Coaching Buzz: Mayock on Kelly’s Prospects

As we’ve already discussed many times in this space, Oregon’s Chip Kelly is going to draw polarizing opinions in the coming months when it comes to his prospects as an NFL head coach.

One analyst who offers a unique perspective is Mike Mayock. Mayock calls Notre Dame games for NBC, but is also the color guy for NFL Network’s Thursday night broadcasts. The Daily News’ Paul Domowitch recently caught up with Mayock to get his opinion of Kelly.

“People want to say it’s a gimmick, but I don’t think it’s a gimmick,” he said. “I see some similar things going on in the NFL right now. There are teams that spread it out to run and teams that spread it out to throw. Some teams do both pretty well.

“That’s what Buffalo is trying to do. Spread the field. They have a gifted tailback [C.J. Spiller]. Run the spread-run game and also have an NFL-style pass game. They do all the bubble screens and the quick stuff that Kelly does. So do other teams.

“And I love the tempo component of Oregon’s offense. You’ve seen what Belichick and [Tom] Brady have done with that this year up in New England.”

Mayock also offers his thoughts on Stanford’s David Shaw in the piece. As always, Domo’s entire column is worth a read.

Meanwhile, David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News discusses the decision that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien will likely face in the coming weeks. Last week, O’Brien was non-committal when asked if he’d be back with the Nittany Lions next year. Now, he’ll have to weigh the pluses and minuses of potentially bolting for the NFL. Writes Jones:

* This is your chance. And considering what’s in the offing for the next four or five years, might it never come around again? What happens after, say, a string of 5-7s or 4-8s at the nadir of the sanctions? Does anyone come knocking again? (I wonder if O’Brien ever imagined an opportunity would happen so soon. Did he envision a long slog like everyone else?)

* You never signed up for a program burdened by any sanctions let alone the ones handed down in July. How can anyone blame you for doing a terrific job under unprecedented circumstances for the year you were here, then taking your dream opportunity? It’s not exactly comparable to Todd Graham bolting for Arizona State after one year at Pitt.

Keep in mind that Penn State is ineligible for a bowl game, meaning NFL teams might try to put out some feelers with O’Brien sooner rather than later. The Nittany Lions play their final game of the season against Wisconsin on Saturday.

A reminder that we’ll have all of the latest coaching buzz right here in our special section.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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