Thearon W. Henderson
Oregon coach Chip Kelly is reportedly the No. 1 target for a number of NFL teams.
As long as this means NFL writers keep asking him about offenses popularized by other coaches, all is well.
Kelly's Oregon Ducks are preparing to play against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, and with Kelly's name coming up in Eagles and Browns rumors, this means NFL reporters asking Kelly questions about how his offense would translate to the NFL. Well, how somebody's offense would translate to the league (ht Stewart Mandel):
Q. One of the recent trends in the NFL is more pistol formation. People are tracing that back to you. Your thoughts on what seems to be a melding of the NFL and college games.
COACH KELLY: Don't know. Haven't been there. Don't run the pistol offense. That's not what we do.
Chris Ault at Nevada invented the pistol offense. Just retired. Great football coach out there.There's a lot of ways to play football. Pistol, don't know that very well. We're more of a spread run team.
Trends go one way and the other. I said this a long time ago, if you weren't in the room with Amos Alonzo Stagg and Knute Rockne when they invented this game, you stole it from somebody else. Any coach is going to learn from other people and see how they can implement it in their system. Anything you do has to be personnel driven. You have to adapt to the personnel you have. There's a lot of great offenses out there, but does it fit with the personnel you have. The key is making sure what you're doing is giving your people a chance to be successful.
Elements of Kelly's blur attack have indeed made their way to the pros -- the Patriots, for one, famously strive for his pace (as much as the NFL will allow, at least), and spacing lessons gleaned from many spread college offenses are on the verge of taking over the pros. The pistol itself, however, springs from Nevada, as the very excellent Chris Brown detailed last week.
This isn't really to pick on NFL people, who'll find themselves adapting just fine over the coming years to diverse offenses that have succeeded at the college level for more than a decade now.
What we'll definitely have to look forward to, whether Kelly stays or goes, is more of him answering questions in Chip Kelly fashion:
Q. I know you're focused on this game. There's been a lot of talk about whether your offensive approach would adapt tothe NFL. Have you given any thought to that whatsoever?
COACH KELLY: No. I get asked the question. I don't think anybody knows any answers until someone does it.
The Washington Redskins are doing a pretty good job. I forgot the name of their quarterback, but I think he's done a decent job (smiling).The kid at Carolina has done a pretty good job.
But it depends. I don't know. I've never coached in that league. I visited practices and talked to people about it. The one thing about that, about everything, you have to have good players.
Q. Your name has been thrown around quite a bit for the numerous open NFL jobs. I'm sure your players hear that. How do you answer those kind of questions from your players?
COACH KELLY: I've never been asked a question by one of my players. I think one of the tenets of how we do in our program is we don't like outside influences control our lives. It's kind of just noise to us. They've never said a word to me. I've never said a word to them.
Q. Last year after you ultimately turned down Tampa Bay, you said you'd listen to options to everybody. Do you expect to do that in the next week?
COACH KELLY: I'm waiting for an offer from you. I will listen and I am excited if you do want to give me a call.
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