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.