One lingering question when Chip Kelly announced his intent to coach the Philadelphia Eagles was whether he could maintain his high-octane offense in the NFL.
Some referees believe that won’t be the case.
In an article posted online on ESPN, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told The Wall Street Journal that the refs are always in control of the tempo, and it won’t be in the hands of Kelly.
“We have to make sure teams understand that they don’t control the tempo, our officials do,” Blandino said. ”We’re going through our normal ball mechanics, we aren’t going to rush (unless) it’s in the two minute drill.”
Under the NFL, the defense is allowed to make substitutions if the offense subs out its players, and the speed at which the offense does it won’t matter. The ref will make the final call as to whether or not the ball then can be snapped and play is resumed.
Kelly’s fast pace offense and the ability to score touchdowns in mere seconds are one of the skills many teams were hoping to acquire before Kelly picked the Eagles. Last season at Oregon, the Ducks ran 1,077 plays in 13 games averaging 83 plays per game, according to ESPN.
With the Eagles underway at summer training, many onlookers have been looking for glimpse of how Kelly is going to run his team. The ESPN article says Kelly wants to complete a play every 12 seconds, something Ducks fans know very well. He has also changed how the Eagles practice, what they eat in the facility and other things to change the culture and brand of Eagles football. The Eagles will also start incorporating the complex hand signals but it’s yet to be determined if they bring the giant poster boards of random images.
As the preseason is just around the corner, we’ll see if Kelly can still be quick under NFL rules or if the slower pace might cause some trouble down the road.