NFL says hurry-up offenses have to let the officials get into place


During Monday night’s game, the Eagles’ offense was forced to slow down its usually fast pace because, the referee announced, “the officials weren’t in position to officiate.” NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino says that’s just a fact of life for hurry-up offenses.

“All seven officials have to be in position to officiate the play,” Blandino said in a video distributed by the NFL. “We understand what the up-tempo offenses are doing, what the goal of that is, and our officials have worked to try to be efficient at spotting the football and getting into position. But when we have our line judge here, out in the field of play, we cannot allow the snap. This is dangerous for him, for the players, he can’t effectively officiate the play. So we shut it down and we basically have a do-over. The key is all seven officials have to be in position to officiate the play. We want our wing officials, our line of scrimmage officials, back near the sideline. They don’t have to be on the sideline set for five seconds, but they can’t be on the field of play. When we talk about the umpire and the referee, they’ve got to be

Blandino said the officials work hard at running down the field and getting into position quickly so that delays for the officials will be rare.

“You don’t see this very often. I think we’ve been very efficient in terms of spotting the football,” Blandino said. “We’re going to continue to work on this because we don’t want to prevent the offense, when they don’t substitute, from being able to get up and efficiently snap the football.”

Eagles coach Chip Kelly has said he’s not particularly concerned about having to wait for the officials. But it would be a shame if Kelly’s offense couldn’t take advantage of defenses not being ready because the officials weren’t ready.

47 responses to “NFL says hurry-up offenses have to let the officials get into place

  1. How about hire some young, full time refs who are in shape. Heck, have a 1-2 year school for full training. I would guarantee plenty of people would “try out” to become a full time ref. There are plenty of people in shape who could learn the officiating side of it. The NFL would rather have their old sheep who stick to the big plan. NFL is becoming a joke. Sign me up.

  2. He’s right that the officials make it to their position in the vast majority of cases and this is a rare occurrence.

  3. Good, tired of teams using stupid exploits to win instead of just lining up and playing football.

  4. In my opinion, Officials should have to run a minimum 5.5 second 40 in order to officiate and not effect the flow of the game. Officials should be in optimum shape to be able to keep up with the offenses that are being run in the NFL now.

    Lol, Ed Hochuli should run an officials boot camp…that dude is an animal

  5. A little exaggeration on the age of NFL officials, I believe. However, it would be a good thing for the NFL to start phasing in younger officials who could better keep up with the speed of the game.
    Not too many 55-60+yr old guys who can consistently run up and down the field with the top young athletes of the NFL…

  6. Doesn’t matter where the officials are on the field. Ever notice how often flags are thrown well after the play is over? Ever notice how often the refs don’t name the proper player the flag was thrown on?

    That’s because the off-site officials are seeing what they think are fouls then communicating to the refs on the field to throw their flags. They get the players or jersey numbers incorrect because they can’t always get the right view because they aren’t on the field.


  7. If the NFL would like to see the game keeps its edge, they should consider what many have suggested in these comments.

    Have younger, full-time refs who are trained (like an offense trains for hurry-up) to get into position faster so that they are not the ones to take the edge off this strategy.

    As it is, refs dragging their feet may have unintentional (or intentional) effects on the sport.

  8. hockey officials are in pretty good shape. football not so much. baseball definitely not. the average baseball ump is a fat miserable slob who throws a player out of game for jealousy over players fitness as much as anything else.

  9. If Kelly isn’t concerned I see no reason for fans to have a cow. I catch a lot of eagles games and I’ve rarely seen officials stop play because they weren’t in position. In this area I think they’ve done well.

    Replay officials on the other hand still can’t seem to get calls right…

  10. Like watching Joey Crawford ref an NBA game. I am amazed that billion dollar plus industries can’t find officiating that can keep up with the athletes they are refereeing.

  11. New rule: depending on which team they want to win the game, officials can take their sweet time getting into position if they want to slow down one team’s hurry up offense to give the defense of the other team more time to adjust to the play.

  12. cannonballdookie says:
    Nov 15, 2014 12:08 PM
    Good, tired of teams using stupid exploits to win instead of just lining up and playing football.


    “Boo-hoo, my teams’ defense can’t keep up with no-huddle offense”

  13. League needs to get rid of the old dinosaurs trying (and failing) to run with world class athletes while getting judgement calls correct

  14. Half the people complaining about the refs weight, age or fitness could not do any better. If the officials cause a noticeable lag then there is a problem. 2-3 times in roughly 15000 plays so far this year is not a problem

  15. “Refs need to get in better shape”
    So im assuming the pft commenters are amazing athletes who can keep pace with world class athletes for 3 hours.

  16. Seriously? Love the comments about having younger refs as if that will solve everything. I am certainly not an apologist for the refs but it doesn’t matter the age, these guys are on the field for every play. Not one NFL player is on the field for every snap during a game. Don’t care if you’re 25 and in shape, you’re not being subbed in and out like players are constantly. I’m 46 and in better shape than most players and I’ll bet I’d get winded running up and down the field for 3+ hours. Let’s put that little device on the refs rather than Matthews and see how far they run every game.

  17. The bigger problem wasn’t that there was a stoppage but that the refs permitted the defense to substitute. Fine if they need time to get in position but they shouldn’t permit subs of the offense doesn’t sub

  18. I guess I am in the minority here. If the Eagles didn’t live and die off of catching the defense unset, this wouldn’t be an issue. Its just a gimmick offense.

  19. so they can make sure to throw a flag on a defensive back for barely touching a receiver after the 5 yrd mark?

  20. Comments on here are comical and uninformed at best. Some say get better trained, full-time, fit officials. What you fail to realize, is unlike other sports, football officials also must keep their head on a swivel or risk getting obliterated on a fumble recovery, or an end run or punt or kick-off return. Trust me, there aren’t very many safe spots on the field and you just can’t blindly start running into a prile of players.

    Some of you complaining about their conditioning at NFL level probably haven’t seen some of the really out of shape officials at the high school level.

  21. The the NFL needs to find means to adapt to those offenses who are merely adapting themselves.

    For a league that used to be ahead of the curve…….has fallen conspicuously behind it here of late.

  22. NFL is deteriorating into a heaping pile right before our eyes.
    Clean house top to bottom…Fire Goodell, this hack Blandino, all of them. It’s the only way to save the league from its own self-inflicted ridiculousness.

  23. Then you better hustle it up, zebras! YOU adjust to the flow of the game, the GAME does not adjust to you.

    Man, I am really getting tired of these guys. Can’t someone write a program that can do this job better, and without all the “look at me! I’m the most important!” crap?

  24. Yes most officials are older, but I’m guessing most of them are in better shape that the fantasy geeks and drunken fans criticizing them.

  25. But it’s ok for the clock to run then. They are pretty much saying they can continue to run the clock, but you have to wait to play

  26. I love these commenters saying they shouldn’t complain about the officials being out of shape because they aren’t in shape either.
    Stupid argument.
    The fans aren’t being paid six figures to call games are they.
    If I had that job you could be sure I would be in shape!

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