The Philadelphia Eagles spent over two weeks trying to find Andy Reid’s successor. However, after the Eagles hired Chip Kelly, the Oregon Ducks hardly took as long to find his replacement. As expected, the Ducks promoted offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to head coach on Jan. 19, according to CBS Sports.
While Kelly got all the credit for the Ducks’ innovative offense, Helfrich had been with him ever since he took over at Oregon. But now the two will find out if they are as innovative alone as they are together, and the Eagles and Ducks hope that they are.
Kelly is going to need someone like Helfrich as offensive coordinator of the Eagles, in order to make his offense work in the NFL or to make the proper adjustments to the pro level. Yet whoever he hires for the position, the bulls-eye will clearly be on Kelly, since his offensive tricks made him so appealing to Philadelphia in the first place.
They were so appealing that the Eagles waited over two weeks, and endured a week of rumors that Kelly would stay in Oregon, until they got their ideal man. Yet along the way, they looked like a team that had no clear idea how to replace Reid, interviewing almost a dozen candidates before Kelly came back to them.
In contrast, the Ducks only took a few days to settle on Helfrich as Kelly’s successor. However, Oregon knew full well that there was a good chance Kelly would leave, with Helfrich firmly in place to take over if that happened. However, the Eagles knew for some time that they would have to fire Reid, and their plans for the aftermath didn’t go as smoothly until the end.
After all the waiting to get Kelly, and all the hype he brings, the Eagles hope that it is all worth it. Yet it won’t be if Kelly doesn’t have the right personnel that he had at Oregon. Will his tricks work as well at the pro level without a trusted right hand like Helfrich?
In fall 2012, CBS Sports quoted former Oregon quarterback Nate Costa as saying that Helfrich “doesn’t get half the credit he deserves” for his part in Kelly’s system. But if he wins at Oregon and Kelly struggles in Philadelphia without him, more credit will be due to him.