To say that Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is skeptical about the read-option offense—the system preferred by Eagles coach Chip Kelly—would be a sliiiiiight understatement.
On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Arians called the read-option “a great college offense” and suggested that those NFL coaches who used it needlessly put their teams' quarterbacks, no matter how athletic and fleet they might be, at risk for injury.
Arians, 60, was asked about quarterbacks, such as the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III and the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, who either had been injured while running the read-option or had not been as productive in the offense this season compared to last season.
“I still think it’s a great offense. It’s a great college offense when you put a great athlete back there,” Arians said. “But when you’re facing great athletes, with the speed that’s in the NFL who are chasing these guys, unless you’re superhuman, you’re going to get hurt sooner or later—not hurt, but beat up and bruised up, and you don’t want your quarterback feeling bruised up when he’s trying to throw and be accurate.”
Kelly meets with reporters on Thursday and will surely be asked about Arians' comments.
The Eagles (6-5) host the Cardinals (7-4) on Sunday.