nfl – Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense could have a deterrent. Not players unable to run it. Not opponents able to stop it. But referees slowing it down. “We have to make sure teams understand that they don’t control the tempo, our officials do,” NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re going through our normal ball mechanics, we aren’t going to rush [unless] it’s in the two-minute drill.” Those normal game-slowing mechanics include: changing balls when a play goes out of bounds or on an incomplete pass; the referee who spots the ball positioning himself behind the deepest offensive back before the snap; and allowing the defense to substitute after an offensive substitution. Neither Kelly nor the Eagles commented on the story, but Blandino told the newspaper that Kelly didn’t show any “overconcern” about these changes when the two met in Philadelphia. In the NFL, I don’t see him having the juice to persuade crews to work faster,” former NFL vice president of officiating and current TV analyst Mike Pereira said. “In fact, I know he doesn’t.”
All jokes aside — this is complete bullshit. The way officials spot the ball has ALWAYS been bullshit, but slowing down a specific team’s hurry-up strategy and only speeding up during some make-believe two minute drill doesn’t make a shred of sense. If they can speed up during the last two minutes, they can speed up the whole game. Some teams want to play fast, which is completely within the confines of rules, and should be given the proper respect from officials to play fast the entire game. Saying “teams don’t control the tempo” is fucking crazytalk.
The beauty of football is that it can be played a billion different ways with a billion different formations and strategies. Ruining a team’s entire gameplan because refs want to change the ball or don’t feel like jogging goes against the very nature of competition. Chip Kelly needs to melt the fuck down on the sidelines until the refs learn to do their jobs.
Also — when is the NFL going to grow up from this 1950′s yardage spot technique? Having refs “guess” where the ball was stopped makes zero sense in 2013. Why there aren’t sensors in every stadium and in the ball to mark exactly the where the play ended confuses the hell out of me. You’re a multi-billion dollar league. Clean your shit up.