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The Pressure Of Expecting To Be Better Than The Best

The Pressure Of Expecting To Be Better Than The Best

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Published by: FishDuck on Jul 19, 2012
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07/19/2012

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THEPRESSUREOFEXPECTINGTOBEBETTERTHANTHEBESTReportedbyJoshSchlichteronJuly19,2012inFishWrap,FishWrapArchive|1CommentHowexactlydoessomebodygoaboutbeingbetterthanthebesttohaveeverplayedforateam?Whatifthatpersonisthesuccessorsteppingintoastarter’sroleforthefirsttimeimmediatelyreplacingalegendwhohappenstobethebestever,withtheexpectationtobeevenbetter?ForaslongasChipKellyisinEugene,andpossiblybeyondthat,theOregonfootballprogramwillbetiedtotheword,“offense.”KnownforimpressiveoffensivenumbersduringtheBellottipro-setera,sinceswitchingtoaspreadunderKelly,thehigh-speedattackOregonhasbroughttothewestcoasthasexpandedfurtherthanwhatwasoncethoughtpossible,bindingtheconceptofpointsandbigplaystoanythingDuckfootball-related.DarronThomasshouldberememberedasoneofthebestever.ThebrieflegacyCoachKellyhasestablishedinonlythreeyearsastheheadcoach(andtwomoreasoffensivecoordinator)hascreatedafewlegendsinOregonlore;ofcoursethere’sLaMichaelJames,whoisregardedasthebestplayerinschoolhistory,andstill,thatisanunderstatementtoLaMichael’stalentsthatwoveeversoperfectlyintoKelly’sscheme.Thenthereisthesignal-caller,DarronThomas,whoisproperlyknownasthebeststatisticalquarterbackinOregon’shistory,andamasterfulmanageroftheno-huddleoffense.DarronshouldforeverbeheldamongstthelegendsofOregonfootball,withoutadoubt.CertainlyitshouldnotbeforgottentheproductionKellyhasexertedfromhisquarterbacksbeforeThomas,allwithawide-rangingarrayoftalents,fromthebulldozingrunnerthatwasJeremiahMasolitothesleekdo-everything-with-flairapproachthatwasDennisDixon’sseniorcampaign.Evenwiththedepartureofthebesttwoplayersforthegreaterpartofadecade(ifnotalltime,atleaststatistically),whatifOregon’sceilingstillhasn’tbeenreached?Acynicmightsayithas,theceilingcamecrashingdownagainstAuburn,andthenLSU,andthenSouthernCallastseason.AmoreneutralpersonwouldbecontentwiththeunprecedentedsuccessOregon’sschemehasbrought.Theoptimist,otherwiseknownasnearlyeveryOregonfan,stillbelievesthereismoretotormentdefensivecoordinatorswithinCoachKelly’splaybook,leadingtoevengreatersuccessthantheunprecedentedlevelsalreadyachievedthepastthreeseasons.ToidentifythelimitsofthisOregonoffense,firsttheareasinneedofimprovementforanoffensethathasconsistentlybeenamongthebestinthecountryinallfacetsofthegameneedstoberecognized.Thoseconceptsincludeinteriorandexteriorrunning,screens,play-action,roll-outanddrop-backpasses.Well,therunninggamespeaksforitself,inside-out,butiftherewasonesmallpieceoftheOregonoffensethathasstruggledeversoslightly,ithastobeinthepassingdepartment.LayingnoblameonDarronThomas,orthereceiverswhohaveoutperformednearlyeveryunitsimilartothem,thepassingoffensehasneverfeltoverlydominant,orevenaprimarypartoftheoffense.ForasgoodasDarronwas,andthat’sgoodenoughtomakehimoneofthebestinOregonhistory,histalentsweremaximizedduringhistimeatthehelm,thus,forlackofabetterword,helimitedthealreadyunparalleledOregonoffense.Buthowisthatpossible?Thomaswonmoregamesthananyquarterbackoverthepasttwoseasons,anddirectedthenation’smostdynamicoffensiveattacktonearpe

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