Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

Ducks shouldn’t go back to Chip Kelly

It makes sense that Oregon might want to try to go back to Chip Kelly if he's available to be their head coach, but they should look to move forward, not backwards.

It makes sense that Oregon might want to try to go back to Chip Kelly if he’s available to be their head coach, but they should look to move forward, not backwards.

It came as no surprise when Oregon fired Mark Helfrich. Once the talent Chip Kelly recruited moved on, the Ducks quickly crashed. They went from 13-2 with an appearance in the National Championship game in 2014, to just 4-8 this past year. There was no more Marcus Mariota, Joshua Huff or De’Anthony Thomas to run that incredible offense through.

When Kelly moved went to the NFL the Ducks simply handed the keys over to Helfrich. He was the offensive coordinator and there was no need to blow things up with a new coach and system. He just wasn’t really the right guy for the job. Looking back at it, all of the credit for Oregon’s success was attributed to Kelly, nothing really to Helfrich. He wasn’t the team’s lead recruiter either; Kelly did it all and was great at it.

And that is why there is so much hope that maybe the Ducks will bring Kelly back. Kelly is just 1-10 in his first year with the 49ers. After crashing in burning in Philadelphia before, he might be the latest example of a guy who is meant to coach college and not the pros. It makes sense that Kelly might want to get back to where he was a superstar and was regularly winning Pac-12 championships, but Oregon actually should look to move in a different direction.

Before Kelly took over, the Ducks were simply a middle of the road program in what was then the Pac-10, a clear step behind programs like USC, California, Arizona State and UCLA. But once Kelly took over the Ducks immediately went to the Rose Bowl, and then the National Championship game the following year. Teams didn’t know how to defend his hyper-fast offense. He turned guys like Darron Thomas, Jeremiah Masoli, LaMichael James and LeGarrette Blount into Heisman hopefuls with that system he was running.

With Kelly’s great system and Nike’s sponsorship, the Ducks were the cool program out on the west coast. The problem is college football has caught up to what Kelly was doing. Plenty of teams are utilizing great speed and quick paces to win games, and the Pac-12 is a different place too. Washington and Washington State’s game last week was a brawl in the trenches. Those are two teams that beat each other up. They both put it on the Ducks this year, so did the physical Nebraska Cornhuskers, Colorado Buffaloes, USC Trojans and Oregon State Ducks.

Oregon needs to move forward, not backward trying to chase what once was. They need to be proactive about re-adjusting after all the other team’s adjusted to what they were doing.

Kelly probably would still be a good coach at the college level, but expecting him to lead Oregon to Pac-12 titles and national title games year-after-year would be foolish.

Kelly has said he is committed to the 49ers and isn’t interested in returning to coach college, but of course we all know that, those kinds of words mean nothing. Some coaches are just better coaching college and certainly being a brand-builder and ace recruiter, that is what makes Kelly so much better at the college level and the pro level. After a terrible first year with the 49ers, it might be time for Kelly to go back down. He made it to the big time, just like Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino and Jim Harbaugh all did after years as successful college coaches; but like those guys he might realize he just likes it better a level below the pros.

So while that might be the best move for Kelly to try to go back, it just might not be the best move for Oregon to bring him back.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Comments are closed.