NFL referee Ed Hochuli and members of his crew will visit camp in the coming days to go over rule changes and rules the league office has decided need to be emphasized this season. Hochuli has served as the referee for two Super Bowls and is well known for his fitness regimen.
The Phoenix-based lawyer was quick to make a call that may have saved the Bears in their win at Philadelphia last season. Center Olin Kreutz snapped a ball through Brian Griese's legs untouched. Eagles safety Sean Considine, the Byron, Ill., product, eventually scooped the ball up and returned to the Bears' nine-yard line before Cedric Benson ran him down. With the score tied 9-9, Philadelphia would have had a tremendous opportunity to go ahead.
But Hochuli ruled, correctly, that the play was a false start because Griese had not touched the ball.
"No, I haven't seen that,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said afterward. ''But I'm all in favor of that rule.''
Too bad. That rule has been changed and could be one of the things Hochuli goes over in his visit. A direct snap now from a center that goes backward will be treated as a fumble.