More follies from the NFL league office as they continue to fumble their way through the embarrassing umpire rules changes. Two days before the Vikings are to visit the Saints for the start of the 2010 regular season, the league decided to make yet another change to the umpire positioning rule. PFT explains:
Today the league office sent all 32 teams a memo explaining that the umpire will now be 12 yards from the line of scrimmage, not 15 yards. In theory, that means it shouldn't take the umpire quite as long to spot the ball before each play, get back into position during the play, and then go spot the ball again as soon as the play ends.
The league also said the head linesman or line judge will signal when a snap can occur, and the quarterback can then call for the snap as soon as he sees that signal. And now umpires will move back to the old position on the defensive side of the field during the last two minutes of the first half, the last five minutes of the second half and any time a team is at or inside the defense's 5-yard line.
PFT then goes on to say that teams like the Colts and Saints, who run no-huddle, up-tempo offenses, are still going to be affected by these rules changes regardless of whatever tweaking the league office does to shoehorn them into practice.
I'm almost numb to the stupidity the NFL is engaging in with this rule. A fat, over weight, slow umpire can now do more to slow the Colts and Saints than an NFL defense can.