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Helfrich the next man up in Eugene

Jul 26, 2013

CULVER CITY, Calif.- Rich Brooks, Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly. For the past three-plus decades, Oregon has had steady leadership in the football ranks. And even though there's a new head coach in Eugene, first-year Oregon football boss Mark Helfrich feels like he is just the next guy in line.

"Our guys believe in our program," the former four-year Oregon offensive coordinator said Friday at 2013 Pac-12 Football Media Day at Sony Pictures Studios. "We don't look at it as someone replacing someone, we look at it as 'the next guy up.'"

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The players haven't had a fall camp yet under Helfrich's watch, but quarterback Marcus Mariota did notice one somewhat significant difference in spring practice.

"There's one less voice yelling at you. That's basically the difference," Mariota said after the podium session. "Coach Kelly was always yelling 'faster, faster, faster.' But other than that, there's really no difference. We approached spring the same, at least since I've been here."

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So while Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich aren't the same person, the wheel isn't being reinvented in Eugene.

"We haven't done much differently at all," Helfrich said when asked to compare his style to Chip Kelly's. "We walk differently and talk differently and that's fine... How we recruit is a little bit different, but we're going to continue to be innovative, attack and get better in every facet of our program every year."

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Helfrich simplified it even more: "We want to score."

If the last handful of years is any indication, they'll score a ton in 2013. Helfrich should be satisfied on that front.