Lions’ Jim Caldwell admits to ‘poor job’ on challenge

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell throws the challenge flag on a call in the first quarter, but is not overturned.

Detroit – Lions coach Jim Caldwell is prudent with his challenge flags, sometimes to a fault, but he slipped out of character during the first quarter of his team’s win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

After the Browns converted a fourth-and-1 carry on a run by Duke Johnson, where the immediately-available replays made it look like Johnson was marked short, if anything, Caldwell haphazardly tossed the red flag to initiate a replay review, costing his team a timeout in the process.

Asked about the decision after the game, Caldwell didn’t hesitate to take full ownership of the error.

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“I did a very poor job of that, plain and simple,” Caldwell said. “That’s all you have to know, that’s all that counts. I make all those decisions, those things come through me, by me. That was my fault, it was a problem.”

The lost timeout didn’t end up hurting the Lions. They burned a second one early in the second quarter and the third, after Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer scrambled down to the 2-yard line in the closing seconds of the first half.

A coaching blunder by the Browns, attempting a QB sneak with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter with no timeouts, resulted in the team not scoring before half.