Oregon Strategy Session: Bellotti vs Kelly

Welcome to the inaugural week of the strategy session. The Oregon Ducks football team and their fans are going through something they have not experienced in 15 years.

Posted with permission from Beacher Report.

Mike Bellotti stepped down just over one month ago, but changes can already be seen around the Casanova Center. Most notably, spring practices now start at eight in the morning, as opposed to the afternoon practices that Bellotti held.

But how will Kelly differ from Bellotti when it comes to the regular season? Here are a few things to watch when the Ducks start play next September:

Calm Kelly

Many people including myself never understood how Bellotti was so cool in pressure situations. With under 20 seconds to go on a frenetic two-minute drill against Stanford last year, Bellotti let the clock run and the Ducks scored with six seconds left.

Every coach handles situations differently but Duck fans could always depend on Bellotti to make the right choice almost every time as his 47-12 record in games decided by seven points or less shows.

Loud Leader

If you have ever had the chance to meet Kelly, He is not of the biggest stature but he carries himself in a way that intimidates many people. I believe that Bellotti will let Kelly make all the decisions, but Kelly will consistently look to Bellotti for counseling.

Kelly comes from the East coast, which is known to be busier and more uptight then things are out here on the west coast. The team seemed to flourish early in the season under the cool atmosphere that Bellotti created. Kelly's personality could be just what the players need to stay focused throughout the season.

For an offense that depends so much on perfect execution, if Kelly can keep them mentally tough even when they are exhausted and injured in November, the Ducks could rise to rare heights.

Defensive Faith

Bellotti was a great offensive mind and always tried to beat the opponent by outscoring them. One thing heavily overlooked was his trust in Nick Alliotti's defense if his offense was struggling.

There is no reason to believe that Kelly will be any different, but there is only two years of history between Kelly and Alliotti as opposed to the 15-plus years Bellotti and Alliotti had together. If the Ducks start going for it on fourth down more often than not, it could be a sign that Kelly is pressing and not letting the Duck defense do it's job.

Complete Coach

Kelly has been a great coordinator throughout his coaching career but this will be his first experience running the show. There are many things that go on behind the scenes as a head coach that go unnoticed by many.

Talking with boosters and other donors to the athletic program is a very important aspect of the job. The late nights and early mornings also wear on coaches. Other parts of the head coach's life suffers because of the year-round time commitment the job requires.

Bellotti went through a rough divorce after the 2001-02 season and it showed in his coaching. He was not always there mentally and his team showed it with mistakes that a Bellotti coached team rarely makes.

Kelly seems very motivated and excited to see what he can bring to this Oregon team at the helm.

Many say Bellotti had lost that fire, so hiring his bright young offensive coordinator on paper seems to be a great fit for this vibrant and cutting edge school.

If nothing else, Kelly puts his players in a position to succeed. He recognizes how certain players can fit in his offense and down the stretch of games—he calls plays like an artist painting a masterpiece.

There is no doubt Kelly will struggle at times being a rookie head coach but his learning curve will be quick. I expect the Ducks to be competing for a conference crown.

Check back next Tuesday for a discussion on why Nick Alliotti is vastly under-appreciated by most Oregon fans.

More opinions regarding Oregon football can be found at Bleacher Report

Opinions expressed in this story are those of the author and not necessarily shared by eDuck Sports.

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