Randy Cross is a former offensive lineman who won a few Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers back in the 1980s. He's also an announcer for CBS Sports and a regular contributor to National Football Post. Like all people who have logically and objectively looked at this inconsistent and utterly bone-headed umpire position rule change, Randy sees nothing but contradictions:
Let me get this straight, there are 2 minutes and 20 seconds left and the clock is running. I run a play that gains 4 yards and get back on the ball quickly but before I can get the next play off the 2 minute warning is called. After a commercial break, TV returns and now the umpire is back in his old spot on the defensive side of the ball for the rest of the half or game. (So it's a safety issue and a health risk for the umpire for 56 minutes of the game but not for the 4 minutes that matter most? Is this just a tad bit moronic and nonsensical?)
Again, health and safety issues are the reason the umpires were moved. However, for four minutes of the game, the NFL is perfectly willing to move umpires back into the danger zone, exposing them to the very same health and safety issues they have supposedly grappled with for decades.
It's not a 'tad' moronic and nonsensical. It IS moronic and nonsensical.
If it truly is a health and safety issue, the umpires should remain behind the QB regardless of whether or not the game half is after the two minute warning. Since the league is more than willing to toss umpires back into the 'meat grinder' inside two minutes, it undermines their 'safety' reasoning.
If the issue is 'safety,' then make certain the umps are physically fit (regular fitness test), give them protective padding, and keep them where they were. If not, then keep them behind the quarterback and kiss goodbye any and all notions of a two-minute offense for the present and foreseeable future.
This is simply a dumb, consistent, poorly planned rule change. Despite the universal dislike and the glaring flaws, the NFL is moving forward with it anyway. In case you didn't know (cough * cough * 18 game regular season), the NFL does not listen to its fans.