Jim Schwartz irritated after chippy loss
CHICAGO -- After a particularly chippy 37-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, a game featuring an ejection and brief melee, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz grew irritated when asked if he needed to discipline his players for personal fouls and unnecessary roughness.
He kind of blocked me, and I was just trying to get him off of me the best I knew how. I guess he didn't like the way I did it, and he wanted to ask me about it.” -- Lions QB Matthew Stafford
"Discipline for what?" Schwartz said. "For their guy getting kicked out of the game? Did Matt (Stafford) get penalized. No, Matt didn't get penalized.
"As for the unnecessary roughness on the quarterback, Nick Fairley was in contact with (Bears quarterback Jay Cutler) when he let go of the ball and then as he was taking him down to the ground, he tucked him and you cannot do that. But it wasn't a late hit. It was a tuck in the end zone. What other ones do you have?"
Bears cornerback D.J. Moore was ejected in the fourth quarter when he went after Stafford, who threw Moore to the ground during an interception return.
Stafford, who said he inadvertently grabbed Moore's helmet, seemed baffled by the play.
"He kind of blocked me, and I was just trying to get him off of me the best I knew how," Stafford said. "I guess he didn't like the way I did it, and he wanted to ask me about it."
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher called Moore's ejection "a bad call. I don't know why he got thrown out of the game," he said. "That was stupid, not on his part but the call was bad."
Moore said he believed both he and Stafford were in the wrong.
"I felt like it was 'Keep (Stafford) in the game because he's important,'" Moore said.
Cutler said he would have to watch film before commenting on one of the first -- unflagged -- plays that seemed to set the tone when Lions' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh pulled Cutler's helmet off following the quarterback's 10-yard scramble in the second quarter.
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"(Did it) cross the line?" Bears' coach Lovie Smith asked. "I think it's safe to say you shouldn't do that, and let's leave it at that."
Mike Pereira, former vice president of officiating for the NFL and currently a "rules analyst" for Fox Sports tweeted after the play: " ... in my opinion that should have been a penalty on Suh. He ripped Cutlers (sic) helmet off from inside the back of it."
Likewise, no flag was thrown later in the first half when Suh shoved Cutler after he released the ball and while he was in the grasp of Lions' defensive end Cliff Avril.
With the Bears leading 37-6, Fairley was, however called for roughing the passer in the third quarter for driving Cutler into the turf in the Bears end zone also after Cutler released the ball.
On the next possession, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was penalized for unnecessary roughness for a bone-rattling shot on receiver Calvin Johnson coming across the middle, a flag hotly contested in the Bears' locker room.
"He beat the (heck) out of him, that's what happened," Urlacher said. "I don't know why it was a penalty. What are you supposed to do? He hit him with his shoulder. He turned his head to the side, it was full-speed contact. Lance is a big guy. A guy is going to go backwards when he hits him."
The play set off a spirited celebration by the Bears.
"That was a great hit, man," said Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams. "I was ready to play after that."
Tackle Henry Melton was frustrated by the flag.
"I didn't think it was bad at all," he said. "I thought he put his shoulder into him. I don't know how you're supposed to hit someone across the middle anymore. Especially when you're a physical player, I don't understand how you're supposed to make contact."
The rough stuff accelerated later in the same drive following Stafford's third of four interceptions on the day.
"He grabbed the back of my helmet and I thought I was blocking him and then he tried to, I don't know what he tried to do, hurt me or something, so then I went after him," Moore said. "Me personally, I laugh and smile the whole time, so for me to do anything, it's something."
Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.