Mark Helfrich's thoughts on Chip Kelly's NFL debut? 'Validation'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday September 10, 2013

Chip Kelly’s debut may have surprised many in NFL circles, but back in Oregon, it was business as usual.

Mark Helfrich said Tuesday he watched some of the Eagles win, and he saw a very familiar playbook.

“I saw a little bit,” Helfrich said of the game. “Very excited for their opening. There’s a guy walking around with a Redskins hat on who’s getting drilled downstairs. But no, that was awesome. … It was a lot of the same stuff. Excited to see those guys. I thought those guys executed. It was fun to watch.”

For Helfrich, there was one word he kept coming back to to describe what the game meant: validation.

Validation that not only can a system like that work in the NFL, but players from that system can play in the NFL. Helfrich was asked if Kelly’s jump and the subsequent mentions of Oregon will help in recruiting.

“I’m sure it will to a certain extent,” Helfrich said. “The biggest thing is we need to get the right guys. If there’s a few more people that are drawn in that net because of that exposure, that’s great. We just need to make sure the right guys end up here.

I think it certainly validates something we thought, that this type of system can work at any level. A lot of people used that against us in recruiting. If you look at the past several drafts, not only at quarterback, offensive line, across the board, the ‘spread’ offense has been well-represented in the draft. That will certainly revalidate something we already believed in.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to