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The NFL Adjusts the Umpire's Position Again

DENVER - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Ben Rothlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks with head linesman John McGrath (C) and side judge Allen Baynes (R) as the Steelers face the Denver Broncos during preseason NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 29, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 34-17.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Josh McCainSenior Writer ISeptember 4, 2016

The NFL had moved the umpire for safety's sake to behind the deepest running back on the offensive side of the ball, instead of his old position which was in the middle of the defense.

All was going well in this new transition until last weeks Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts game where the Colts were flagged for an illegal snap because they had not waited until the umpire was in position.

Usually quite Peyton Manning sounded off about the rule, commenting that the Colts comeback against the New England Patriots would not have happened if this rule was in place last season due to the extra time it takes for the umpire to get into position.

With the new rule the umpire does move to his old position in the middle of the defense during the last two-minutes of each half.

However, after complaints from Manning and Colts' general manager Bill Polian the league met on the new rule.

In tonight's preseason finalies the umpires will move to their old positions for the last five minutes of each half.

Theoretically this should allow for enough times for hurry up offenses to work at the end of the halfs, but given the Colts run the hurry up for most of the game it will probably be of little help to them.

I'm all for safety, especially to those on the field without pads (after all there is a new rule to blow a play dead when the ball carriers helmet comes off), but according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio that a source had said that the officials hadn't asked to be moved.

So there you have it, the league is still tinkering with this rule, hopefully they'll get it right before the Super Bowl.

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