Chip Kelly: NFL’s Head Of Officiating Is Wrong

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

After Dean Blandino, the NFL’s head of officiating, said this morning that Terrell Suggs’ hit on Sam Bradford was not a penalty, Chip Kelly stood by the call on the field.

“He said it was a read-option play. It wasn’t a read-option play,” Kelly said. “We know the rules. If our quarterback hands the ball off and isn’t going anywhere, you shouldn’t be able to hit him.”

In the first quarter of the Eagles’ win over the Ravens Saturday, the referee called roughing the passer on the play. However, Blandino reportedly said in an NFL Network appearance today that Bradford appeared to have the option of keeping the ball.

“If the quarterback has an option, he’s considered a runner until he either clearly doesn’t have the football or he re-establishes himself as a passer,” Blandino said. “So it’s not a foul by rule.”

Kelly added that the Eagles don’t run zone-read plays as much as people think they do, and that he thought the ruling on the field was correct. He also said the only quarterback who has run a zone-read play in the entire offseason is Tim Tebow.

“Are they going to hit every quarterback in the league when they hand off in the shotgun? That’s up to the league,” Kelly said. “It’d be troubling for the league if every quarterback in the shotgun can get hit.”

However, by definition, a roughing the passer penalty cannot be called on a play that is not a pass. A flag could have been thrown, though, for unnecessary roughness.