Chip Kelly is an innovator. He cuts through tradition and habit by constantly asking and evaluating, is this the best way to do this? In every detail, from practice organization to offensive tempo to fourth and three, he finds better ways.
He’s applying the same bold, systematic, analytical, efficient approach to recruiting, and one evaluation at a time, he and his staff are transforming the Oregon football team.
After Haines, Alonso, Coleman and Harris, the kneejerk reaction by the talk radio blatherers and others was that the Oregon Ducks were the new Jailblazers, that Chip Kelly ran a loose program or had a lax approach to discipline. Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian trotted out her predictably hysterical column (hysterical as in born of hysteria, not hysterical as in hysterically funny), extended the timeline out to 18 months so that she could include issues long since settled and resolved, and proclaim the nine or so incidents as A PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR. Never mind that appropriate disciplinary action had been taken in every case, and the sum total of problems were tame compared to incidents at Florida or Ohio State over the same period.
The media loves a quick and easy label. It loves to brand 105 with the actions of four. And it fails to recognize that the problem they’ve identified as systemic and deep-seated is already resolving itself: the Oregon coaching staff is quietly assembling a new breed of athlete to play in Eugene over the next five years. The culture is changing in a fundamental way.
This August Chip Kelly welcomes his second recruiting class, and he’s working on the third. As Duck fans read through the bios and achievements of these new Ducks, hear their stories and gauge their motivation and attitude, they’ll find that Kelly is bringing winners and achievers to Oregon, players who’ll make news on the field instead of off it.