If Chip Kelly Leaves for the NFL, Which Coaches Would/Wouldn't Go with Him?
Chip Kelly transformed the Oregon football program when he first took the job as offensive coordinator for the Ducks in 2007.
Since his start at Oregon, Kelly has implemented a football system that is unlike any other in the country. The only way for Kelly's system to work, though, is to have everyone in the program buy into it.
Not only the players, but the assistant coaches as well, which is exactly what they have all done.
With talks of Kelly leaving for the NFL, it seems unlikely that he would start fresh and reteach his system with a completely new coaching staff.
If Kelly were to leave, here are the coaches that would either accept or decline his offer:
Coaches Who Would Decline
Mark Helfrich, Offensive Coordinator
Mark Helfrich is an Oregon native who has loved the Ducks since he was a boy. I don't see him turning his dream job down for the offensive coordinator job under Kelly in the NFL. The only way I could see Helfrich turn it down would be for a head coaching job of his own in the NFL, not under Chip Kelly.
Nick Aliotti, Defensive Coordinator
After three years in the big leagues and a short, one-year job at UCLA, Aliotti found his way back to Eugene in 1999, this time as the defensive coordinator.
From what I can tell, Aliotti genuinely loves the Oregon program, the fanbase and the Eugene area. He has already had his try in the NFL, and I so I see no reason for him to leave once again.
Gary Campbell, Running Backs Coach
Campbell is coming up on his 30th year of coaching at Oregon, and I don't see his loyalty to the program running off. If he did leave for the NFL, Campbell wouldn't be able to be much of a mentor, with the NFL being run more as a business than a college-like atmosphere where students take in as much wisdom as they possibly can.
Steve Greatwood, Offensive Line
Like Aliotti, Greatwood has been around the block a few times. It's time for him to settle down in his hometown and coach one of college football's powerhouse teams. What a crap life that must be.
Greatwood isn't going anywhere.
Scott Frost, Wide Receivers Coach
It seems that more than anything, Frost wants to start a legacy of his own. I don't see him going to the NFL or staying at Oregon very long—once he lands a head coaching job, he will take it.
Coaches Who Would Accept
Jerry Azzinaro, Defensive Line
Azzinaro is a New York native, so I doubt he has much connection with Oregon or the university.
Coach Azz's high energy would fit right in with NFL. With what he has done at Oregon with subpar talent, I can't imagine what he could do with NFL talent.
Because he has never taken a shot at the at the big leagues, I think Azzinaro would follow if Kelly offered him a position.
John Neal, Defensive Backs Coach
In the last four seasons, Neal has sent four defensive backs into the NFL draft, including Patriots safety Patrick Chung, Browns safety TJ Ward and Bills safety Jairus Byrd.
Although Neal has 30 years of coaching experience, his biggest tie to the state of Oregon is football. He has not yet coached in the NFL, and I believe he could end up leaving the Oregon program should Kelly take off.
Tom Osborne, Tight Ends/Special Teams Coach
In recent years (this year has been terrible), the Ducks special teams units have been impactful and consistent. When Osborne came back in 2007, Oregon was second in the conference in kickoff return yards and fourth in kickoff coverage. That was after a year of being special teams bottom-dwellers in the Pac-10.
It's every coaches dream to coach in the NFL. Since Osborne hasn't yet, I don't see why he would turn it down.
Don Pellum, Linebackers Coach
Pellum has been known to utilize his players' talents, even if they are undersized or playing out of their normal position. He has proved his abilities with players such as Boseko Lokombo and Spencer Paysinger, who are both undersized backers but use their speed, smarts and athleticism to excel.
Pellum would be a good fit for the NFL. I'm sure Chip Kelly would love for him to tag along.
If Kelly leaves...
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