August 30, 2010
-- SI.com's Peter King talked to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and team president Bill Polian about the new NFL rule that puts the umpire behind the quarterback during plays, and often has the umpire in the way of the snap when teams run hurry-up offenses. The Colts, who ranked second in Football Outsiders' Offensive Pace metric (the number of seconds between snaps) in 2009, rely heavily on shotgun, no-huddle offenses, and they were penalized twice for "False start -- snap infringement" in their 59-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers last Thursday.
MJD covers this in greather detail here. In my opinion, the league didn't think this one through. More than ever, teams are running no-huddle offenses as the pace of the game has changed. I understand the need for umpire safety, but there has to be a better way to get the ball set. King also asked Carl Johnson, who replaced Mike Pereira as the NFL's VP of Officiating (and Doublespeak) this year, what the solution is. "The way the new mechanic of the umpire positioning is, I don't have a resolution to that,'' Johnson said. Good to know.
-- Remember how bad the Antonio Bryant deal was for the Cincinnati Bengals? Basically, the team paid Bryant $8 million in guaranteed money on a contract they signed him to in March, and just cut him because he had a knee injury. Which he had before. We're not sure what the Bengals' medical staff was doing on the day of the physical that Bryant would have had to take before signing the contract, but given the front office's traditionally frugal ways, we wouldn't be surprised if Dr. Nick Riviera was somehow involved.
Well, it turns out that the Bryant deal could bite the Bengals just a little bit more. Sports rumor expert Ben Maller highlighted a Cincinnati Enquirer story in which it was revealed that the Bengals also goofed up by failing to offer Bryant an injury settlement. That's a roster move designed to keep pace with the NFL rule that you can't cut a player when he's hurt. And since the Bengals didn't do that, agent Lamont Smith is now going after Bryant's $1.55 million in base salary. "Our position is you can't cut a guy if he's hurt. We know what the rules are. We expect to be paid his salary for the year," Smith said. "He understands what his rights are. We've talked about it over the last three weeks and he understands it's a business."
Um ... whoops. That's Roster Management 101, guys.
"You talking about the tail whipping we just took? Does it shock me we got our tails whipped like that? Yeah, like that, yeah. There was no fight back or anything. It was like an MMA fight. They put us in a submission hold. Pretty much cut off our oxygen slowly until we had to just tap out."
The 'Boys did look suspiciously like James Toney in that beatdown he received from Randy Couture. Dallas gained 13 rushing yards on 12 carries. Tony Romo(notes) was sacked twice, fumbled twice, and threw an interception. Dallas converted three of 10 third-down opportunities, held the ball for just 24:33, and did nothing in the red zone. Not the way for a Super Bowl contender to conclude the only "meaningful" week of the preseason.
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