Monday, February 18, 2013
Helfrich's changes to the Ducks' offense
By Brent Sobleski
UPDATE: Mark Helfrich's history as a coach indicates he wants to throw the football -- at least, he wants to throw the football more than what Oregon did the last few years under the guidance of Chip Kelly. Recruits have said as much. The Ducks are likely to open up the offense a slight bit more. Although, Helrich shouldn't stray too far from the team's current blueprint.
"I suspect he knows not to get away from the things that have made the Ducks a powerhouse," Bruce Feldman of CBSSport.com wrote. "And, as those inside the program have told me in the past, Helfrich has been a vital part of this system, and that is now who he is, too."
Oregon has the ability to throw the football more with its talented quarterback, Marcus Mariota. And they'll do so. But not at the detriment of the offense's identity.
Recruiting can give insights into how certain teams want to operate.
Oregon is recruiting pocket passers. Tim Boyle (Middleton, Conn./Xavier), for example, was ranked as nation's 36th ranked pocket passer and signed with Boston College. Oregon is recruited him despite its high octane spread offense which normally requires a dual-threat quarterback. It doesn't appear to be a good scheme match. But that may not matter under new Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich.
"(Coach Helfrich) told me I have a good arm, accuracy and good footwork," Boyle told Robby Boydstun of eDuck.com. "I am a pocket passer, I'm not a dual threat quarterback but he told me that he wants to throw the ball a lot and he wants a pocket passer in the mix with his quarterback. He said I was a good fit."
Oregon's explosive offense was rooted in its rushing attack under former head coach Chip Kelly. The Ducks attempted a pass only 35-percent of the time last season. The team finished 72nd in passing offense. Helfrich and new passing game coordinator Matt Lubick appear ready to open up the offense even more via the air attack.
It's possible Oregon can be even more explosive next year under its new head coach.