If the NFL has a speed limit, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has no intentions of being cited for violating it.
NFL Vice President of officiating Dean Blandino was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article about possible pace of play rules that could slow what is expected to be a furiously paced high tempo Eagles offense. On Wednesday, Kelly responded with a simple ‘nothing to see here.’
“It’s a real simple concept to me that if the speed limit is 65,” Kelly said. “Even though I want to go 85 if there’s a cop out there you’re not going 85. We’re not going to change them. I like [the rules.] We’re excited to play with them.”
Kelly pointed out that those rules are not all that different from what he experienced in the college ranks while the head coach at Oregon and that he has no intentions of disrupting the way the NFL has been doing business, in that regard.
“We understand the rules of engagement,” said Kelly. “Dean Blandino and those guys in the league office, we met with them at the league meetings, they were here when we had minicamp. I have absolutely no issue with them. We actually embrace the way they are doing it.”
What the Wall Street Journal failed to point out is that the New England Patriots began running elements of a full no-huddle offense last season, without any reprimands from the league offices. It isn’t as if Kelly is looking to reinvent the wheel but rather run an offense that operates at a tempo that makes it difficult to defend.
“I think we’re going to go as fast as we can go at times,” said Matt Barkley after practice, Wednesday. “Who knows if that will be a limiting factor. I think we kind of have to wait and see what happens come season time. We’ll control what we can control. We’ll have to wait to game time to see what those speeds actually are.”
The Eagles will host the Patriots for joint practices next week in advance of the teams squaring off in a preseason game on Friday, August 9, and there will be officials at those practices which will give further insight into just how hard Kelly intends to put the pedal to the metal on offense.
Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.
-All quotes obtained first hand