How The Refs Will Slow Chip Kelly’s Offense

07.31.13 4 years ago 26 Comments

As everyone knows, Chip Kelly is about to revolutionize everything we know about professional football. How will he do this? With a lightning-quick offensive attack unlike anything anyone has ever seen. That’s the reason for the personalized smoothies and the Navy SEAL training: to make sure his own guys are fit enough to keep up with the breakneck pace of his gameplan.

Already it’s clear that NFL defenses are hopeless to stymy it. Hell, Philly’s offense may be too fast for viewers. The audience at home will have seizures just trying to process the speed with which the Eagles blip down the field. Lucky for us, then, that referees plan to put a stop to it.

Chip Kelly’s 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 is 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.

Nice try, Chip Kelly. There’s a way things are done in the NFL. Making referees more faster than they want to just won’t fly in the pros, hotshot. So, how will the refs slow the Eagles offense?

Automatic review on every play

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Sure, the NFL rulebook states that automatic reviews are only to occur on turnovers and scoring plays, but what if they happened on every play? What’s that? That’s not on the books? Hey, who’s the referee here and who’s just another head coach angry because he’s not getting his way? If anyone complains, just mention that it’s a new officiating “emphasis” this season. Fans always buy that.

Flypaper field


Little tough to run the hurry-up when your players cleats are sticking to the field. The move will also be hailed for reducing the number of big hits as players can’t accelerate to tackle one another.

Letting Mike Vick smoke two bowls before the game


If the flypaper field is too costly and unpractical, the referees will just sneak Michael Vick a little bit of weed before the game. Vick won’t want to rush through anything after that. He might even take naps between plays. What is Kelly gonna do? Put in Nick Foles or Matt Barkley? Ha, go ahead. Throw your team away.

Spotting the ball in the wrong place

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Oh, what’s that? Your running back advanced to the opponent’s 45? But we spotted the ball at your 37? Hmm, seems like a big disparity. You know what will sort this out? Another review!

Non-stop holding calls

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It’s an accepted truism that the referees can call holding on just about any given play in the NFL, but choose not to so as to prevent the game from being a stalled mess. Unless it so happens that they WANT it to be a stalled mess. That’s what you get for trying to screw with business as usual in the NFL, Chip Kelly.

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