Tag:Indianapolis Colts
Posted on: August 31, 2010 4:01 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 4:03 pm

NFL adjusts stance on umpire's positioning

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The NFL isn’t finished tinkering with its new umpire-stands-way-behind-the-offens
the-middle-of-the-defense decision.

According to the NY Times’ Judy Battista, the umpire, beginning with the final slate of preseason contests, will return to the defensive backfield for the final two minutes of the first half and the final FIVE minutes of the game (before it was only the last two minutes of the second half).

Then, the league will evaluate the results.

This, of course, does very little for the Colts – who have complained the most about the umpire’s new position – because they run the no-huddle so much throughout regulation.

Will this change anybody’s minds about the decision to move the umpire across the line of scrimmage and out of harm’s way ? Probably not. But will it help a team who’s making a late-game comeback and who needs to run its offense as quickly as possible? Quite possibly.

At this point, I don’t see how the NFL would rescind the idea entirely and put the umpires back on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe this isn't a bad compromise.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 11:16 am

Falcons don't mind new position of ump

Collisions were a major reason the NFL decided to reposition the umpire (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s been quite a bit of talk the past week or so regarding the umpire’s new position about 10 yards behind the offensive line and how it affects hurry-up offenses because the ball will be spotted a little slower. Like, say, the Colts and QB Peyton Manning.

Andy wrote about it yesterday, so check that out for some background.

But you know who’s not worried about the new positioning? The Falcons. That’s what D. Orlando Ledbetter writes in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Atlanta has run its no-huddle offense in all three of its preseason games, and so far, the team hasn’t had problems adjusting.

"Obviously it's different, the way they set the ball," Ryan said. "But we have not had any issues thus far with it."

The Chargers, though, can sympathize with the Colts. This, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune , which quotes QB Philip Rivers as saying, “It’s a problem. We’re down 11 with five minutes to go and we have to wait and look for people to snap? It’s an issue.”

Let me just put in my two cents. I can understand why the Colts would be frustrated with this, but the NFL says it made the move because of the umpire’s safety. More than 100 collisions and a handful of concussions suffered by those officials last year seemingly make this a pretty good idea.

And if the players’ major argument against an 18-game schedule is because they fear for their safety, they should sympathize for men who are older, slower and not in as good a shape but still share the same football field.

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 11:05 am

Manning, Polian detest new ball-spotting rules

Posted by Andy Benoit

Not surprisingly, Peyton Manning and Bill Polian are displeased -- perhaps even downright angry -- with the NFL’s new ball-spotting rule. Because umpires are now lining up in the backfield, it’s taking longer for them to spot the ball. And, after they spot the ball, they must run back to their spot some 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Consequently, the quarterback must look to the line judge to get a go-ahead to snap the ball. As we saw at Lambeau Field last Thursday night, this slows Indy’s hurry-up offense. B. Polian (US Presswire)

As usual, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, in his most recent Monday Morning Quarterback Column, got great insight on the mess. Manning told King, "If we had this rule last year there's no way we catch up in that New England game. We were down, what, 21 points in the fourth quarter? We wouldn't have had enough time to run enough plays to catch up. But forget about that game. Let's chart all the comeback wins where a team runs the hurry-up in the fourth quarter. How many of those games would have ended up the same way -- or would the quarterbacks have had enough time to run enough plays to come back and win?''

Indy’s gripe also pertains to the snap infringement penalty (which they were flagged for twice against Green Bay). "I am dead-set against the penalty,'' Polian, who is on the Competition Committee, said. "It is insane. If I knew it would be this way, I'd have voted against it, and not only that, I'd have crusaded against it.''

It is believed that the NFL will try to fix the timing issues, though VP of officiating, Carl Johnson, doesn’t seem too creative at this point.

"The way the new mechanic of the umpire positioning is, I don't have a resolution to that,'' Johnson told King. "It's going to take a couple extra seconds to spot the ball. There's no way around that. But this is a work in progress. We're aggressively seeking ways to improve the mechanics.''

King bounces around several ideas for what the league can do to remedy the problem. A major obstacle is that the league has already acknowledged that the umpire was moved because of safety concerns. This significantly limits the possibility of simply moving the umpires back to his original spot. After all, if that were to happen, then not only would the league be saying it doesn’t care about the umpire’s safety, but it could also be liable if an umpire were to get seriously injured.

It’s safe to assume that when the apparently hasty decision to relocate the umpire was made, the NFL did not foresee having to deal with so many issues this close to the start of the regular season.

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Posted on: August 28, 2010 12:01 pm

Report: Gary Brackett's hand injury 'no biggie'

Posted by Will Brinson

Linebacker Gary Brackett suffered a nasty little injury during the first quarter of Thursday's Packers - Colts preseason shootout when he banged his right hand against teammate Philip Wheeler's helmet.

Good news from Indy, though, as it appears Brackett will be just fine, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star .

"No biggie,'' a source with knowledge of the injury told The Star , elaborating that Brackett almost certainly will be ready for the Colts' Sept. 12 regular-season opener at Houston.

Coach Jim Caldwell, when asked whether or not any of the injured players (Brackett, Joseph Addai, Tony Ugoh, Antonio Johnson and Jacob Lacey) would miss the season opener, said that "It's too early to make that assessment."

That's typical coach-speak, and given that Addai could have supposedly returned to the game despite his concussion and that Brackett's X-rays were negative, it seems that Colts' fans should be fairly optimistic heading towards the beginning of the regular season.

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:09 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 11:11 am

New umpire positioning proving to be a problem

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Colts-Packers gave fans rare first-class preseason entertainment Thursday night, but what ardent football buffs took away from the game was just how disruptive the new umpiring position can be.

By now, you’ve probably had it explained to you 9 or 10 times that the NFL has decided to relocate the umpire from the linebacking area to the backfield. The main reason behind the move was umpire safety (there were 100 collisions and three injuries to umpires in 2009).

So far this preseason, the popular thing for television analysts to explain is that this relocation will lead to more offensive holding calls.
(This, by the way, will probably prove untrue before long; penalties always increase with rule changes, but ultimately, players adjust.)
NFL Umpire (US Presswire)
In ESPN’s Packers-Colts telecast, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden remonstrated about how the umpire’s new positioning slows down the flow of play. The umpire must spot the ball and then run 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The offense is not allowed to snap the ball until the umpire and referee are both deeper than the deepest back. This means a one- to two-second delay, which, in hurry-up time, is an eternity.

Because of this, the NFL decided that umpires will remain in their old linebacker position inside of two minutes. But this doesn’t help a team like the Colts, who run a hurry-up outside of two minutes. Indeed, Indy was flagged for two false snaps Thursday night. They were held up on several more snaps, with Peyton Manning constantly having to look to his left to get the side judge’s approval to snap the ball. As Jaws and Gruden stressed, this forces a quarterback to take his eyes off the defense, which goes against everything he’s taught.

Colts president Bill Polian is very powerful within the NFL (he’s on the Competition Committee). You can bet he’s going to ask (demand) that the league re-examine the execution of the umpire’s new positioning.

Gruden correctly pointed out that the difference in the flow of the hurry-up outside of two minutes and inside of two minutes was startling. Jaws suggested that, instead of worrying so much about the umpire’s safety, the league should find more athletic umpires and give them helmets. It’s not a bad idea when you consider that doing so would force only one person to make a drastic change (the umpire) rather than an entire offense to make a drastic change.

The NFL seems hesitant to make major changes, though. In an e-mail sent to ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky, NFL spokesman Michael Signora said, "The movement of the umpire to the offensive backfield will happen in the regular-season. We continue to analyze and review the impact of the change in the preseason, and we may announce some tweaks to the mechanics of the position prior to the regular season, but the move is a definite."

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:11 am

Addai suffers concussion in preseason game

Posted by Will Brinson

Joseph Addai, who ripped off a 49-yard run on Indianapolis' first play from scrimmage, suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Thursday night's preseason game against the Packers.

Addai chased down Robert Francois after the Packers' defender recovered a Peyton Manning fumble and, while tackling Francois at the Colts' 2-yard-line, "came down hard."

He then spent a few minutes on the sideline with his head covered by a towel and speaking with trainers.

The oddest part about the injury is that the Colts, who aren't exactly known for leaving their starters in for lengthy periods of time (ahem, 2009 regular season), kept he, Manning and other starters in past halftime.
Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:01 pm

QBs blowing up on Thursday night, Avery hurt

Posted by Will Brinson

We tweeted earlier wondering who would have the best numbers between Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.

Rodgers won the battle (but not by much), throwing up a monster first half line, going 21/29 with 195 yards and 3 TDs. Manning wasn't exactly bad though, going 13/23 with 199 yards, 2 TDs and an interception.

Elsewhere (well, in New England, actually), Tom Brady and Sam Bradford are having a decent little night of their own.

Brady went 10/12 for 175 yards and 2 TDs including a 65-yard bomb to Randy Moss; Brady also "lost" a series when Brandon Tate took the opening kickoff 97 yards to the house.

Bradford, in what amounts to an audition for the Rams' starting job, looked superb while going 15/22 for 189 yards and 2 TDs. (Of course, ex-Duke guy Thaddeus Lewis had, as of this writing, ripped the Pats for 74 yards and a TD, so maybe it's a defensive thing.)

Bad news hit for the Rams, though, when Donnie Avery left on a cart after a nasty knee injury.

We'll keep you updated on that as we find out more.
Posted on: August 26, 2010 3:07 pm

Packers-Colts preseason action: what/why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

Some of us are picking these two teams to square off again in Dallas this February. We won’t go so far as to dub any preseason contest a “Super Bowl preview”, but suffice it to say, there are plenty of reasons to watch tonight’s Packers-Colts game (8:00 ET, ESPN).
For one, this is the third preseason contest for both teams. Thus, we’ll see somewhat intricate gameplans and starters on the field for most of the first three quarters.

Second, we’re talking about two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, and two defenses that have the stars to create intriguing matchups within the matchups: Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis against Green Bay’s veteran offensive tackles; Charles Woodson, the multi-tooled X-factor in Dom Capers’ defense, against Peyton Manning; Colts first-round rookie defensive end Jerry Hughes against Packers first-round offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga in the second half. P. Manning (US Presswire)

This game will also be an important audition for several Packers. Daryn Colledge is looking to solidify his hold on the left guard duties (this will be the third year in a row, and fourth time in five years, that Colledge has successfully held his starting job after being seriously challenged for it in camp). If he struggles, we might see Bulaga or Allen Barbre thrown back in the mix.

With Al Harris still on the mend (knee) and unlikely to be ready come Week 1, Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Sam Shields and Jarrett Bush are competing for the No. 3 cornerback job.

Several Packer linebackers are posturing for playing time. If the season were to begin today, the starting lineup would be: OLB’s Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, and ILB’s A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett. Brandon Chillar and Desmond Bishop have both been in the mix, though Chillar appears set as the versatile nickel backup, while Bishop, much to his chagrin, finds himself having to once again scrapping for a role after Hawk took back the starting ILB job.

P.S. Packers-Colts isn’t the only preseason game tonight. There’s also Rams-Patriots in New England. That game is not nationally televised, so this is a moot point for most people, but there is an obvious reason to watch this one (besides it being the third preseason contest for both teams): Sam Bradford is starting.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com