team. I think we're a tough, physical team.

Nick Fairley's play -- he's got contact with the quarterback while the ball's still in his hand. He's trying to get his first NFL sack for a safety. What he did was he tucked as he [brought him down] rather than just keep on pushing. That's not a dirty play -- good gracious.

Cliff Avril gets a face mask. He grazes the face mask. I mean, the guy's head turns a little bit, which is going to get the flag. Did he hold on to it and do anything? No.

Suh's going after the quarterback, who's trying to make a move. He's not trying to go down. He's trying to make a move down the field again. But he sees the defender and he goes down. And Ndamukong's here and he ducks right into it.''

Schwartz was not asked about the Stafford-D.J. Moore bout that precipitated a major brawl in the fourth quarter, which led to Moore's ejection. But Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday he thought Stafford also should have been ejected.

Both coaches, though, seemed to hope there would no be repercussions.

''It's game of football,'' Schwartz said. ''There are tough, physical things. There are things that happen in a football game. I think we've got a lot of respect for them and I hope they feel the same way about us.''

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10 Comments

How big of a crying towel does jimmy carry around?

What a whiner. Just like the Jets. The coach can't keep his foot out of his mouth. They have a lot of talent, but won't ever be a good team until they can play better than they talk.

Let me at that little SOB...

"Hi, my name is Suh, Fairley, Raiola, and Stafford. I'm not a WWF wrestler, but I play one in the NFL."

And no Schwartz, Running into Peppers' 22 inch python of an arm and dropping the football is not a penalty. It's called getting clocked and coughing up the ball because you just got all your senses knocked out of you. It's no surprise that Johnson was on the side line toward the end of the game, especially after that hit from Briggs, which was totally legal and clean.

The Lions are a classless and gutless team, and it all starts with their head coach, who is arrogant, defiant, and foolish. They are out of control because Schwartz is out of control. They have no discipline because Schwartz is an enabler who does not teach them accountability and honor. They cannot beat teams by playing fair but have to resort to dirty antics.

Of all their cheapshots and dirty plays from yesterday, I thought the worst ones were committed by Raiola, who on consecutive plays chop blocked Melton and Addison. When you intentionally dive at another guy's knees, you're trying to hurt him and possibly ruin his career. That is beyond dirty. That is evil.

I hope the Bears send all these plays to the league, who should suspend these thugs and cowards, and put an end to their behavoir.

And no Schwartz, we do not respect you and your team of punks.

Schwartz is a dirty coach and coaches his players to play dirty. Suh , Fairley , Stafford , Riola all took cheap shots Sunday. I'd like to see Schwartz start collercting fines for defending "dirty players".

Oh are you kiddin me? A closeline? Jim Schwartz, the same crybaby who threw a fit after a loss because Jimmy Harbaugh slapped him on the back to hard, is crying about a closeline hit? The same coach whose quarterback basically cost him a game with 4 picks, and after one of his many ints goes and grabs a guy by the helmet, like a crybaby! This is ridiculous?

Heres the bottom line, the Lions came into Solider Field like they were a bunch of tough guys. Stafford throws a pick, he gets mad because he sucks today, grabs a guy by the helmet pushing him down. Moore then gets up and basically beats the $hit out of crybaby Stafford. Big bad Megatron ran into a guy a little bit bigger, and a little bit tougher named Julius Peppers. Later in the game Megatron runs into another guy a little bit tougher named Lance Briggs, whose epic hit knocked him out of the game. The Lions got the taste knocked out of there mouth and are crying about it, boo-hoo. And yes, Suh is a dirty player.

Oh well, I love this knock em in the mouth rivalry stuff, and that was a heck of a football game, now Chicago needs to show the same intensity toward a certain team up in Green Bay GO BEARS!!

It wasn't a clothesline. Schwartz is just whining to deflect attention from his dirty team.

Hey I forgot about the Harbaugh thing Kevin! Good one. Bear fans need to keep that alive. We should print T-shirts or something.

Hope Lovie didn't squeeze Lil Jimmy's hand too hard after the game.

I'm serious about the Ts. How about MAMA SAYS "DON'T MAKE LIL JIMMY CRY" to start?

I know you guys can beat that.

Yeah Schwartz is a bit of a baby. But still its noce to have another rivalry in the north. The Lions have sucked for so long its nice to have, some meaningful games for a change.

I think Peppers did try and take his head off, and I am okay with that. If they want to be dirty, the Bears should be dirty right back at them. Get nast, who cares its football, its a nasty game

Yes, what Peppers did is indeed a clothesline by rule. A tackler is not allowed to use his arms to wrap around the neck of an opposing player. Maybe some folks in Chicago need to learn the rules. That play has been illegal at every level of football for fifty years or more. The NFL outlawed it when Dick "Night Train" Lane was playing. It used to be called the "Night Train Necktie."

Look, I can understand that you root for your team. But the clothesline is a dangerous play. It has paralyzed players before. It has no place in the game at all and Peppers could have, and should have, tackled Calvin Johnson lower. A player does not get whiplash for no reason.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 14, 2011 1:43 PM.

Lovie: Refs should have ejected Stafford for instigating was the previous entry in this blog.

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