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Tony Dungy: Illegal snap rule will hinder no-huddle offenses

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy agrees with his old G.M. and his old quarterback, Bill Polian and Peyton Manning: The new alignment of the umpire is going to be a serious problem for no-huddle offenses.

Dungy said today on an NBC Sports media call that a part of the Colts’ success in recent years has been keeping defenses on their toes with the threat of snapping the ball as soon as it’s spotted. Now that the offense has to wait for the umpire to spot the ball and then get back behind the running back, Dungy says, the Colts’ offense can’t operate the way it did before.

“If that threat is going to be gone, that certainly will take a lot away
from not only the Colts, but anybody trying to run the no-huddle,” Dungy said.

When the league announced that the umpires would move from the defensive side of the field to the offensive side, hardly anyone noticed that one of the corresponding changes was the requirement that the offense wait for the umpire to get into position before snapping the ball. The Colts’ illegal snap penalties on Thursday night brought that issue into focus.

Now Dungy thinks the league needs to make some changes.

“That is something the league is going to have to address and see if they can change that, because that will affect anybody who runs the no-huddle offense,” Dungy said. “I think they’ll come to a compromise where they’ll allow the offense to snap the ball quicker than they are now.”

Here’s hoping Dungy is right, and the league finds a way to move umpires out of harm’s way without slowing down no-huddle offenses.

UPDATE: In an earlier version of this item I incorrectly wrote that Polian was on the NBC Sports media call. All of the quotes in this item come from Dungy, not Polian.

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42 Responses to “Tony Dungy: Illegal snap rule will hinder no-huddle offenses”
  1. Chiefs2010 says: Aug 30, 2010 1:03 PM

    Dungy needs to go live on a mountain somewhere…
    Peyton Manning’s the only reason people know who he is.

  2. jfdane says: Aug 30, 2010 1:10 PM

    Don’t forget the Saints have been flagged for this rule 3 times in the preseason already as well

  3. Chapnasty. says: Aug 30, 2010 1:11 PM

    Who the hell cares what Tony Dungy says MDS???!!! The only people that respect his opinion are those at NBC because you are obligated to!

  4. DonTerrelli says: Aug 30, 2010 1:13 PM

    This will be the downfall of the Colts. Finally…

  5. Warpstone says: Aug 30, 2010 1:16 PM

    I don’t really understand why the umpire’s position was swapped to other side in the first place. It’s always the most dangerous position to ref and at least the setup behind LBs allowed the umpire to usually watch for his safety on anything underneath. The most dangerous play was a 8-12 yard crossing pattern. There’s got to be a better way to deal with this.

  6. Nyjets31 says: Aug 30, 2010 1:17 PM

    If this Sanchez & Rex complaining about this new rule ,Skelator Dungy would be all for it…….he does need to just go away ..

  7. johnwhodey says: Aug 30, 2010 1:18 PM

    Is it just me, or does Dungu sound like he wants to be the commissioner?

  8. juhlrich says: Aug 30, 2010 1:20 PM

    Who cares if this hurts the Colts? New rules generally hurt some teams and help some teams.
    When they changed the pass interference rules a few years back to HELP the Colts dwarf receivers, I don’t remember Polian and Manning being so interested in “fairness”. How about you stop bitching and start playing?

  9. AlanSaysYo says: Aug 30, 2010 1:22 PM

    When are we going to get Tony Dungy’s take on last night’s Emmy awards? Is he glad that Michael C. Hall didn’t win for best actor because Dexter is a poor role model? How does he feel about Nurse Jackie dropping so many f-bombs?

  10. Caldon says: Aug 30, 2010 1:27 PM

    How about we see how other teams handle it, we don’t need to tailor rules just for the colts, well, you know, except to help their receivers.
    They already take advantage of the snap to keep the def from subbing and lead the league in the totally cheap 12 men on the field flag. Then they are masters of using the Ref in the old position to screen their receivers free.
    Yeah, I can see why they hate it.

  11. Love_Boat_Scandal says: Aug 30, 2010 1:30 PM

    “Here’s hoping Dungy is right, and the league finds a way to move umpires out of harm’s way without slowing down no-huddle offenses.”
    Here’s hoping Dungy goes away. He’s terrible on NBC’s FNIA.

  12. Guy Incognito says: Aug 30, 2010 1:30 PM

    Oh blah blah blah waaahhhh. You mean the offense is actually going to have to beat the defense on merit now?
    This is nothing to cry about.

  13. SThausen says: Aug 30, 2010 1:31 PM

    The Steelers devoted time at camp to work with the officials and their new placement, especially to determine the effect on the hurry up offense. Perhaps the Colts need to do the same and stop using their coach emeritus to do their whining for them.

  14. Robert says: Aug 30, 2010 1:34 PM

    Peyton Manning was whining about this last week in a preseason game. His acting rivaled that of the floppers of the NBA.
    While I do think this slows down the game a bit, it’s not going to make a difference in the final outcome of the game. They still move the umpire behind the defense after the 2-minute warning.

  15. Obnoxio says: Aug 30, 2010 1:38 PM

    The officials will also see all the holding the Colts O-Line has lived on for the last several years as well. How did something that doesn’t directly benefit the Colts get approved ;)

  16. djeg07 says: Aug 30, 2010 1:41 PM

    dungy needs to find a hole and jump into it. sick of hearing dungy going here dungy going there. his appearances on tv are getting old too. if dungy can be on tv let rip jimmy the greek out of the ground and let him talk some more.

  17. FinFan68 says: Aug 30, 2010 1:45 PM

    Dungy has made his opinions irrelevant…he walked away from the Colts and the NFL. He needs to just shut up or admit he wants to coach again.

  18. The Black Cat says: Aug 30, 2010 1:49 PM

    Dungy agreeing with the Colts, headline news there!

  19. dabarber says: Aug 30, 2010 2:00 PM

    Wait until a few games are won/lost because a 60 year old umpire gets tired while trying to sprint 12-15 yards after every play at the end of a game.
    Hope it doesn’t happen to your favorite team!

  20. overkil2 says: Aug 30, 2010 2:08 PM

    The no huddle offense was primarily used so the D cannot sub in players thereby taking advantage of some matchups.
    Snapping the ball when the referee puts it down, while not a penalty before, was pretty cheap. Defenses are trying to get in their calls, etc..
    Whine a little more Peyton.

  21. Old School says: Aug 30, 2010 2:16 PM

    Maybe officials should have to pass Shanahan’s conditioning test, or have to stand on the sidelines and eat doughnuts with Fat Albert.

  22. Dapollock says: Aug 30, 2010 2:18 PM

    So Manning, Dungy and all the Colt faithful hate the rule because, using their example, they wouldn’t have had time to come back in the 4th and 2 game against the patriots last year. Ok, fair enough, but how about not getting down to them by 21 or so in the 58 minutes preceeding said play? Play a little better the rest of the game and it’s a moot point.
    It’s a new rule. As Gunny Highway said, “Improvise, adapt, overcome.”

  23. CKL says: Aug 30, 2010 2:22 PM

    # jfdane says: August 30, 2010 1:10 PM
    Don’t forget the Saints have been flagged for this rule 3 times in the preseason already as well
    ____________________________________
    Someone need to tell Dungy that gays hate this rule and he will automatically be in favor of it. UGH. I hate that man.
    You know why we don’t know that? Because the Saints aren’t WHINING PUBLICLY despite the fact that as far as I know they have no representation on the Competition Committee.
    Seriously how much of tools are PM and BP that they WHINE about something their team had a VOTE on???
    Besides, I have seen a lot of other QBs who have run the no huddle this preseason outside the 2 minute range and who have been successful. I guess peypey just isn’t as good as they are since they can make it work WITHIN THE CURRENT RULES PEY-PEY’S GM VOTED FOR. Geeze.

  24. Drednot says: Aug 30, 2010 2:41 PM

    Why is it when the Colts whine they get their way!? If it was any other team, the league would tell them to shut up and play!!!

  25. Larz from North says: Aug 30, 2010 2:44 PM

    If only more people thought like T Dungy

  26. edgy1957 says: Aug 30, 2010 2:46 PM

    So, you think that the NFL reverting back to the old rule in the last two minutes shows that the NFL knew that there was a problem. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong and I have to wonder how much football you’ve watched if you think that.
    Seriously, the last two minutes of a half and of the game can’t be any more different if they were Jerry Jones and Art Rooney and those 4 minutes are COMPLETELY different for each team, even one that is playing a hurry up offense.
    The first half is a wild scramble for BOTH teams, even if one is ahead by a lot. They will be try to get in points before the half and if they have all their time outs, they’ll be able to go over the middle (and use the umpire as a pick) but they’ll also try to save them for a final play and they’ll end up throwing more balls to the side and the umpire isn’t usually in danger of being run over then. They’re also going be throwing more of their passes over the middle BEHIND the umpire because they don’t want to waste time dinking and dunking their way down the field and having to waste a down with a spike or a time out to stop the clock (If they’re going to waste a down with a spike, it will more to their advantage for them to do it after a 20 yard completion and not one that went 5 yards).
    The second half is completely different. If a team is ahead by a lot, they’ll spend time trying to run it to force the other team to use their time outs and then they’ll take a knee and if their opponent doesn’t have a time out left, they’ll go to a knee after a first down. Unless these teams are tied, only one of the teams is going to be trying to score and if they’re down by a substantial amount, they’re going to be going down the field more and the umpire won’t be in as much danger.

  27. ViqueenTears says: Aug 30, 2010 2:55 PM

    Who cares what Dungy thinks…he’s always wrong!

  28. 8ball says: Aug 30, 2010 3:16 PM

    .
    In 2005 Polian and his lackeys, Jeff Fisher and Rich McKay altered the rulebook and illegal contact penalties rose from 79 to 191, helping the Colts immeasurably. Polian will figure out how to make this work for him. Perhaps every time Peyton is flagged, the NFL could strip New England of a first round pick.
    PS. Does anyone know why Polian, Fisher, and McKay gave lifetime appointments to the competition committee?
    .

  29. Canned Heat says: Aug 30, 2010 3:39 PM

    Not that anyone cares or noticed, but with the ump in the offensive backfield, there’s been an incredible amount of missed holding calls at or around the linebacker spot. The second play for a huge run the Colts ran against GB the other night, Charles Woodson got absolutely raped and no flag….terrible idea by the league. Seen it go both ways, but on TV…these are going to be clear holding calls that everyone will witness and they’ll go unnoticed because the back judge, field judge, and side judge are even farther away than the ump. Ridiculous.
    Put a helmet on the ump or get a younger, quicker ump…one or the other.

  30. petro says: Aug 30, 2010 3:47 PM

    Tony…go away please. You’re the only guy who made Andy Reid look like a genius in the playoffs. You clearly owe Peyton a debt of gratitude.

  31. RedsGhost says: Aug 30, 2010 3:48 PM

    By next year Polian will have the Rules committee change this…afterall, how else is Indianapolis supposed to win a Superbowl?

  32. trickbunny says: Aug 30, 2010 3:53 PM

    dabarber says:
    August 30, 2010 2:00 PM
    Wait until a few games are won/lost because a 60 year old umpire gets tired while trying to sprint 12-15 yards after every play at the end of a game.
    Hope it doesn’t happen to your favorite team!
    ————————————————
    EX-ACT-LY.
    And all the people whining and bitching about Dungy’s opinion and saying this new procedure is meaningless will be crying when it happens to their team at the wrong time.
    The problem here is getting the refs committee to EVER admit they’re wrong about ANYTHING. Even though we’ve already seen, numerous times this preseason, that the time it takes a ref to chug back to that position may cost teams penalties, how long will it take the refs to just admit this change wasn’t well thought out and could lead to drive (and potentially game) changing issues?

  33. PSURavens says: Aug 30, 2010 4:09 PM

    The Ravens ran a no huddle the entire 1st half against the Giants and didn’t have any issues. There are so many rules in favor of the offense, so I think it will be ok that one might favor the D.

  34. Crabcake says: Aug 30, 2010 4:09 PM

    Booo freaking hoooo! Joe Flacco ran a no huddle offense against Giants and it was not an issue. Maybe Dungy and manning need to ride off in the sunset together!

  35. Leroy'sButler says: Aug 30, 2010 4:39 PM

    Maybe if they had umpires that weren’t collecting Social Security checks this wouldn’t be a problem.

  36. edgy1957 says: Aug 30, 2010 5:08 PM

    # Leroy’sButler says:
    Maybe if they had umpires that weren’t collecting Social Security checks this wouldn’t be a problem.
    ******************
    Nice one, except it’s NOT true. Have you actually looked at an umpire or are you think MLB? I’d be willing to bet that they’re in a hell of a lot better shape than you. BTW, from a story about Bernie Kukar:

    During a career that’s spanned nearly five decades, Kukar’s heard his share of referee jokes and more than his share of criticism from outraged pro football fans.
    “If you had one more good eye you’d be a cyclops,” and, “Hey ref, you’re missing a good game,” are both crowd favorites.
    While it’s easy for football fans to criticize the men in stripes who make the calls, not many couch potatoes with beer bellies can run six miles — the average distance an NFL referee runs in a three-hour game.
    The physical and emotional demands of officiating in the NFL means the referees must be athletes in their own right. Professors Jon and Kathleen Poole have worked with the select group of 120 men who officiate games across the league each summer.
    The Pooles, husband and wife, both teach in the department of exercise, sport and health education at Radford University, and have worked with NFL officials to develop a physical fitness and nutritional program over the past 11 seasons.
    The Pooles and their team of researchers conducted a 10-game study of the physical demands on a referee during an NFL game.
    What they found was surprising to even the 58 officials who wore monitors as part of the study. Kukar was one of them.
    “As far as I could tell, we were probably running two to three miles per game,” said Kukhar. “I was kinda surprised when they told me it was more like six miles. I didn’t think we were running that far.”
    At an average age of 51, NFL referees are in top shape for their age group. They stay in their maximum heart rate zone for 73 percent of a game, burning a whopping 709 calories and shedding more than two pounds per contest.
    The findings shed light on an occupation many Super Bowl fans know little about and often underestimate.
    “Public perception is that we’re a bunch of old guys who can’t move and can’t run and just happened to be in the right place at the right time to get this job,” said Kukar.
    Jon Poole echoed that sentiment.
    “We see cartoons that have an overweight guy wearing a referee shirt, but the reality is these guys are very high-level officials,” he said. “The vast majority are very, very fit.”
    Now retired, Kukar said he never took the insults personally.
    “You gotta have a thick skin in this business,” he said. “We don’t pay attention to it. In the locker room after the game, we wonder who won the ‘boo’ contest.”

  37. Mike Daly says: Aug 30, 2010 7:08 PM

    Dungy is wrong. For once we get a rule change that helps defense. Indy should never be allowed to run that fast a no-huddle or to get away with winning with a soft team. Make the Colts adjust, not the rules.

  38. geek says: Aug 30, 2010 7:15 PM

    You’ve got to love it. If I was paranoid, I’d see a giant conspiracy. When the league changed the rules to limit DB contact with a receiver to try to take away a tactic the Patriots used with great success, no one suggested that it was an effort to target the Patriots by making something they used for success against the rules. When the league made Roy Williams signature tackle illegal, and turned him into an irrelevant safety, noone suggested it was an attack on the Cowboys. But, when the league does the same thing to the Colt’s offense, it is a major affront that needs to be addressed. This will end football as we know it because the Colts can’t play their game within the new rules. Will Peyton never stop complaining and blaming people outside of himself for his (anticipated) failures?!

  39. hoosierguy says: Aug 30, 2010 10:34 PM

    Wow, so many idiotic comments, so little time to respond to them all.
    First off, the competition committee didn’t change any rules in 2004 regarding illegal contact. It merely instructed the officials to start enforcing the EXISTING illegal contact rules.
    Second, it is priceless to see so many fans of loser teams whining about the Colts. Your jealousy is so transparent it isn’t even funny.
    Where will you morons be when Indy whens 12 games again and Manning nabs yet another MVP?
    HAHAHAHA!!!!

  40. longthoughts says: Aug 31, 2010 12:10 AM

    I’m not a Colts hater, but Polian being on the competition committee has clearly worked in the favor of the Colts on a number of offense-friendly rule changes. I guess this is one is just tough luck. I think before it’s all over they’ll find a compromise, anyway. The league likes the high scoring, even if it doesn’t work in the favor of fans like me who enjoy watching a staunch defense go to work.

  41. bwisnasky says: Aug 31, 2010 9:21 AM

    I’m not a Colts hater, nor a Dungy hater for that matter, but Tony just needs to shut the he11 up already. He truthfully lost all credibility with me when he comes out and defends Mike Vick, a known felon, but disparages Ben Roethlisberger, who to this date has never actually been charged with anything, and then goes on to berate Rex Ryan with his holier than thou attitude because Rex has a potty mouth . I’m not a fan of any of the guys mentioned, nor do I have any great disdain for any of them. I just think Dungy and his mouth don’t always measure up to the high standards he says that he believes in.

  42. Roethlisberger's Bitch Tits says: Aug 31, 2010 12:18 PM

    hoosierguy says:
    August 30, 2010 10:34 PM
    Wow, so many idiotic comments, so little time to respond to them all.
    First off, the competition committee didn’t change any rules in 2004 regarding illegal contact. It merely instructed the officials to start enforcing the EXISTING illegal contact rules.
    Second, it is priceless to see so many fans of loser teams whining about the Colts. Your jealousy is so transparent it isn’t even funny.
    Where will you morons be when Indy whens 12 games again and Manning nabs yet another MVP?
    HAHAHAHA!!!!
    The real loser is yourself if you are satisfield with winning games in the regular season and Peyton Manning winning worthless personal honors. Give me the Lombardi anyday over a MVP award. But I guess after choking year after year like Linda Lovelace the gag reflux of the Colt’s fanbase couldn’t be better.

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