There was an article published by the Wall Street Journal yesterday that contends that referees around the league have no intention of catering to Chip Kelly's fast paced offense.
Here's quick snippet from that article:
As Kelly mans his first full week of NFL training camp, installing a high-revving Ferrari engine into the Eagles' offense, league insiders say there are exactly zero indications NFL referees will be willing participants in the Kelly era. The NFL, they say, has a long-standing pace at which they do things between plays and the referees "aren't going to change just to accommodate someone's offense," said Mike Pereira, a former NFL vice president of officiating who is now an analyst for Fox Sports.
"We have to make sure teams understand that they don't control the tempo, our officials do," said NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. "We're going through our normal ball mechanics, we aren't going to rush [unless] it's in the two minute drill."
Through the first week of camp, the Eagles have run a number of hurry-up drills in which they move as fast as possible from the whistle on one play, to getting lined up legally on the next. On average, they've been able to get set for the next play at around 12 or 13 seconds. That's pretty good for the first few days of camp, but they aren't quite as fast as the New England Patriots just yet, who run quite a bit of extreme hurry-up in actual NFL game situations.
For a better idea of how quickly the Patriots run their version of the extreme hurry-up, you need to look no further than the 2nd and 3rd plays of the their first drive Week 1 of the 2012 season. A quick film breakdown:
• 2nd and 2. The Pats are about to call a run play:
• The play goes for about a yard, before the runner is stuffed and sent backwards. I stopped the frame at the first whistle I heard. Note the time on the game clock, circled in yellow:
• Tom Brady immediately begins barking out the next play, which is a one-word call that the entire offense already knows, from play design down to each of their individual assignments. As you can see, CBS is trying to get their "Tom Brady is great" graphic up while this is going on:
• The Pats are up to the line and set in less than 11 seconds. Again, note the clock below. I actually timed it with a stopwatch at 10.2 seconds. Also note the two referees, the umpire and the head official, who have spotted the ball and are clear of the action:
• From there, the ball is snapped within two seconds. Note the clock, and note that CBS is trying to tell you who the Pats' offensive linemen are while the play is getting underway:
• Tennessee appears unready for the fast pace, and they give up a long run to Stevan Ridley, while the offensive linemen graphic remains on the screen:
If you'll recall, the beginning part of the 2012 season was "the season of the replacement officials." Replacement officials worked the game above. If the scabs could handle the Patriots' fast paced offense, which is currently faster than the Eagles', then surely the "real officials" can handle it...
Right, "real officials?"
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