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Bruce Arians: Read option is a 'great college offense'

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is not surprised that some of the quarterbacks that excelled using read-option principles last year are struggling this season.

The way Arians sees it, players like Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III were not playing in a pro offense last year.

"I still think it's a great offense," Arians told Philadelphia reporters this week, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's a great college offense when you put a great athlete back there.

"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," Arians added. "And you don't want your quarterback feeling bruised up when he's trying to throw and be accurate."

The topic came up because Arians is readying to face Chip Kelly's option-inflected Eagles attack. Kelly has done a great job incorporating his principles from Oregon. The Eagles have the most explosive plays in the league. LeSean McCoy leads the league in rushing. Nick Foles has thrown 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. Whatever Kelly is doing is undeniably working, which sets up a fascinating matchup Sunday.

Arians, who favors a traditional drop-back approach with a lot of vertical passing, has been very effective too. He's making it work with the most 1960's-looking quarterback in the league -- Carson Palmer. Wide receiver Michael Floyd is turning into a quality starter and Arizona's running game is coming off their best effort of the year.

The Cardinals are 7-4, however, because of their defense. This is the best defense Philadelphia has faced all season, and the best team they've faced since Denver in Week 4.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previewed all three of the big Thanksgiving games on the schedule.

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