The name of the game for Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has always and will always be speed. Known for his fast-paced offense at Oregon, the Ducks were widely known for their uptempo style of play that either led opposing defenses to be exhausted or not prepared for the next play.
His style led to great success at the college level, going 46-7 over his 4 years at the school. But with his transition to the NFL, many wondered just how this fast offense would translate at the highest level. It has drawn so much attention that NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino was quick to let it be known that officials control the pace of play, not teams.
If you ask Kelly though, he’s just fine with that.
“It isn’t an issue with us whatsoever,” Kelly said when asked if referees will allow his offense to play at a fast pace. “We understand the rules, and we’ll play by them. It’s a real simple concept to me. If the speed limit is 65 [mph], even though I want to go 85, if there’s a cop out there, I’m not going 85. It’s a real simple concept. We’re not going to change them. I like them. We’re excited to play with them.”
“We understand the rules of engagement,” he said. “Dean Blandino and those guys in the league office, [we] met with them at the league meetings. They were here when we were in minicamp. I have no issue with them. We actually embraced the way they do it. Really similar to what we have in college. Tony Corrente, who’s a longtime official in this league, was actually the head of the Pac-12 officials. We’re used to the style that they run. I see absolutely no problem with it. We’re excited to work with them.”
Although I’m sure the league has yet to see an offense be ran at the tempo of Kelly’s Oregon squads, this won’t be the first time the hurry-up will be debuted in the NFL. The New England Patriots set a record for plays ran last year with 1,191.
The key will seem to be going at a pace that officials find acceptable. I expect Kelly will push the boundaries of that limit, but if the league expects him to use all the play-clock and take his time I think they are mistaken. It may not be Oregon fast, but expect the Eagles to move quickly.