Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 04, 2013
Okay, the question of the week seems to be what to expect from Scott Frost as Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach/play caller versus what Mark Helfrich provided as Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach.

First, let me start with Helfrich. As offensive coordinator, he was not the play caller, that duty belonged to Chip Kelly. Nonetheless, Helfrich was extremely heavily involved in game planning... and that is where the specifics of which plays in which situations that the staff thought would be best. So, while he may not have made the calls on game day, many of the situations were known about in advance and planned for... and Helfrich was instrumental in that capacity.

More importantly, Helfrich was brought on to teach the fundamentals of throwing the ball. Kelly was a master at teaching the art of deception in the mesh point and clearly he was the innovator of the option portion of the spread, but the mechanics of passing the ball? That was ALL Helfrich. And therein lay his value under Kelly.

Scott Frost, on the other hand, comes to the offensive coordinator spot having never tutored quarterbacks. Nonetheless, as a brilliant option quarterback, he is very familiar with the mesh point and reading the defense to understand run versus pass. That is where his value will lay going forward for Oregon.

Will he be the same play caller as Kelly? No. But, he will likely be very aggressive and will understand the value of yards and first downs. He will not, though, be the guy that tutors the quarterbacks on mechanics of being a better passer; at first. He will have to work with Helfrich to better teach the fundamentals of quarterback mechanics in the passing game.

Expect Helfrich to handle that duty much like Kelly handled the teaching of some of the option principles to the quarterbacks while he was around.

Essentially, what I am saying is that the dynamics of head coach and offensive coordinator will be reversed under Helfrich and Frost from the situation with Kelly and Helfrich. In the past, Kelly handled the option part of QB coaching while Helfrich handled the passing mechanics of the position. Now, expect Frost to handle the option portion of coaching while the head coach handles the mechanics of throwing the ball.

In the end, as long as the relationship between the two works symbiotically, this can be a positive relationship that is even more productive than previously.

There could be a hitch, however. Under Kelly, the play calling lay at the feet of the head coach. As the play caller, Kelly was ultimately responsible for what happened on the field and, if there was a bad play call, he had nowhere to point a finger but back at himself. Now? Well, there will be the potential for finger pointing.

Helfrich is not the type, though, to blame anyone for the failings of the team, so I don't expect that to be a problem. There is just the potential.

In the end, while many have predicted that the team may be more "pass heavy" under Helfrich, that should be tempered some by Frost's's presence as play-caller. Expect this offense to be very similar in their productivity as they were under Kelly. Frost is a very smart young coach that understands the principles of the blur offense; get teams out of position; get them tired; make their minds cloudy and strike.

Oregon will continue to score points in bundles in 2013 and beyond. Those that think there will be a letdown have not paid much attention.


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