Updates on the Oregon Search for an Off..I Mean QB Coach

So Mark Helfrich is now interviewing for the QB coach position at Oregon. Not that we didn't see this coming when all of this started but initially it sounded like the job came with the offensive coordinator tag. It doesn't look that way now and a decision should be coming today. With Mark Helfrich interviewing this week, it seems a little too convenient not to think he will be named the offensive coordinator quarterback coach of the Oregon Ducks, leaving his position as offensive coordinator at Colorado. Quarterbacks coach vs. offensive coordinator? Quarterbacks coach for a head coach that is going to run the offense only his way? Doesn't add up in my mind.

Rob Mosely of The Register Guard (hat tip to Addicted to Quack for the link) talked about this statement from an espn.com article:

Within this Q&A with ESPN.com's Ted Miller, Chip Kelly outlined the search for a new offensive assistant:

"I'm going to hire a quarterbacks coach probably by Thursday. We don't want to lose any time on the road recruiting," Kelly said. "We'll be recruiting a quarterback in the fall, so I want to make sure we've got a guy on the road because I can't go see guys in the spring because of NCAA rules. So we'll be at our full complement of coaches. We're brought six people to campus ... I'll have this thing finalized by Thursday."

Mosley said he talked to Kelly, who has kept a tight lip through all of this, recently and said that Kelly has interviewed six candidates with the only known one being Mark Helfrich, thanks to CU coach Dan Hawkins announcing it to the world last week.

I got a pretty good chuckle out the next piece in the Mosley article referring to Helfrich having no experience in the spread:

Kelly isn't offering much on this, so we're left to speculate. We know from Colorado's announcement last week that Mark Helfrich was going to be on campus this week to interview. Helfrich is an Oregon product, and folks both around the state and back in Colorado seem to think he's the guy Kelly will hire. But I haven't gotten any sort of indications one way or the other from the Ducks.

Note in the Kelly quote above that he said he's hiring a quarterbacks coach, not an offensive coordinator. If Helfrich is the guy, this makes some sense. Helfrich has a good track record working with quarterbacks, particularly Andrew Walter at Arizona State, but although he's the offensive coordinator at Colorado, he doesn't have any experience in the spread. Indeed, my understanding is that the last time he was approached by Oregon about a job, Helfrich declined to be considered because he wanted to coach more of a pro style of offense.

First of all, I can't fully fault Mosely for thinking Helfrich doesn't have experience running the spread. Although the Buffs said they ran the spread last year, that sort of offense is supposed to be wide open and high flying, two words that should go no where near describing the Buffs' last ranked scoring and total offense last year in the Big 12.

I still don't know how this is a great fit for both sides of the deal. As we mentioned above and before, I don't think Helfrich has knocked it dead in recruiting and he hasn't exactly put an offensive juggernaut on the field for the Buffaloes the past three years. There are questions about the development of quarterbacks as well since he landed at Colorado.

As for Helfrich's motivation, yes, he gets to go home but it is a clear demotion in title and he won't have any touch on the offense, that will belong to Chip Kelly, "the guru of Oregon's offense." To me, the deal doesn't make a lot of sense.

I still think it would be a bad deal for the Buffs if Helfrich left, mostly because of the timing. We are done with spring ball, the third new offense in Helfrich's stint at CU is in. We need continuity to go with our youth gaining experience. But the statement I typed above makes the pain of him possibly leaving go away a bit:

the Buffs' last ranked scoring and total offense last year in the Big 12.

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