Kelly Back to Work

Just when we thought Chip Kelly would open up and share his thought on his first year as a head coach, he reminded everyone he has some more work this season -- the Rose Bowl. All year long Kelly has steadfastly refused to talk about anything that falls outside the realm of the next game. Now, fresh off a 37-33 win over Oregon State, Kelly is back at work, preparing for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Kelly indicated that he has only had a chance to view one film of Ohio State this season, which was the 18-15 Buckeye loss to USC back on Sept. 12th. The Oregon headman expects more video this weekend and no doubt from the sound of his schedule he's raring to watch all the Buckeye tape the can get his hands on. Kelly indicated that what he's seen so far is impressive.

"I think they are really athletic on defense," remarked Kelly of Ohio State. "A couple of their guys, Cameron Hayward and the linebackers really jump out at you. (Doug) Worthington is a really good defensive tackle. They've got a good secondary. They're solid."

Kelly's praise wasn't limited to the defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Kelly commented on a player whom he'd seen many high school tapes -- quarterback Terrell Pryor.

"They can obviously run the ball, (and have) a great, big athlete at quarterback," Kelly said of OSU's quarterback. "It will be a heck of a game."

Pryor was on Kelly's hot list a couple years ago and Duck fans agonized over the possibility that Pryor would venture west and become a Duck. That obviously didn't happen and now ironically Pryor and Kelly may see what each other missed.

" He's obviously developed because he's bigger, stronger and faster from where he was in high school," Kelly said "It's kind of difficult because I'm watching him play against USC's defense and before I was watching Jeannette (Pryor's high school) play whoever they were playing at the high school level. (Pryor) Obviously was a man among boys in high school. He could drop back and throw the ball for 50 yards and the next play run for 50 yards. He's a really good athlete but we only have one game (college game to watch)."

Pryor going to Ohio State was initially thought a big loss for Oregon recruiting but after all the hoopla of recruiting died down two years ago, the Ducks convinced a junior college player with one-year experience under his belt to come to Oregon and compete for the signal caller's job. That player, Jeremiah Masoli, is the guy Kelly now calls "the best quarterback for our system in the country."

Masoli has been incredible. Against Oregon State on Thursday night, the Ducks were faced with a fourth and short in the closing minutes of the game. Kelly could have opted to kick a field goal and build the lead to a seven point Oregon advantage. However by doing so it also meant that Oregon State's quarterback Sean Canfield could have found James Rodgers and tied the game up. So instead of kicking a field goal, Kelly relied on Masoli.

"Would I put the ball in his hands?" Kelly offered in recalling the play. "I wouldn't hesitate in a minute to do it again."

Sure enough, Masoli picked up the critical first down and kept the Beaver offense off the field.

One reporter brought up a touchy subject for New England Patriots fans. Wasn't Kelly decision eerily similar to Bill Belichick in concept couple of weeks ago against the Indianapolis Colts?

"No," responded Kelly to the question. "Jeremiah Masoli and Tom Brady are a little bit different. I don't think Tom Brady's running over the free safety."

That is a lot of confidence about the playmaker, so perhaps in Kelly's mind, Pryor's decision to go to Ohio State was the best for all concerned.

Kelly also had some very kind words to say about his defense in the big win over the Northwest's OSU (Oregon State University). The Oregon defenders kept Jacquizz Rodgers well off his normal 119-yard average. Rodgers rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries.

"I thought our D-line did a good job of matching up against their offensive line," observed Kelly of the Civil War game and containing Rodgers. "Our speed on defense really helped in containing him."

The team has a couple of days off after the conclusion of the regular season. On Sunday the annual end of season banquet will be held. The coaches however are working with entertaining official visiting recruits. Those coaches not meeting with recruits this weekend promptly jump an airplane to take some recruiting visits but all will be back on Sunday. Kelly leaves Sunday night for a recruiting trip but he will be back in the office on Friday for the first post-season practice, and without question watching Ohio State football videos.

Notes: Kelly mentioned that the practice schedule would be Dec. 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21st. The team is off for Christmas on the 22nd through the 24th. Oregon travels to Pasadena on Christmas Day with the first Rose Bowl practice on December 26th, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

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