There really weren’t a lot of rule changes introduced for the 2010 season, and this has been one of the few years where that has been the case. The most notable change, however, has less to do with the rulebook and more with the position of officials on the field. The umpire–the official that traditionally stands behind the linebackers on most plays, has been moved to the opposite side of the field, behind the line of scrimmage. While the safety benefits for the umpire are pretty obvious, the implications for Peyton Manning running his hurry-up offense against the Packers last night were not.
In the midst of getting blown out, Pey-Pey was twice whistled down for an “illegal snap,” starting the play before the umpire (who spots the ball) could get into position. And then he whined about it like a little girl. Yeah, the new rule will take Peyton out of his rhythm for a while, but the Colts have had their share of beneficial rules changes. It’s about time one of them went the other way.
Manning the elder will have to figure out what he can get away with under this new system, and then he’ll just have to get over it. The NFL considers the safety of its officials to be paramount, and this isn’t something that’s going to be overturned. I’d take Peyton Manning getting bowled over instead of an umpire anyway. It’s a character builder.