NFL Referees Will Now Have Offseason Conditioning Standards, Thanks To Chip Kelly And The Eagles

  • Rick Chandler

Remember that scene in “Jurassic Park” where Sam Neill and the children are fleeing a dinosaur stampede? They finally take refuge behind a log as the critters run by and over them. That’s what it looks like in the modern NFL, as referees — some pudgy and out of shape — try to keep up with the skill players.

So the league is finally recognizing that, and has instituted an off-season conditioning program for the refs. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton of WFAN discuss the development above.

Boomer and Carton didn’t mention Chip Kelly and the Eagles, but according to Troy Vincent, NFL VP of Football Operations, (video here) Kelly is a big reason — if not the main one — that this is being done. Vincent:

“As the game evolves, we want to make sure that that third team, the officials, are evolving as well. You see coach Kelly, and that up-tempo offense, he’s running rapid plays, and that ball has to be spotted rapidly. And we want to make sure that our officials are evolving to that part of the game.”

But won’t any advantages from the conditioning be canceled out by the weight of the helmet cams?