Chip Kelly ran an offensive juggernaut at Oregon dictating to defenses, and everyone else, how fast his offense was going to go. As soon as the ball was marked, he averaged a play every 10 to 15 seconds and ideally the perfectionist that he is probably wanted to go even faster than that.
As a new coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, the plan is to go at the same frenzied pace. This is something the league has never witnessed before although the New England Patriots attempted to adopt Kelly’s no-huddle attack last season.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the VP of refereeing plans for the referees, not necessarily the coaches and the players, to dictate the pace that a particular offense and defense can go at.
This seems like a direct shot and call-to-action against Kelly’s offense before it even gets off the ground, which to me is utterly ridiculous. The coaches and players should be the ones dictating pace for the most part on the football field, not the low men on the totem pole in the referees. Their job is to make spot calls, penalty decisions and review whether a call is correct or incorrect not control the flow and pace of the game.
While the league will never admit it may have to do with viewership as a slower more drawn out game garners more advertising and ultimately more eyes on the TV set, which generates more revenue for the league.
Ultimately, it will be a shame if the referees leave Coach Kelly’s hands tied in regards to implementing the type of up-tempo style he wants to run. The pre-season will be the first clue as to how the league caters to this type of offense. August 9 will be the first clue as to whether Kelly can truly and fairly make his mark on the league.