- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Greetings. Welcome to the mailbag.
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To the notes!
Peter Windsor, Conn., writes: Hey, don't you think people might be overblowing Chip Kelly's impact on the University of Oregon? He inherited the program that Mike Belotti had built, including most of the longtime assistant coaches. The Ducks finished number 2 in 2001, were number 2 during the 2007 season and were the 2nd winningest Pac 10 team in the Belotti era 1995-2008 leading up to Kelly's promotion to head coach. Coach Kelly deserves plenty of praise but it seems like people are forgetting that he inherited a great program to start with.
Ted Miller: No, I don't think people are overblowing Kelly's impact at Oregon. He was the man atop the program during the greatest four-year run in program history. No other four-year run even compares.
Oregon never went unbeaten and played for the national title before Kelly. When Oregon won the Rose Bowl after the 2011 season, it was the Ducks' first victory in the Granddaddy in 94 years. No Oregon coach ever won three consecutive unshared conference championships, something accomplished by a conference coach just twice before.
In 2006, the year before Kelly became the Ducks offensive coordinator, Oregon averaged 29 points per game. With him aboard, the Ducks never averaged less than 36 points per game. Before Kelly, Dennis Dixon was a bad quarterback. After Kelly, he became a leading Heisman Trophy candidate who would go on to have an NFL career.
The past three seasons, Oregon has averaged 49, 46 and 47 points per game.
He not only was 46-7 overall in Eugene, he was 33-3 in Pac-12 play. Yes, he lost three conference games in four years. Three!
Moreover, he was an innovator with not only his team's style of play but also how it practiced. He is responsible for the Ducks' entire "Win the day" culture.
Kelly inherited a good program. He made it great. And making a good program great may be more difficult than making a bad one good.
Costi from Phoenix writes:Ted, Can you reflect on Ka'Deem Carey's recent run-ins with the law? Do you think his actions have reached the point that it will affect his ability to play next year? Are his actions and behaviors a problem or is this just stuff getting blown out of proportion?
I don't think we've reached a point where Carey's 2013 season is seriously threatened. But, really, that's up to him and coach Rich Rodriguez, who I am guessing is not terribly happy with Carey at present.
It appears Carey has become very, very impressed with himself, pulling out the ole, “Do you know who I am? I’m an All-American!" card.
We all know who Carey is, of course. He's the running back who put up big numbers this season because quarterback Matt Scott was terrifying offenses.
While there are always multiple sides to every story, Carey now has three in which he comes off as the bad guy. It's one thing to get into trouble. That happens in college. It's another to come off as an arrogant lout. A guy can make mistakes. But attitude speaks more to character.
That Carey believes it is legitimate to ask if someone is failing to recognize how awesome he is suggests he's operating within a narcissistic mindset. Or, more simply, Carey is showing signs of acting like a jerk.
He should try to stop. Now and forever. A good start would be a written apology to the campus police officer he treated like dirt.
Rodriguez should invite Carey into his office for a man-to-man chat, one that should be one-sided, stern and unambiguous.
Mathias from Chur, Switzerland writes: Why don't NCAA programs recruit more frequently in Europe. I mean: Look at Björn Werner, Sebastian Vollmer, Markus Kuhn... Last year, we had our first Swiss guy recruited by a NCAA I team (Daniel Glauser), and I know as a fact, that there were better prospects in Switzerland alone (now after 2 years in JC and one year at FSU, he would probably kill every other Swiss lineman. It just seems to me, the potential in Europe might get bigger and bigger, as there are more than 1,000 clubs in Europe alone.
Ted Miller: The easy answer is coaches don't believe the payoff would match the expense.
The second easy answer would be that football hasn't taken root in Europe like basketball has, that it would be difficult to find many guys who are ready to play at a high level. Football is a difficult, complicated game. Physical skills and measurables are important, but there's a level of rawness when it comes to knowledge of the game that is difficult to overcome.
But my final response to your question is to want to ask it myself.
Perhaps my bosses should send me on a European fact-finding mission this summer? First stop: Amsterdam!
Anyone want to come?