Last week, senior NFL referee Walt Coleman visited Eagles training camp to discuss the rule changes for the 2010 NFL season. He was on hand to show the players a video which would detail the changes, but also showed the video to the media and answered questions. This week, we'll go over the changes. Some are subtle, some are more notable.
We start with what I think is probably the biggest change. The umpire will be moved from behind the defensive line to 15 yards behind the offensive line. The umpire has manned the position behind the defensive line since football was invented. The reason for the change was that the NFL saw an increase in the amount of times umpires were getting hit. Plus, we've also seen receivers use the umpire as a sort of screen to lose the defender. That won't be possible anymore. Inside of two minutes however, the umpire will move to his old position behind the defensive line so he will be able to spot the ball quicker.
What might this mean for the game itself? The officials in attendance claimed it wouldn't change much. The position behind in the offensive backfield gives the umpire a better view of the offensive line, so they admitted that it's possible that we could see a rise in offensive holding calls. Below Coleman and the other referees discuss the change.