Pac-12: New Hampshire Wildcats

Kelly's marching orders? 'How do we go from nine to one'

March, 26, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

EUGENE, Ore. -- Chip Kelly has been Oregon's head coach for two weeks, but he wants to indulge in one more moment as the Ducks' offensive coordinator.

He has been prodded about vacancies and questions on the offensive line, and at first it seems curious that he is now grinning.

"You said in the preseason last year that we would never match 462 yards of offense [from 2007]," he said.

Did I say that?

"Yes, you did. I had that on my board for a long time," he said. "And you were right because we had 484 yards of offense."

  Geoff Thurner/Oregon Media Services
  Chip Kelly is doing things his way as Oregon's new head coach.

It actually was 485, if you round up that final 0.8, but who's counting?

Kelly is, that's who.

Details and precision matter. You don't build an unstoppable offense two consecutive years with significantly different personnel if you don't understand all the cogs within the machine.

Kelly is a football junkie who's favorite thing to do when his team isn't practicing is to watch another team practice.

He's sponged techniques and drills and schemes and theories and principles from coaches across the country, starting with his days at New Hampshire, when his FCS presence offered no reason not to be open and sharing.

"I've been everywhere," he said. "We had it down to a science. If you went to the Carolinas, you could watch N.C. State, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke practice in a four-day span and pick up one or two things from each school."

Of course, doing is different than watching. The only way to know what it is to be a head coach at a BCS power is to be one, and Kelly is sticking his toe into the water with a Ducks squad that could challenge for the top spot in the Pac-10 next fall.

(Read full post)