sports 4 days ago

Should Mark Helfrich get another chance to be a college coach? Sure, why not? Issues & Answers

oregonlive.com — Ken Goe oregonlive.com

Oct. 04--Yahoo's Pete Thamel has former Oregon Ducks coach and current Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich on his list of former college head coaches who could get another shot at running his own program.

Writes Thamel: "Helfrich, 45, won just under 70 percent of his games as a college head coach and could intrigue one of the Mountain West schools with a potential opening. His role coordinating the offense for the Chicago Bears will only help his reputation."

I think Helfrich is a better coach than he sometimes is given credit for being. Oregon fired him after a 4-8 season in 2016 that was just two years removed from one of the Ducks' two appearances in a national championship game.

There is no dispute that the 2016 season went bad. It would have been interesting to see what changes Helfrich would have made in 2017 had he been given the chance.

I thought during his time as UO coach he tried too hard to continue the Chip Kelly regime. Helfrich had earned a reputation as a keen offensive mind in stops at Boise State, Arizona State and Colorado before Kelly plucked him away from Boulder in 2009 to be Oregon's OC. I wish when it became his show he had charted his own course.

If somebody else hires him, he can start fresh without the burden of Kelly's success hanging over him.

Helfrich is a smart guy and a talented coach. If he wants another shot, I hope he gets one.

OK, more links:

The O's James Crepea has the nuts and bolts of how to watch Oregon's game Saturday with visiting Cal.

Now that reinforcements have arrived for the UO receiver position, we might see the passing game the Ducks intended. (The Athletic)

Bri Amaranthus of NBCSN expects the Ducks to beat Cal, and explains how.

UO defense tweaks the game plan for Cal quarterback Devon Modster.

Can Modster get it done in Autzen?

In a worst-case scenario, can freshman QB Spencer Brasch take charge of the Cal offense? Bears coach Justin Wilcox thinks he could.

Wilcox played for the Ducks. He and his family have deep ties to the UO program. But for the dialed-in Cal coach, this week's game is more important than the memories.

Oregon tight end Jacob Breeland has emerged as one of the nation's best, but it didn't happen overnight.

Suddenly, the Ducks look almost completely healthy.

Ducks say Cal's running backs are as good as they've faced this season.

Ducks want their pass rush to keep making opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable.

The Oregon Daily Emerald's look at key matchups in the Cal-Oregon game.

UO tackle Penei Sewell receives a September honor from the Outland Trophy.

The O's Nick Daschel has the nuts and bolts about how to watch Oregon State's Saturday's game against UCLA.

The G-T's Kevin Hampton: The Beavers weather a tough week.

Los Angeles Times writer Ben Bolch tells John Canzano's radio audience the crowd in the Rose Bowl for Saturday's Oregon State-UCLA game could be a record low.

OSU coach Jonathan Smith says running back Jermar Jefferson and defensive tackle Jordan Whittley will play against the Bruins.

The Beavers are excited to play UCLA in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2016.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly tries to balance the workload of running backs Demetric Felton and Joshua Kelley.

While waiting for the Oct. 19 Pac-12 showdown between Oregon and Washington, the Merc's Jon Wilner picks this week's games against the spread. He likes UCLA and Cal.

NCAA president Mark Emmert continues his campaign against California's Fair Pay for Play law.

Improving Stanford QB Davis Mills looks for a fast start against the Huskies.

To prepare for the lack of atmosphere Washington expects to find Saturday in Stanford Stadium, the Huskies are practicing without any piped-in music this week.

Huskies will be playing in what people term Stanford's 'library.'

The last time Arizona played at Colorado, UA quarterback Khalil Tate left the Buffaloes' defense in tatters. This time, it's not clear he will play.

On oral history of Tate's unstoppable, 2017 performance in Boulder.

Alex Fontenot takes charge of Colorado's backfield.

Utah's has taken a creative bent with the running game with the injured Zack Moss on the shelf.

It looks as if Utah receiver Britain Covey will take a redshirt for the rest of the 2019 season. Here is what Utah will miss.

Utah safety Terrell Burgess' growth was on display against Washington State.

-- Ken Goe

kgoe@oregonian.com | @KenGoe

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