So why hasn’t Mark Helfrich already named Matt Lubick the offensive coordinator? Why is Helfrich making Lubick essentially “audition” for the job? BECAUSE HE CAN.
I’ve always admired patience. Decisions are more often made correctly if all the necessary information has been accumulated. Rushes to judgment usually don’t work out so well. Mark Helfrich is showing admirable restraint in naming an OC, because he can.
Most of us think Lubick is a no-brainer for the promotion. He’s extremely competitive, greatly admired by the players, and, arguably, the smartest coach on a very intelligent staff [including Helfrich and Frost, when he was here]. He is pretty much obsessive in his attention to details. Lubick already thoroughly knows the intricacies of the passing offense – and I’m sure has ways he’d like to improve it. Matt is obviously next-in-line from the current staff. And, as we’ve seen, Helfrich likes to promote from within.
So what’s the problem?
What if Lubick isn’t good at being an OC? A great assistant doesn’t always make a great coordinator. What if he doesn’t like it? The job isn’t in Lubick’s comfort zone?
Another thing to consider: Lubick would HAVE to coach QBs in order to be the OC. For some reason, most of you don’t seem to want to understand this concept:
NO WR coaches are OCs. Because in order to coach the WRs, the coach must WATCH THE WRs, and, therefore, NOT BE ABLE TO SEE WHAT THE OTHER OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYERS ARE DOING. Not a good idea for an offensive coordinator. Got it?
What if Lubick isn’t good at/doesn’t like coaching QBs? Could the Ducks add a QB coach and another WR coach, and then have Lubick oversee the whole thing, without coaching a specific position? There aren’t enough coaches allowed on the staff for this to occur. A way around this – that other teams, but never the Ducks, have done – is to bring in a QB coach and have a GA [graduate assistant] be the WR coach. Nate Costa could do that for one more year, but would Helfrich want to go that way?
So, why not wait? If Lubick’s audition goes as I’d expect it to, promote Lubick to OC, and hire an extremely well-qualified WR coach [I’m sure they’re out there]. If Lubick doesn’t work out right, there would be plenty of outstanding OC-QB coaches to choose from.
Tim Cramsey, the ex Montana St. OC, is the name that seems to be dominating. Would he take the WR job if Lubick is the OC? I’d answer, duh. It’s an outstanding job, running offensive concepts Cramsey knows well – and could enthusiastically and knowledgeably supplement [especially thoroughly knowing Dakota Prukop’s abilities]. He’d also potentially become the next OC in waiting. If Lubick isn’t the next OC, Cramsey would definitely be at the top of list of possible candidates. But, because it’s such a great opportunity, Cramsey will probably patiently wait until after the Alamo Bowl.
The only possible bad outcome of these possible scenarios is Lubick resenting not getting a promotion and going elsewhere. Heck, there’s a possible downside to almost everything.
So, let’s trust the patient and knowledgeable judgment of Mark Helfrich. That he’ll make just the right moves, and the Oregon offense will be even better than ever next year.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
Coach Mike Morris spent 30 years coaching at seven different high schools throughout Southern California. He coached many players who went on to Pac-12 programs including Oregon, such as Saladin McCullough. He is a writer, Football analyst and a good friend of the Principal of the site.
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