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Monday, October 25, 2010
Lovie Smith regrets not challenging call

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith admitted Monday that he should have challenged a call in Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.

On the opening drive of the third quarter with the Bears leading 14-10, quarterback Jay Cutler hit Earl Bennett on a 48-yard play to the goal line. Smith challenged the ruling, thinking Bennett scored, but the call on the field was upheld.

On the next play, Cutler tried to sneak in from the one-yard line, but the ball was knocked away and ruled a fumble that was recovered by London Fletcher. Replays indicated the ball may have broke the plane.

"Yes, I should have [thrown the flag]," Smith said. "Looking at it in hindsight, normally if there's a critical situation I throw it whether I have a good look or not on it -- and I didn't have a great look on it, but that was a critical play in the game and I need to make that call.

"I just used one [challenge] up before that, and at the time, I thought we were in control of the game. We had given the opponent the ball on the one-yard line before and forced them to punt it, and I felt we would get the ball back right away. Which we did."

Smith said it's a combination of what he hears from his assistants in the press box watching replays and what he sees from his own vantage point.

"That's one play, I would like to have that one back, but there were so many opportunities we had to still win the football game," Smith said.