Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians: read-option a ‘great college offense’

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians: read-option a ‘great college offense’

At this point in the year, the Eagles’ offense is firmly entrenched as one of the better units in the NFL by almost any measure. They’re fourth in yards per game, ninth in points. They have the NFL’s leading rusher in LeSean McCoy, the wide receiver with the most catches over 20 yards in DeSean Jackson, and the highest rated passer in Nick Foles.

There are still some people out there though that won’t give Chip Kelly’s system its due. Phil Simms notoriously quipped Philly’s offense was one of the worst units in the league about a month ago. Throw Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians on board as one of the dinosaurs who still think the read-option is a gimmick.

Of course, the read-option isn’t Kelly’s offense, but it’s certainly a big part of what they do. You can see the concept at work on most of the Birds’ running plays and play-actions. They use it, and it works—in the NFL. Apparently Arians doesn’t quite feel that way though, because he dropped the C-word in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. Per the Inquirer’s Mike Sielski:

“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.”

Maybe this is cause to bring back to the old 700 Level feature Trash Talk Thursdays. I don’t think we ever featured head coaches though.

Look, not everybody is going to or should embrace the read-option. Arians’ philosophies have resulted in a long career as an NFL assistant, offensive coordinator, and finally now a head coach. That stuff still works too. But at this point, isn’t it becoming a little silly to insist the read-option is only a gimmick?

It’s safe to say the Eagles’ offensive linemen didn’t agree with Arians’ assertion, either. Sheil Kapadia got a few of their takes on Arians’ comments yesterday for the great Birds 24/7 blog.

“I think it’s a great any-level offense, personally,” said center Jason Kelce. “I think anybody who doesn’t think it can be successful at this level is obviously mistaken.”

“That was my first thought not knowing anything about it,” [Evan] Mathis said. “But it’s all in the execution, and it really depends on how you’re doing it. If the quarterback pulls the ball and he’s running, and someone’s about to tackle him, he’s allowed to slide. That’s usually what the guys are taught to do. If he’s trying to break tackles and barrel over people, he’s gonna get hurt. But I think without doing it that much or knowing much about it, that would be a common thought.

The numbers speak for themselves, including the Eagles’ record. If they’re 6-5 using a “college offense,” what does that say about the NFL?

>> Bruce Arians: Read option ‘a great college offense’ [Inq]
>> Kelce Takes Issue With Arians’ Comments [Philly Mag]

Instant Replay: Temple 86, Tulane 76 (2OT)

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USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Temple 86, Tulane 76 (2OT)

BOX SCORE

Temple snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with an 86-76 double-overtime win over Tulane on Senior Day at the Liacouras Center.

Shizz Alston Jr. scored a putback layup with eight seconds left in regulation to even the Owls with the Green Wave at 65 and send the game to OT. In the first OT, Alston made two free throws with five seconds left to put Temple up, 71-68. But Tulane rolled the ball up the court and Malik Morgan made a deep three as time expired to send it to double OT.

The Owls (15-15, 6-11 AAC) scored seven quick points in just under two minutes in the second overtime that put them up 78-71, a lead Tulane (5-23, 2-14) could not recover from.

Turning point
The Owls jumped out to a 17-4 lead early in the first 4:25 of the game and had a 35-28 lead over Tulane at halftime. They looked to be in control for most of the game until the Green Wave outscored them, 19-11, to take a 47-46 lead with 11:31 left in the second half.

In the second OT, however, Temple outscored Tulane, 15-5, to seal the win.

Big men on campus
The Owls were led by by Alston's 25 points (10 for 10 at the free-throw line), eight rebounds and six assists. Senior Daniel Dingle had 13 points and eight rebounds. Mark Williams, another senior, had 20 points and six rebounds after fouling out in the second OT. Junior forward Obi Enechionyia added 14 points.

Tulane was led by junior Cameron Reynolds, who scored a team-high 21 points.

Inside the box score
• The Owls shared the ball well with 17 assists, compared to just eight by Tulane.

• Temple led for 42:23 of game time, with 13 being its largest lead in the first half.

History lesson
The Owls move on to 7-2 all-time against Tulane, winning six straight in the series.

Up next
Temple will end its season on the road at USF next Sunday afternoon.

Tulane will stay on the road and play at Memphis on Friday.

Ilya Bryzgalov warns Flyers fans to bring speedos to Heinz Field

Ilya Bryzgalov warns Flyers fans to bring speedos to Heinz Field

The last time the Flyers were in an outdoor game, Ilya Bryzgalov was drinking from a thermos on the bench while Sergei Bobrovsky started against the Rangers five years ago.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Bryzgalov is out of the NHL, Bobrovsky has himself in the conversation for his second Vezina Trophy in Columbus, and the Flyers face off against the  Penguins at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in a Stadium Series game … weather permitting.

The weather is expected to cooperate tonight, though. The forecast called for rain today and temperatures in the 50s, but it hasn't rained much. The temperature is expected to drop into the 40s and 30s, and may even hit a lot of 28, according to Weather.com.

Don't tell Bryzgalov that. "Bryz" took to Twitter to offer advice for Flyers and Penguins fans attending the Stadium Series match tonight.

You don't need no stinkin' thermos.

If you're not following Bryzgalov on Twitter, you should click that follow button now. He's always an entertaining follow.