Falcons' no-huddle offense works with new rules

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons have run their no-huddle offense in all three of the exhibition games and have not had any problems with the new positioning of the umpire.

Last week at Green Bay, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts had trouble executing their no-huddle as the umpire, who spots the ball but then retreats to his new spot in the offensive backfield, was scrambling to get out of the way.

"We did [go to the no-huddle] really so that we can see the mechanics of the umpire," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "It hasn't been an issue in our games, but we've been following other games."

The no-huddle is designed to force the defense to keep a certain personnel package on the field. The threat of a quick-snap forces defenses to either scramble or call timeout.

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who's now an NBC television analyst, thought that the new positioning of the umpire would be a problem.. Umpires used to line up behind the defense in the linebacker area and still will in the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarter.

"If that [quick-snap] threat is going to be gone, that will take a lot away from not only the Colts, but any team that is trying to run the no-huddle," Dungy said. "That is something that the league is going to have to address."

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is comfortable with the new set-up.

"We haven't had any problems," Ryan said. "Obviously it's different, the way they set the ball. But we have not had any issues thus far with it."

Cut-down day

The Falcons currently have 77 players on the roster. They need to release two players to get down to the league-mandated 75 on Tuesday.

Williams, Jerry to play

While most of the starters will play briefly against Jacksonville in Thursday's final exhibition, veteran cornerback Brian Williams and defensive tackle Peria Jerry will likely play more than 20 snaps.

Both are coming off major knee surgeries. Williams played 29 snaps and Jerry played 23 against the Dolphins last Friday.

"They need to get their snaps so that they can be prepared and ready to go for Pittsburgh [in the opener]," Smith said.

Biermann did not practice

Defensive end Kroy Biermann didn't practice for the second day in a row for undisclosed reasons.

Smith is not announcing injuries until the he has to release a league-mandated injury report on Wednesday before the first game. He said he would continue to announce major injuries as they occur.