Originally posted on The Duck Stops Here  |  Last updated 12/6/11
It's a testament to the character and resilience of the Oregon team that in each of Chip Kelly's first three years, they won a conference title with a key player suspended or dismissed for disciplinary reasons. The Ducks went 36-6 without running back LeGarrette Blount in 2009, returning starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in 2010, and All-American returner and cornerback Cliff Harris in 2011. In a different era, with a different coach or in a different part of the country, these three players would have been coddled through. Urban Meyer's Florida teams had 31 arrests involving 25 players. Many of those players missed no more than a half against Central State Tech, and the Gators won two national championships. So far, Kelly recruits character and disciplines failures of character, and the Ducks have won because of it, as a team. In each of the above cases, younger players stepped up and did tremendous jobs: redshirt freshman LaMichael James, inexperienced sophomore Darron Tho...
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