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Jim Schwartz to consult on NFL officiating

Former Detroit Lions coach and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has found a job this season after all.

He will be working in the NFL as an officiating consultant in 2015.Schwartz will offer a coaching viewpoint on decisions made by the league's officiating department.

The NFL confirmed Schwartz's hire, first reported by Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, on Monday afternoon.

Schwartz, who spent five seasons as the Lions' coach before being fired after the 2013 season, had his issues with the rules during his tenure in Detroit.

The most notable instance came in 2012, when Schwartz tried to challenge a touchdown run by Houston Texans running back Justin Forsett, saying he was down by contact. Since scoring plays were automatically reviewed, Schwartz received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for challenging the play. Doing so also meant the NFL could not review the play, leaving the touchdown on the board.

The play led to the league changing the rule the following offseason, creating what became known as "Jim Schwartz rule" that allowed plays to be reviewed even if coaches throw challenge flags when they aren't allowed to.

Schwartz was Detroit's coach when the complete-the-process rule was most famously instituted on Calvin Johnson in the 2010 season and then became better known as the "Calvin Johnson rule."

Schwartz took the blame in 2013 for not challenging a potential forward lateral against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013 because, if it was not challengeable, it would have cost the Lions 15 yards -- something he had learned in the past. At the time, Schwartz said he was initially told he couldn't challenge the play, but the league clarified later that he could have thrown the challenge flag.

The Lions lost all three of those games, part of Schwartz's 29-52 tenure with Detroit.

Schwartz was also caught on a referee microphone in 2011 yelling "Learn the f---ing rules" after a game-winning kick by Jason Hanson in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.

"They were just having a little discussion, and they needed to be reminded that it was regular-season rules," Schwartz told MLive at the time. "But they were going to get it right. When I say 'they,' I mean the referee. The referee knew right away, but he had a couple of whistles blown and he needs to listen to his other guys."

With his new gig, it is possible the 48-year-old Schwartz could have input on some of these rules he has learned about firsthand.

Schwartz became a coaching free agent this offseason after Buffalo hired Rex Ryan and allowed Schwartz to search for other employment. He found none in the NFL -- his release was fairly late in the offseason coaching cycle -- and now he'll be employed by the league instead.


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