NFL Ref: Kelly’s Tempo Won’t Be an Issue

A Wall Street Journal article last week suggested that Chip Kelly and the Eagles might not be able to play at their desired pace on offense because of NFL referees.

But according to veteran official Scott Green, that’s unlikely to be an issue.

“There is nothing new about how we set the ball up and get ready to play,” Green said today. “And as I mentioned, the key is whether there is a substitute that comes into the game. The offense may want to move and move quickly, whether it’s the Eagles, Patriots, whomever. But the defense has an opportunity to match up if in fact there’s a substitute. If there’s not a substitute, then it’s just the normal course of time that it takes us to spot the ball. And like I said, over the last two days, we didn’t see anything that we found that was gonna be very difficult for us to spot the ball.”

Green and four of his colleagues spent the last two days at Eagles training camp. The model to compare the Eagles to is the Patriots, an offense that went up-tempo more than any other in the league last year. The WSJ article suggested that there would be a new emphasis on how NFL rules differ from college, and that could in turn slow down up-tempo offenses. But if the Eagles want to go at the same pace as the 2012 Patriots, they shouldn’t have an issue.

“There was nothing last year that came out about the Patriots or any other team about how we were spotting the ball,” Green said. “So if you want to say the Patriots [as a point of comparison], I guess you could say that. You could probably say 31 other teams as well.

“And I’ve worked the Patriots. I’ve never had a problem as far as getting the ball spotted.”

Green spoke to Kelly and said the Eagles’ head coach wanted to see how he and his crew would spot the ball during practice. The offense went at its usual tempo the past two days, and the refs didn’t seem to have any issues keeping up.

“What I’ve seen over the last two days, we really didn’t have any problem,” Green said “…Today, they were running 11-on-11, we were getting the ball spotted. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary as far as the pace.”

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