Not surprisingly, Chip Kelly was peppered with questions today regarding comments Bruce Arians made about the read option on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it’s an offense,” Kelly said. “I think it’s a play. And we don’t run read option if you want to get really technical. We run a zone-read play every once in awhile. It’s just like saying our offense is a power offense because we run the power play. Or the old Green Bay Packers, their offense was the Green Bay sweep offense. It isn’t. Everybody’s got a bunch of plays they run offensively. Everybody’s got quick game, everybody’s got screens, everybody’s got dropback, everybody’s got out of pocket, everybody’s got power, counter, inside zone, outside zone. I never looked at it as an offense.
“I find we use it depending on what the defense is deploying and how they’re doing it. I know Nick [Foles] picked up a couple critical third downs in the Green Bay game for us, picked up a couple critical third downs in the Redskins game for us. But we don’t use it as much as people think we use it.”
Asked to clarify the difference between the read option and the zone read, Kelly said: “Zone read’s just one guy. You’re reading the defensive end or whomever and keeping it. If you’re running read option, you’re pulling it off of him and then you’ve got a pitch-back with you and then you’re pitching the ball.”
Arians’ main issue with the read option was that it too often puts the quarterback in harm’s way. Kelly was asked if it’s unfair for people to assume QBs running the read option are more at risk to take big hits than QBs in the pocket.
“I think basically to answer everybody’s questions, I don’t care what other people think,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t bother me. To spend time to think about what someone else thinks is counter to anything I’ve ever believed in my life. If I believe what other people think, then that means I value their opinion more than I value my own. That’s not the case. Quarterbacks have gotten hurt in practice. Quarterbacks get hurt running out of bounds. Quarterbacks get hurt when the blitz hits them and they don’t recognize it. I don’t look at it that way. Never have looked at it that way.”
Kelly has been uncomfortable with labels – both offensively and defensively – since his first day in Philadelphia. He’s always said he’s an equal-opportunity scorer and drove that point home today.
“Here’s our offense: We run the ‘see-coast offense,’ ” Kelly said. “If we see something, and we like it and we think it fits, we’re gonna run it. So the Philadelphia Eagles run the see-coast offense. Let’s run with that today and we’ll go from there.”