The New York Jets, concerned about their ability to substitute between plays when the New England Patriots shift into their up-tempo offense, reached out to the NFL to make sure the game officials properly enforce the substitution rules.
"We have already talked to the league office and Rex (Ryan) will be in the ref's ear about this all game," a member of the Jets' coaching staff told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio Saturday night.
The Jets will emphasize the point during the pregame meeting with the game officials, as they always do, a senior team official told Paolantonio.
This story has grown in recent days. It reached a crescendo Wednesday, when linebacker Calvin Pace told ESPNNewYork.com that the Patriots' no-huddle is "borderline illegal."
By rule, the defense is allowed to substitute if the offense makes a substitution. The Jets say the Broncos were burned two weeks ago against the Patriots because the rule wasn't consistently enforced.
"If the officials permit (the Patriots) to do that, then the game is going to become chaos," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told the New York Daily News.
On Friday, Ryan discussed the issue publicly.
"Sometimes when they substitute, you're supposed to be allowed to substitute with them," he said. "We'll see about that, but they move at such a quick pace that you have to be alert, and if you have to sub, you have to make your substitution extremely quick.
"What they do is super-quick. Still, the rules are (that) you have to be set a full count. They're set a full count, but you have to know it's a count and here it comes. It certainly is a challenge ... After the game, I'll be able to tell you more. The fact they're playing at home, I think (you will) see more of that no-huddle than perhaps you (will) on the road."