Kelly in one season has turned the already "spread oriented" offense into one of the top offensive juggernauts in the country. In his inaugural campaign, he resurrected the career of Dennis Dixon. He took him from a quarterback splitting reps to a Heisman level dual threat quarterback. With Dixon now gone, Kelly is trying to mold the next great Oregon quarterback.
So what's it like being under the watchful eye of this high energy mastermind whose offense reflects his personality?
The general consensus: fun.
"It's real fun. He's a good coach and real smart," noted freshman quarterback Darron Thomas when asked what it's like under Kelly.
Sophomore quarterback Justin Roper's thoughts echoed those of Thomas. "He's a good coach and he's got a great offensive mind and it's very creative. Which spices the offense up and makes it more fun to play in."
Some of that fun comes from Kelly and his east coast communication and personality. Some of the favorite aspects of Kelly for sophomore quarterback Nate Costa are Kelly's fast talking and use of acronyms in conversation.
"He's a real fast talker, and you got to listen and be ready to go if you want to learn something… He's the acronym king; everything he says is an acronym. Whatever it is, he's got so many acronyms, everything has an acronym," laughed Costa.
The fun factor of being under Kelly is obvious from observing practices. It often looks like the quarterbacks are often having more fun than they should be having. Yet even after one season at Oregon, Kelly's fun loving style and its contrasts to previous offensive coordinator, Gary Crowton, are still being noticed by quarterbacks.
Justin Roper discussed how Kelly's personality differs from he and Gary Crowton, "He's definitely high energy. It's a lot different than me; I was more of a Coach Crowton personality, kind of calm and laid back. But it's good. It gets us off on the right foot and gets us pumped up."
In particular the way Kelly runs his meetings with his quarterbacks is night and day from the Crowton era.
"Coach Kelly is just the polar opposite of Coach Crow (Crowton)...He's high energy, intense and very precise. In meetings it's a completely different world. He's always asking you questions, always making sure you know what's going on. It's great I love it," commented Nate Costa.
While Kelly does bring a fun atmosphere to the program, he is still focused and a stickler for details. As Roper noticed, "There are a lot of rules. There are a lot of specific read progressions with every play, and it's very technical."
On top of playing for Kelly, his offense makes it fun for the quarterbacks as well. The wide open, fast paced spread offense has many wrinkles that Oregon quarterbacks love. For Nate Costa, there are several things he loves about Oregon's offense.
"The many facets to the offense, particularly the facets that allow the quarterback to run. He's great at designing quarterback designed runs, and I love to run the ball."
Yet Costa's preference within Kelly's offense seems to be a love of running the ball. When asked if he looks forward to possibly running a fake statute of liberty next season Costa replied, "Fake statue liberty, fake bootleg, fake anything. I'll run the ball anywhere he wants to go."