Refs could slow down Eagles up-tempo offense

Wall Street Journal - [Full Article]

Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly has been plotting a football revolution since he was hired this winter to turn around the team's fortunes.

His plan is to continue the philosophy he perfected as the coach at Oregon: to run every play as quickly as possible with no huddles and no stoppages in play, all aimed at leaving the defense doubled over in exhaustion. This "up-tempo" strategy, already popular at the college level, looks like it could change the pro game forever. There's just one small problem standing in Kelly's way: referees.

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."

Fantasy Impact: 

No reason to drop the value of any Eagles due to this, because, chances are Kelly has already accounted and adjusted. But, it may be interesting to watch what kind of effects it has on what Kelly wants to do offensively. As it stands right now, LeSean McCoy is really the only highly-valued Eagle from a fantasy perspective.

Filed Under: 2013, Preseason