Posted by Jayme Joers on August 27, 2010 Jump To Comments
So last night the Packers won. Wait, let me rephrase that…Last night the Packers crushed the Indianapolis Colts! Okay, so its preseason and scores really don’t count, but there were a lot of positive things to be taken from the game. 1. all three QBs looked solid. 2. Our number two defense stopped the Colts number one offense and 3. Special teams made more good plays than bad ones. 4. Our defense stopped playing Vanilla and started playing Chocolate chip (still vanilla based, but random nuggets of goodness thrown in). Anyone who watched the ESPN coverage of the game also probably came away with the following. 1. Jon Gruden loves the sound of his own voice. He also loves everyone else, even people who aren’t playing football anymore. 2. The NFL changed the rule as to where the ref should stand and this is driving Peyton Manning crazy.
Oh rule changes. Here’s a refresher for anyone who either missed last night’s game or started ignoring the constant chatter about it and didn’t hear the full explanation. Since the beginning of time (okay, since the beginning of football, but in my world there was no time before football), the umpire has stood behind the defensive line, usually lining up as a linebacker. This sometimes caused a problem, as basically the guy was a tree, stuck back there and the play had to revolve around him. So for years the poor defenseless men stood in the middle of a bloody battlefield attempting to dodge passes, tacklers, and runners all while keeping two eyes on the look out for holding. Obviously some of these brave souls didn’t make it through unscathed. So the NFL decided to make a change. Now these umps will line up behind the offense. However it is still their job to place the ball. They will now place the ball and jog back to their new spot before the offense is allowed to snap the ball.
Last night’s MNF crew had massive problems with this. To a point, I get it, some offenses, like Indy’s move quickly, the goal being to keep the defense on its heels and not allow for subs. If they have to wait for an ump before each snap, it’s a blow to their rhythm. Personally I see this as a minor problem. One that as time goes on, teams and umps will fall into their own pattern and the exchange should be much smoother. If a team wants to run a no-huddle type offense then they are going to have to practice and find a way to do it under the new rule. The ump will move back to his original spot during the last two minutes of every half so that he can spot the ball easier. I’m also sure that the NFL will tweak this rule if it really begins to hinder games.
Yet, the MNF crew wasn’t so much concerned with the pace of the offense as it was worried about Manning’s ability to check where the ump is before he calls for the snap. It felt like Gruden went on for ever about how a quarterback has learned to do things one way his entire life and that can not be changed. I snorted. Excuse me? Peyton Manning lacks the mental and physical ability to find a way to ensure he is allowed to snap the ball, but Tim Tebow has the ability to completely restructure and retool his entire throwing motion? I’m puzzled. I will admit that Manning did seem annoyed at the rule, twice getting called for illegal snap, but I think that was more of his pissy-ness than a lack of his mental and physical capabilities. The ump was lined up behind the Packers offense as well, obviously, and the Rodgers didn’t seem to have any trouble turning around, or looking at the line ref to make sure he could snap the ball. Therefore I’m assuming the Rodgers has both superior mental and physical ability than Peyton Manning.
Tirico, Jaws and Gruden were obsessed with the rule change, comparing it to moving the ump behind home plate to third base in baseball and stating that the only real solution is to move the ump back and “throw a helmet on him.” (pretty sure if an ump gets tackled by a 300 pound man, he might need more than a helmet)… Anyways, I think the whole thing is stupid. Just a talking point to fill space. If the Colts can’t figure out how to run their offense with this rule change, that’s their problem and perhaps they should have worked on it before. I don’t know if the ump move will work or stay but if it makes Peyton Manning frustrated like an 8 year old girl, I’m all for it!