Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 1/24/13
Chip’s Gone! Now that the news has been out and circulating for a few days, let’s break down the Chip Kelly to Philadelphia move and how it affects the Washington Huskies, specifically. There’s at least five reasons the Huskies benefit from his departure. Recruiting This one is obvious. The Man in the Visor is no longer in Eugene, something all Husky fans should be happy about.   Chip Kelly and his staff were top-flight recruiters. You only needed to glance at their stud-filled recruiting classes every year, or notice how well they reloaded each season, to know this was true. Oregon was on the short list of every big time recruit in the pacific northwest and blue-chip players across the country. The Ducks will still likely pull a good class, but their recruiting future looks a little dimmer without Chipper selling kids. The University of Washington will have an easier time recruiting the area now. There’s another benefit. Oregon had reached the level where it could cherry pick some of the best talent from across the country. Now, elite five-star players that might have gone to Oregon could wind up at Alabama, Texas, or Oklahoma instead. Even if UW had no shot at them, now UO won’t either. The Huskies win two ways here. Oregon Loses One of Its Most Athletic Coaches Chip Kelly’s vertical was unrivaled. Not content to trot out just absurdly athletic teams, Oregon only hires coaches with a 4.4 and 30 inch vertical minimum. Decommitments Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. No recruits have decommited from University of Oregon…..yet. With that said, Chip Kelly left at the worst possible time for recruits, with the February 6th national signing day looming. The vultures have descended and a number of Oregon’s prize recruits are being heavily courted by other programs. Four main commits are considered in play. Dontre Wilson, a four-star running back commit out of DeSoto, Texas is being heavily recruited by Ohio State. However, they are recruiting him as a slot receiver, and Wilson was sold on Oregon by the opportunity to play running back. Tyree and Tyrell Robinson, a pair of brothers out of San Diego committed as four-star wide receivers and athletes, were also both offered by Ohio State as soon as the Kelly news broke. USC and Notre Dame are also possible destinations for the brothers, who have admitted they may reconsider their commitments. Lastly, rumblings about four-star high profile recruit and running back Thomas Tyner have been heard. Tyner is from Aloha, Oregon, and it would be quite a coup for him to go out of state. But he has already decommited once, and many think Kelly’s sudden move might prompt him to do so again. Only time will tell how much the timing of the move will hurt Oregon. Post-Game Press Conferences Got A Lot More Boring Washington fans may not be as familiar as Ducks with Kelly’s magical touch with the media, but as a wise man once said, “I’ll answer any question, but every question is a stupid question.” That was man was Chip Kelly, and that quote was one of many infamous Chipisms. Kelly’s wit with the media will be missed. Mark Helfrich Isn’t the Chipster Some have questioned if the Ducks will continue to run their trademark fast and explosive offense without Chip Kelly at the helm. Since newly promoted head coach Mark Helfrich was the former offensive coordinator, it is safe to say he knows the system. However, it’s tough replacing a legend. Despite his assistant experience, the position of head coach is a whole different beast, and Helfrich is coming in as green as they come into one of the most stressful jobs in college football. There will be stumbles. Will Oregon still pull an impressive team and be a Pac-12 contender next year? Without a doubt. But I don’t think they’ll be quite the program they were without Kelly, at the very least for a year or two while Helfrich acclimates. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE HUSKIES CLUBHOUSE PAGE AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
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