If nothing else, Chip Kelly would have been an intriguing hire for the Bucs

Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly (L) encourages his team during the third quarter of their NCAA football game against the Washington Huskies in Eugene, Oregon, November 6, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

For at least the second time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been “jilted at the altar.”

Those infamous words came out of the mouth of former owner Hugh Culverhouse, who uttered them after Bill Parcells broke a handshake agreement to become the Bucs’ head coach in 1992. If Culverhouse were still alive to this day, he may have said the same thing about Chip Kelly.

According to a report by KGW NewsChannel 8 in Portland, the Bucs were in the process of finalizing a deal on Sunday night that would have made Kelly their next head coach. The St. Petersburg Times confirmed the report and for roughly 10 hours it appeared as though Kelly would bring his explosive zone-read offense to the pros.

But on Monday morning, Kelly reversed field and decided not to accept the Bucs’ head-coaching job. While he said he was flattered by the Bucs’ interest, Kelly ultimately decided that his heart was in Oregon and thus, a deal that was reportedly “done” on Sunday evening had fallen through. Once again, the Bucs are now back to square one in their search for Raheem Morris’ replacement.

But for a moment, we can at least discuss what it would have been like had Chip Kelly’s offense been brought to the NFL. As offensive coordinator in 2007 and ’08, and as head coach since 2009, Oregon has had one of the most dynamic offenses in college football under Kelly. He’s aggressive, innovative, and he isn’t afraid to try something new. He’s also known as a disciplinarian, which would have been a far cry from the way Raheem Morris ran things in Tampa.

His hiring would have also reeked of Steve Spurrier.

Dan Snyder gave Spurrier $25 million to bring his “Fun ‘n’ gun” offense to the NFL and the experiment lasted only two years as the Redskins went 12-20 over that span. Washington finished in the bottom of the league in every major offensive category under Spurrier, including total yards per game, passing efficiency and yards per attempt.

But Spurrier never acquired enough talent to run his offense either. He thought he could win with Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel and Patrick Ramsey, but all three usually wound up looking out of their ear holes because Washington’s offensive line couldn’t keep them upright. It’s easy to say that Spurrier’s offense didn’t work but it’s not like he put himself in position to win with the talent he surrounded himself with.

There are many current NFL coordinators that fail to attack defenses on a weekly basis and their conservative ways continue to hold their teams back. At the very least, Kelly would have installed an aggressive scheme and introduced some new elements to the pro game.

Would it have worked? We won’t find out any time soon.

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Masoli suspended for 2010 season after pleading guilty to burglary charge

Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of second-degree burglary on Friday and has been suspended for the entire 2010 college football season.

“He does have a red shirt year available if he chooses to do that,” Kelly said. “He will also have a plan put in place if he can follow, strictly follow that plan then he will be able to come back and play in 2011. But he will not be eligible in 2010.”

Along with fellow Duck Garrett Embry, Masoli stole two laptops and a guitar from a university frat house in late January. Kelly kicked Embry off the team before this trial for violating team rules.

Masoli was going to be a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate this season and now because of an incredibly stupid decision, he won’t play at all. He had his entire future ahead of him but because he thought it would be funny to steal a couple of laptops and a guitar from a frat house, now his football career is in question. Not too smart.

Oregon’s James sentenced to 10 days in jail

Oregon running back LaMichael James pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge on Friday and was sentenced to 10 days in jail according to a report by ESPN.com. James was originally charged after an altercation occurred outside his apartment last month between him and a former girlfriend.

In a statement that was included in court documents related to the case, James apologized to the victim, a former girlfriend. She claimed he grabbed her neck and pushed her to the ground during an argument on Feb. 15.

“I hope to put this matter behind me now and learn from it. I have made a mistake and accept the consequences,” the statement said. “I look forward to demonstrating to my university, to my team and to the community that I am a better man than recent events suggest.”

James rushed for 1,546 yards last season as a freshman, the ninth-highest total in the nation. He had seven consecutive 100-yard games before Ohio State limited him to 70 in Oregon’s 26-17 loss in the Rose Bowl.

Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was due in the same courtroom later today to face arraignment on a felony burglary charge. Apparently Masoli and fellow genius teammate Garrett Embry thought it would be fun to steal two laptops and a guitar from a university fraternity house in late January.

The Ducks are quickly becoming the Bengals of college football.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Oregon QB Masoli could face five years in prison

Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli will be arraigned this morning on a charge of second-degree burglary in Eugene, Oregon. If he’s convicted, he faces up to five years in prison, which is the maximum sentence for a Class C felony in Oregon.

From SPORTSbyBROOKS.com:

The seriousness of the charge is also hard to believe considering Masoli has faced no punishment from Oregon Coach Chip Kelly, despite the coach’s assurances that he was closely following the matter.

Also charged in the alleged second-degree burglary is former Oregon football player Garrett Embry.

Embry, who didn’t figure to see a lot of playing time in 2010 for the Ducks, was dismissed from the football team by Kelly on Feb. 1. In the official statement about Embry’s release, Kelly claimed that the player had actually been kicked off the team on Jan. 8 for a previous team rules violation.

But after the theft report Ken Goe of the PORTLAND OREGONIAN reported that on Jan. 24, “Oregon officials refused to confirm he (Embry) had been dismissed (from the team).”

If Embry had already been dismissed from the team on Jan. 8, why didn’t Kelly report it then? Meanwhile, starting quarterback Masoli has faced no such penalties since the theft allegation – though both have now been charged with the same crime.

This is certainly a horrible situation for Kelly and the Oregon program. Not only does Masoli (who is a Heisman candidate by the way) face major legal issues, but Kelly will also come under fire if he booted Emrby off the team but not Masoli, who committed the same crime. Everyone knows there’s a huge difference between the way a starting quarterback is treated compared to a backup player, but the media will have a field day with Kelly if he indeed let Masoli off easy because he’s a star.

The entire situation is ugly.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Kelly, Oregon come a long way to get to Pasadena

One could only imagine what went through first-year head coach Chip Kelly’s mind after he saw his thought-to-be high-powered offense rack up just 152 total yards in an embarrassing 19-8 loss to Boise State in Oregon’s opener this season. What went through his mind after he saw his star running back sock an opposing player in the face, shove his teammates when they tried to intervene, and then had to be restrained by police officers from going into the stands to fight fans is pretty easy to figure out:

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

But Kelly and the Ducks have come a long way from that loss and LeGarrette Blount’s psychotic episode. On Thursday night, Oregon edged out in-state rival Oregon State 37-33 in route to winning the Pac-10 and earning their first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1994. Freshman tailback LaMichael James paved the way by gaining 166 yards on 25 carries and three scores, while quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed 14-of-21 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown pass. He also rushed 10 times for 40 yards and picked up a big fourth down late in the fourth quarter by running over an overmatched Oregon State defender.

Blount, who missed most of the season after Kelly suspended him for his conduct after the Boise game, even chipped in 51 rushing yards on nine carries and also scored a third quarter touchdown. He ran like a kid trying to make up for lost time.

After things went so horribly wrong for his team in the opening week, Kelly could have succumbed to the pressure that most head coaches face in their first seasons. Instead, he dealt with the Blount situation by forcing the troubled running back to become a better student athlete and by not giving up on him. He then held his team together and led his team to an impressive 10-2 record.

For all his efforts, Kelly will have the opportunity to showcase what Oregon can do in the Rose Bowl in early January. He and the Ducks are one of the better stories of the 2009 college football season.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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