“It’s so the center can keep his eyes on the defense,” Levitre said. “If they’re in shotgun and the center has to look between his legs to see the leg-lift, then either the guards have to make the [line] call or the center has to see what’s changed when he brings his head up. Sometimes the defense will rotate once the center puts his head between his legs. The ‘backers will move. So if the center is blocking a certain guy, he’ll look up and think, ‘Where’d he go?’ By doing it this way, the center can keep making the call. The leg-lift means the quarterback’s ready for the ball.”
The illegal motion rule reads that “no player is permitted to be moving obliquely or directly forward toward his opponent’s goal line prior to the snap.” It also reads that “non-abrupt movement of head and or shoulders by offensive players prior to the snap is legal. Players must come to a stop before the ball is snapped.” Under the false start section, it reads that any “quick or abrupt movement by a single offensive player which simulates the start of the snap is a false start.” Officials see it being non-abrupt and consistent with the rules.
Q: What is the contractual status of Ryan Fitzpatrick? — Chris Herbeck, Tonawanda
A: He’s signed through 2011.
Q: How much money do sports agents make? We read and hear about multimillion dollar contracts signed by pro athletes, but how much of this goes to their agents? — Philip Brunskill, Mayville
A: The standard fee is 3 percent. That’s what the NFL Players Association mandates as the maximum fee. So a player signs a one-year, $3 million deal, the agent gets $90,000. Sounds like a great job. But that’s why it’s unbelievably competitive, and the big agents dominate. The top seven agencies represented almost half the players drafted in the first four rounds this year.
Q: Ben Roethlisberger ran for 18 yards and a first down in the fourth quarter last week. On the previous play, Roethlisberger was sacked and “kinda” injured by Marcus Stroud and the clock stopped. Why did the clock stop on the sack? No timeout was called and injury time could not have been an issue because Ben did not miss a play. — Melanie Berent, Wheatfield
A: I had the same impression watching the game. After reviewing the game, I counted 58 seconds between the end of one play and the next snap. The rule says the time should be 40 seconds. But it took awhile to get everybody unpiled and off the ground after the sack. In that situation, the referee then can signal the clock to start running from 25 seconds once everybody gets unpiled. Ben took the clock down to 1 second before snapping the ball. So Pittsburgh might have gotten a break by a few seconds, but I don’t think it was glaring.