Lions want to take bad calls out of the equation

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Caldwell doesn’t want his players to think “woe is me” when it comes to what happened in Seattle on Monday night. And the Detroit Lions aren’t really doing that.

But after the batted ball controversy at the end of the Seahawks game and what happened with the pass interference call being overturned in Dallas, some of the Lions are at least wondering why this keeps happening.

And it’s a valid question.

“You do feel like you look back at what happened in Dallas and you look back at this,” Glover Quin said. “You kind of feel like, ‘Man, why does this always happen to Detroit? Why do they treat us like this? What they treat us like that?’

“We just got to make sure that we blowing teams out so those calls don’t even affect it.”

That’s the approach Detroit’s players -- at least the ones who would speak about the batted ball issue from Monday night -- mostly took. That there was nothing they could do about it now other than focus on the Cardinals, the 3-1 team the Lions face Sunday afternoon.

That’s essentially Caldwell’s point with trying to get his players to not talk about it as well, although there are many issues to what happened on the field and not all of them have to do with the specific incident itself.

Receiver Calvin Johnson, who fumbled the ball into the end zone on the Seattle 1-yard line that set up the chance for K.J. Wright to bat it out of the end zone, thinks there needs to be a push to make sure calls are made correctly in the league.

As for this particular call, an informal survey of 12 players conducted by ESPN in the Lions locker room Wednesday had two players know about the batted ball rule before the game, seven players not knowing about the rule and three refusing to comment because of Caldwell’s edict that players not discuss the rule.

But getting it right -- whether players know it or not -- is what the Lions believe is important.

“It should be a big emphasis for everybody, for the whole league to just get calls right,” Johnson said. “If there’s an opportunity to get it right, you should take the opportunity.”

And more than anything else, that might be what comes of this. Last season, the Lions proposed all penalties should be reviewable -- a proposal that was rejected. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wanted all plays to be reviewable -- another proposal that failed.

“We do think it’ll certainly make the game, we have the technology to do so,” Caldwell said of the Lions proposal. “It’s not in the Ice Ages. I know they are concerned about slowing the game down but I think just in terms of not having huge errors that impact the game, it may mitigate that somewhat.”

That was a concern of Lions players as well. Johnson said he wasn’t sure if all plays should be reviewable. Defensive end Darryl Tapp said he thinks it come to the point where the league does review everything, but he has concerns about the momentum during a game in that scenario.

All of this came on top of James Ihedigbo’s comments after Monday night’s loss, when he said officials should be held more accountable like players and coaches are. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday he would completely support full-time officials in the NFL, while Caldwell wasn’t sure having them as full-time employees would make much of a difference.

“It’s unfortunate,” Tapp said. “It always seems like we’re the team that has to start change in different rules but like I said, it’s the nature of the beast, man.

“We just have to do what we continue to do, what we got to do to put ourselves in situations where we want to be at the end of games.”

That, ideally, is to not be in a position where an official’s call or non-call can alter the outcome of a game -- something that has happened multiple times in recent years in Lions games. But the Lions realize there is nothing they can do about what happened Monday night now.

So if you’re wondering why players haven’t been going apoplectic publicly about the missed call, that’s why.

“You can have the whole team fussing, cussing everybody out and at the end of the day, we’re still going to be 0-4,” Quin said. “And they might say, well, next time we’ll try to get it right and they might call and give an apology, but that don’t change our record.

“So there’s no point in fussing, cussing everybody out. Might as well move on, try to get the next one and try not to make it close.”