NFL officials say they control tempo of games, not teams
When Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was roaming the sidelines at Oregon, he gave Pac-12 defensive coordinators fits as they tried to stop the Ducks’ fast-paced, high-octane offense.
Now that Kelly has moved his act to the NFL, the league’s officials are making it clear that just because he wants to run a play every 12 seconds doesn’t mean that the officials are going to adhere to it.
“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 said to 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.”
According to ESPN, Oregon ran 1,077 plays in just 13 games last season, an average of 82.8 per game. The New England Patriots led the NFL with 1,191 plays last season (74.4 per game).
Blandino said that in his meeting with Philadelphia, Kelly didn’t show any “overconcern” about these changes. “They had questions about what the parameters were going to be,” Blandino said of the Eagles. “It’s going to be different from college.” Blandino said he didn’t sense pushback from teams. He said he wanted every team aware of the mechanics that take place before a snap.