We had our annual meeting with some NFL officials this morning to explain the new rules and points of emphasis for the 2010 season.
There weren't as many new things on tap for this season as in previous years - which is probably a good thing.
Of course, the biggest change will be the new overtime rules. But since those will only be in place in the postseason, they're not really all that big a deal.
They may not even come into play in 2010.
One thing you will notice this season is that the umpire is no longer positioned behind the defensive line of scrimmage - except on kicks and in the final two minutes of each half.
Referee Jeff Triplett, who led today's session, explained that this was done for the safety of the umpire. Umpires were getting trampled, particularly on running plays up the middle.
Triplett did say that he thinks this move may lead to an increase in offensive holding penalties this season and a decrease in defensive holding penalties.
A personal foul after a play is completed at the end of a half will also no longer result in an untimed play. It will be a 15-yard penalty to start the next half or overtime. If it occurs at the end of a game that does not go to overtime, the offending player will face league sanctions.
An emphasis will be placed on players not being permitted to launch themselves shoulder first at a receiver's neck or head before they have had an opportunity to run with the ball.
Steelers safety Ryan Clark was shown a couple of times in the video depicting that one, so he may have to adjust his game a bit.