SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Just who is Chip Kelly?
The Oregon coach, who notoriously doesn't suffer media fools easily, has been even more "Chippish" than usual this week. Heck, he's even hired a private security force to keep reporters at bay. And those guys take themselves really, really, really seriously.
"[Kelly] is a good guy," Ducks center Jordan Holmes said. "I know he's a lot different with you guys than he is with us."
Truth is, Kelly is a funny guy. But he's more competitive than funny, and competitive side is taking over as he prepares his team for the biggest game in program history: the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game against No. 1 Auburn.
"He is intense," running back LaMichael James said. "He is always the same. I can say he is very consistent on the things we do."
Ah, but he does have his mischievous side!
Said James, "I think that's probably why we closed practice. He doesn't want you to see that side. He wants you guys to see the tough-guy role."
Part of the shutdown this year -- practices are open during the season -- is due to a belief that the Ducks underperformed in last year's Rose Bowl.
"I think we were physically prepared for that game last year, but I don't know if we were prepared mentally," James said. "I think that's why we lost the game."
Holmes said that Kelly is trying to teach the Ducks "about life as well as football." For one, Kelly is a big believer in making one's bed, and he regularly checks with players to make sure they do so.
Considering the Ducks are 12-0 and playing for a national title, it would seem many of Kelly's lessons are sticking.
"He expects the world out of us," Holmes said. "He trusts us and we trust him. And because of the level of trust and love we have on this team, we want to give him everything we have. That's why we play so hard."