Originally written November 13, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
The Innovator There are many words that can be used to describe Oregon football Head Coach Chip Kelly; from offensive guru, stern, respectable, crisp, and risky to just about anything you could think of, ways to describe the fourth-year coach are virtually endless. But, for all of those great descriptions of Kelly, the word that really fits his true demeanor is innovator. It is no secret that Chip Kelly, now in his sixth season with the Ducks (fourth as head coach), has started to change the game of college football. From the way the Ducks practice to how they operate on the field, Oregon is one of those teams that is setting the tone for the future of one of America’s greatest sports. After three extremely successful season as head coach of Oregon (with all three culminating in BCS Bowl Game appearances), Kelly is once again in the midst of leading Oregon to yet another undefeated season with at least three games to go (should Oregon beat Stanford, they will take home the Pac-12 North title). As successful as Kelly has been at the college level, however, many anticipate him to soon ascend the ranks into the NFL and instill his beliefs at the next level. Here are the reasons why his ascension will happen this year. Kelly’s promise to Oregon should be fulfilled Not trying to jinx anything for Duck fans around the nation or the football program, more than any other year during his tenure, the Ducks have the pieces to win a BCS National Championship. Chip Kelly, the definition of success at the college level. When Oregon lost to Auburn in the 2011 BCS National Championship, Kelly promised Oregon players and fans that they would be back and would come away with a different result. With Alabama out of the mix and Oregon in the driver’s seat, Kelly is almost there to accomplishing his goal. Should the Ducks win the BCS National Championship, Kelly will most likely leave for the NFL as he fulfilled his promise to the Ducks. Plenty of Opportunities More than any season in recent history, the NFL should have plenty of open coaching positions come the end of the season. The most intriguing for Kelly, however, will likely be San Diego or Dallas. Though it may take some time for him to adjust his plan to the NFL level, Kelly should succeed at either of these destinations with the draw he will attract. Success in Place One of the reasons Kelly has not bolted for the NFL already is because he wants to leave the Oregon program in a successful place where they can continue to have success despite his departure, much like Mike Belotti did when Kelly took over for the Ducks. Though there will certainly be a national search for a new coach, Kelly has already instilled his ways into his assistants that have been with the program for numerous years. From Gary Campbell to Nick Aliotti, these assistants have what it takes to continue the Kelly legacy far into the future, should they choose to remain coaches as well. All the Right Tools Many say that Kelly’s offense would never work in the NFL. But, like Lee Corso says, not so fast! Chip Kelly is much more than an offensive guru that can change the way offenses in the NFL operate. More than anything, Kelly’s game is about getting players to play at an up-tempo pace that tests the physicality of everybody on the field. Plus, since the wildcat first emerged, it has already seen a rise in implementation and success, something that speaks to teams starting to spread out the field and develop more versatile quarterbacks. Rising to the Challenge It is not too often that one is the most sought after coach in the nation. For those few who do get this opportunity to coach in the NFL, they should embrace it and try to do their best and the next level. The NFL is the epitome of coaching success and it’s hard to imagine Chip Kelly passing up an opportunity to see what he can do at football’s highest level should he be offered the opportunity once again. Though it is still questionable as to how long Kelly will remain in the NFL, it will definitely be exciting to watch his progression as he brings his innovative style of football to its highest ranks. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE DUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
PLAYERS: Chip Kelly
TEAMS: Oregon Ducks
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