Quarterbacks need to watch their gestures

Getty Images

With Peyton Manning hitting the road for the first time as a member of the Broncos and venturing into a domed stadium, he may be tempted to deal with the noise by flailing his arms and stomping his feet and otherwise gesticulating in the way he typically does when shouting words like “Omaha!”

However, he needs to dial it back this year.

As explained by Falcons president Rich McKay to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, quarterbacks will draw flags if they make sudden movements that simulate the snap of the ball.

“This wasn’t a rule change, this was a point of emphasis this year,” McKay said. “[Simulating a snap] could include a tight end, a running back and, in this case, the point of emphasis was on quarterbacks and their use of thrusting their hands and making quick and sudden movements.

“The reason was they drew some offsides penalties last year that defensive players and defensive coaches, rightly, said crossed the line.  We emphasized that you are not allowed to have a sudden movement, and you are not allowed to simulate the start of a play.”

Though it’s informally been dubbed the “Peyton Manning Rule,” McKay’s quarterback, Matt Ryan, was flagged for the infraction last week, at Kansas City.  Ryan and Manning will square off Monday night in the Superdome.

“We were very focused as a league in allowing quarterbacks to execute the silent count,” McKay said. “What you saw people doing was raising their leg once, then raising their leg twice, and ways to communicate so defenses couldn’t just tee off on the offense. But what happened, you started seeing quarterbacks move their hands forward, and a lot of different things that we sudden movements that were not allowed under our rules.”

So the best advice for quarterbacks?  Act like there’s a cougar in your car.