Ever since Chip Kelly arrived in the NFL, people from around the league have seemed somewhat irked and threatened by his creativity and innovation. Before his first season, NFL Network analyst Heath Evans blasted Kelly’s unique methods, ultimately feeling that they would fail miserably in the pro game. Dean Blandino of the officiating department announced that the league would not speed up its referees to fi Kelly’s up-tempo offense. Instead, Blandino seemingly directed referees to move slightly slower, trying to send a message to Kelly and the Eagles.
Both times, Kelly prevailed: he took his team to the NFC East crown in his first season, and narrowly missed the playoffs this past year. Kelly’s offense set team scoring records in both 2013 and 2014, thwarting Evans’ claim that the offense wasn’t suited for the NFL. Additionally, the Eagles continued to run their fast pace despite resistance from officials, eventually forcing Blandino to better condition officials to cope with Kelly’s offense.
The league has once again tried to stop Kelly in his tracks with their two-point conversion vote. The NFL league owners voted 30-2 in favor of keeping the two point conversion at the two-yard line. The message behind the move is clear: make the extra point kick somewhat more challenging, and keep fans glued to their television sets even after the offense crosses the goalie. Even so, a 33-yard field goal is a chip shot for the modern NFL kicker, and with many teams playing in dome stadiums and ideal kicking climates, this change will become negligible. Will fans really wait for a kicker to try a simple 33-yard field goal, or will they take a peak at how their local baseball team is doing on channel six?
Kelly and the Eagles proposed to move the two-point conversion to the one-yard line, enticing the offense to go for two more often. Why the NFL would pass up the opportunity to add true entertainment value to the point after attempt is beyond anyone’s comprehension. An attempt from the one-yard line brings in a multitude of offensive options, including a quarterback sneak, a halfback or fullback dive, or even a shovel pass to a running back.
It’s likely Kelly brought in quarterback Tim Tebow for goalie and two-point situations, to try and remedy a red zone plague that bugged the team last year. Even though the league didn’t go ahead with Kelly’s superior proposal, the former college coach will still use his new toy to go for two more often than last year. Expect to see more two-point tries from the Eagles than ever before, even if the team has to travel an extra yard to convert.