When the national media dismisses Chip Kelly's play-calling, it is understandable as its their job to speculate, examine and somewhat form an educated opinion on the matter. However, when a fellow NFL head coach demeans Kelly's methods, it is a pretty big deal. Well, that is just what Bruce Arians did on Wednesday.
"I still think it's a great offense. It's a great college offense when you put a great athlete back there," said Arians. "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."
Before dissecting these quotes, one must understand that Arians did call it a "great offense." College or not, the Eagles are first in the league in rushing yards per game and plays of 20 yards or more. Arians may have simply been arguing that it is an offense that has captivated the college game.
Still, the issue with his comments are that while the read-option can be dangerous to the quarterback, Nick Foles has been able to operate at an extremely successful level without taking a tons of hits. This is the NFL and guys are large and fast, but really, this offense has worked well 9 of 11 games this season. It is hard to fathom why Arians would say something like that when his offense (his specialty) averages less points and yard than the Eagles offense does, with more than twice the interceptions (and almost three times the total turnovers).
Eagles fans can only hope that a comment like that would fire up the offense even more as they prepare for a game with massive playoff implications. Kelly has had several critics, but if we have learned anything about the former Oregon head coach, he is very good proving those people wrong. The Battle of the Birds is sure to produce some fireworks on Sunday.