View Full Version : No-Huddle Rule Clarified

10-06-2006, 10:59 AM

NDIANAPOLIS -- Colts coach Tony Dungy put his revamped no-huddle plans on hold.

But if there's a repeat of what he saw Sunday against the New York Jets, Dungy says won't hesitate to employ a new version of the Colts base offense by substituting players and snapping the ball before defenses can make comparable changes.

"We were going to do it," Dungy said Thursday. "What we were going to do was put 13 on the field and as soon as they substituted, we were going to snap the ball."

Dungy thought he understood the rule regarding no-huddle offenses until he sought an explanation from league officials this week. It was then Dungy found out there had apparently been a change.

Dungy said he was told part of the wording -- giving the defense time to substitute -- had changed in the 1990s but that few knew of it.

So Dungy promised changes.

What at first upset Dungy was an argument he had with the referees during the third quarter of Sunday's game. Dungy thought the Colts' defense should be given ample time to substitute after the Jets made a change on offense. Instead, the Colts had to burn a timeout.

Dungy said the Jets did that at least four times, something Dungy said most people around the league considered a violation of the rule.

"We've run the no-huddle, as you know, for about eight years and we've always asked what we can do so that's what we've done," Dungy said. "Now they tell me Sunday that you can do this, and I was a little bit upset."

On Thursday, the league's officiating office notified all 32 teams that the rule's original intent would be applied.

A weekly officiating video sent out Tuesday also included an explanation from Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating. Pereira said if the offense substituted and did not give the defense a chance to make changes, the play would be voided and the offense would be warned. A second infraction would result in a 15-yard unsmportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"It's just good to remind ourselves if you substitute, the defense gets a chance to match up," Pereira said at the end of a 1 minute, 40 second segment.

Dungy hopes that interpretation will be enforced the rest of the season. If not, he'll roll out a new version of the no-huddle offense.

"The other 32 coaches and everyone else thought it was one way," he said. "No one I know of, outside the officiating office, knew any different. ... That's the spirit of the law."

The last thing the Tennessee Titans (0-4) needed to worry about is the Colts (4-0) changing receivers near their sideline and having Peyton Manning snap the ball when the defense has more than 11 players on the field.

The Titans already lost seven straight games overall, plus seven consecutive on the road and six straight to the Colts.

Coach Jeff Fisher's roster is the second-youngest in football, and Tennessee also will be missing starting defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who is starting a five-game suspension for twice kicking Dallas center Andre Gurode in the head last week.

Some Colts players acknowledged they had not discussed altering the offense this week, nor did they think it was necessary.

"It would be chaos," said receiver Aaron Moorehead, who might have been in the rotation. "But our offense has worked so well, I don't think there's any real reason to make a change."

Sorry if repost.

I believe this is exactly what happened on the one play the Chiefs should have called time out on in the Colts Chiefs game of 03. They tried to snap while we were substituting and apparently, it was not legal.

10-06-2006, 11:05 AM
I'm confused. It's kind of been a Manning trademark to run to the line and snap the ball in order to get that penalty. So now they're saying that's not legal, or what?

10-06-2006, 11:08 AM
I think what they're saying is the offense cannot substitute and snap the ball without letting the defense substitute, or something like that.

10-06-2006, 11:10 AM
I'm confused. It's kind of been a Manning trademark to run to the line and snap the ball in order to get that penalty. So now they're saying that's not legal, or what?

My understanding of it is that you can do that only if the offense isn't making substitutions. If the offense subs, the defense has to have a chance to do that as well.

10-06-2006, 11:10 AM
D gets Chance to substitute players, IF the O sustitutes is fair.

This quick snap to catch the other team in mid-substitution is an amateur move.....

10-06-2006, 11:12 AM
I think what they're saying is the offense cannot substitute and snap the ball without letting the defense substitute, or something like that.

Gotcha. I didn't catch that the offense's substitution was the deciding factor. Thanks.

10-06-2006, 11:12 AM
Thats the way I see it, IF they substitute then they can't snap until Defense gets a chance to sub in.

Joe Seahawk
10-06-2006, 11:14 AM
The Seahawks don't run a no huddle, but the refs still slow us down for some reason this year.. It's BS!

Hawks find pace slowed by referees

MIKE SANDO; The News Tribune
Published: September 21st, 2006 01:00 AM

KIRKLAND – Seattle’s Mike Holmgren has occasionally tested the elasticity of NFL rules sparing game officials from criticism.
Given a chance to unload Wednesday, the Seahawks’ eighth-year coach fell silent for eight full seconds.

“Um, it had an effect on us,” he finally said.

The Seahawks weren’t happy when officials stopped them from snapping the ball before Arizona’s defensive players could substitute Sunday.

“It had an effect on us, and I don’t want it to bother the quarterback, certainly,” Holmgren said. “So we’re going to do what we do and play by the rules. You’re allowed to do what we do.”

Rules prevent offenses from rushing to snap the ball “with the obvious attempt to cause a defensive foul” such as “too many men on the field.”

The Seahawks get in and out of the huddle faster than most teams. Opposing defenses sometimes have trouble substituting to match Holmgren’s ever-changing personnel combinations.

Officials never penalized the Seahawks on Sunday, but they did raise concerns.

“For some reason, the refs were trying to slow us down,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “They kept holding us on the line of scrimmage.”

Officials stopped one play when the 25-second play clock was down to 18 seconds (the NFL’s usual 40-second clock becomes a 25-second clock following administrative stoppages and game delays). Holmgren said he sought clarification from officials.

“Our tempo is good, but it’s nothing that (opponents) can’t substitute or they can’t do what they’re supposed to do, too,” Holmgren said. “I talked to the officials about it, yes.”

Opposing coaches might not notice the Seahawks’ fast pace during preparations because the time between plays is edited out of the videos they watch. Word has gotten around as the Seahawks have become more successful in recent seasons.

“There has been some mention of that pace business in the last couple years, and until it was talked about or written about or something, I was never really even that aware that we were doing that,” Holmgren said.

“I just know that I want the guys in and out of the huddle. I think it’s a bad sign when you’re watching a football game – any football game – and after the play the guys get up kind of slow, they kind of meander back to the huddle. I don’t like that look.

“I try to get the play in as quickly as I can so Matt can do what he has to do, too, if he has to change it or whatever.”


Hammock Parties
10-06-2006, 11:14 AM
So basically, we should have won our playoff game.