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NFL issues a false start warning to centers

FILE - This Dec. 1, 2013 file photo shows Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack (55) in action during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Cleveland. Browns Pro Bowl center Alex Mack’s football future could be decided in the next few days _ or hours. The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to sign Mack to a contract offer sheet on Friday, April 11, 2014. Once the paperwork is filed, the Browns will have five days to match. Cleveland secured that right after placing a $10 million transition tag on Mack before free agency opened. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)


False start penalties are rarely called on centers, but that may change this year.

NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino said this morning on PFT Live that a point of emphasis for the officials this season will be making sure the center doesn’t move the ball illegally after the offense has lined up.

“Some of the pre-snap movement that we see on the offensive line, the quick abrupt movement, movement of the football, that will be an emphasis point,” Blandino said. “So if the offensive line gets set and then the center moves the football in a significant way or in an abrupt way, that will be a false start and the officials will be directed to shut down immediately.”

Moving the ball after the line is set should be easy for centers to avoid. If they can’t, the flags are coming.