Patriots

Notebook: Former officiating chief says ‘Philly Special’ was illegal formation

(Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL’s former head of officiating Mike Pereira said on the “Talk of Fame” Sports Network Monday that on the “Philly Special” play that ended with a touchdown pass to Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles in the Super Bowl, Philadelphia “didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”

“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said. “The down judge, who was the one that (the play) was on his side of the field, they felt that it was his judgment. And (receiver Alshon Jeffrey) was close enough.

“Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong,” he said. “Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.”

Report: Schupliski set to return

Assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski will return to the team for the 2018 season, according to ESPN.

Schuplinski has spent the last two years as the assistant quarterbacks coach after three seasons as a coaching assistant. The John Carroll product played a sizable role in the development of Jacoby Brissett in 2016, and has earned the respect of the locker room and the coaching staff.

BSJ analysis: What does this mean for the Patriots?