Since arriving in Eugene, Chip Kelly has been a master at putting a quarterback on the field and turning him into a success.
From Dennis Dixon, to Jeremiah Masoli, to Darron Thomas and plenty of quarterbacks in between, Kelly has been a master at developing this position.
As an offensive coordinator and head coach, Kelly has mentored Dennis Dixon, Cody Kempt, Justin Roper, Jeremiah Masoli, Chris Harper, Nate Costa, Darron Thomas and now Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett.
At the start of the offseason, Darron Thomas made the choice to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. With that decision, Kelly was now facing one of his own—play Bryan Bennett or Marcus Mariota.
During spring drills, the word out of closed practices was that Bennett was the clear leader although Mariota wasn’t a pushover.
Then the Ducks played the spring game.
When the Ducks played in their annual spring game, all of Duck nation got to see the impact that Mariota could have on the offense.
We also saw the faults we did not see from Bennett when he saw action in 2011.
While you shouldn't base things off of one practice, Ducks fans were sent into a tailspin over the newfound quarterback battle. The fans have found themselves divided but, luckily for the fans, Kelly sees these players every day instead of one time during the spring.
When looking at the two players, Mariota lacks experience but has speed. He appears to have a great understanding of the playbook and offensive flow.
Bennett has game experience, is tough and can certainly run. But, he showed during the spring game that he can get frustrated if the offense isn’t clicking.
Kelly is going to continue to analyze these two players and will not make his choice known until likely the week before the Ducks' first game.
The good news for Ducks fans is that no matter who Kelly goes with, the Ducks will be in good hands. They will have plenty of time to prepare for USC in November.