Well, that’s not a real hat, Bruce.
Though the Eagles aren’t (pointlessly) talking to the media at the combine, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians did, and he had some stuff to say about up-tempo offenses.
The question was posed to Arians — in regards to Marcus Mariota never running a “pro-style” offense — if pro vs. college offenses even matter at this point. His answer? Uh … yeah:
“So many times you’re evaluating a quarterback who has never called a play in a huddle, never used a snap count. You hold up a card on a sideline and he kicks his foot and throws the ball. That ain’t playing quarterback. There’s no leadership involved there. Now, there might be leadership on the bench, but when you get them now and you give them verbiage and they have to spit that verbiage out, use a snap count, change a snap count, they are light years behind. Light years behind.”
To be fair to Arians and his stupid hat [Editor’s note: and glasses], some of what he says makes sense. A lot of the playcalling and leadership does come from the sideline. There are no Peyton Mannings in these offenses. But also, “you hold up a card on a sideline and he kicks his foot and throws the ball”? That’s football. If you substitute “hold up a card” for “call in a play on the headset,” it’s the same thing. It’s just done faster and a little bit gimmicky, but it’s really not all that different. How often do quarterbacks come out of college with tons of experience using and changing the snap count anyway? These aren’t fully-formed game managers. What you need is a talented passer and a smart guy who you can mold into the best quarterback for your system. If anyone knows that, it should be the dude who started Ryan Lindley and Drew Stanton last year.