Thursday, November 1, 2012
Oregon's Chip Kelly scouts USC
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly doesn't exactly exude patience when speaking to the media.
"Does that bother you?" he asked one reporter Tuesday when questioned about his team treating all opponents the same way.
Kelly keeps things concise whenever possible and almost seems to enjoy answering in the negative. But he also often displays an abundance of knowledge, such as when he was asked about the USC Trojans during a news conference this week.
At this level, all coaches know their opponents. But Kelly seemed to know everything about the Trojans, offering a player-by-player scouting report of the entire starting lineup.
T.J. McDonald is a "great safety." Nickell Robey is "probably one of the top corners in the country." Lamar Dawson, Hayes Pullard and Dion Bailey -- the Trojans' three linebackers -- are all fast and capable tacklers, and the defensive line is collectively "very athletic."
Kelly went through the Trojans' offense in the same manner, too, mentioning all three "pretty good" backs, both tight ends, and, obviously, the quarterback and receivers.
Then he concluded: "There's a good player at each position at USC."
Kelly also praised the versatility of his USC counterpart, Lane Kiffin. He said Kiffin has constructed the Trojans to be able to succeed in many different ways.
"They're not a team that's just built to do one thing," Kelly said. "Lane does such a good job of making sure that you have to defend the entire field. They do a lot of things to try to confuse you at the snap."
And the Trojans' defense has a "pretty good scheme too," according to the Ducks' coach. So, given all that, is Kelly surprised the Trojans have already lost two games this season?
"I'm not surprised at anything that happens in college football," he said. "It's very difficult to stay unscathed."
His team has managed to do so, so far. But USC will be Oregon's biggest test yet.