The Oregon Brand is BACK and is No Longer Chip Kelly’s Legacy

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

You are nodding in agreement from the title and you know where I’m going with this, although I admit that I wish to get the conversation begun in the only forum-with-decorum among all Oregon websites, the Our Beloved Ducks forum. (If you have not checked it out–you should, and look at all the Oregon Sports News posted for you)

You feeling giddy as I am? Good gosh, the offense had an off day at Cal, stalling on two drives in the Red Zone, and still scored 42 points on team known for sound defense? It’s easy to put on some old rock tunes and swivel the hips a bit as you watch Oregon score again in replays. (Sorry to create that visual of me!) It feels great as the Oregon Brand is BACK Baby!

The Oregon Brand was primarily known a decade ago for rapid high scoring, and the Ducks are certainly doing that at times in 2022. Yet the emphasis this time is to not waste a single possession, to have an efficient offense. A brilliant FishDuck writer explained his hypothesis of what the new Oregon game strategy has evolved into, and the most important component is Oregon scoring as often as possible with whatever number of possessions they receive in a game.

The current Oregon Brand is not based on quick strikes, and in fact the concept of time use in 2022 is the opposite of the Chip Kelly days at Oregon. The Ducks are now scoring often, are entertaining-as-hell, and the offensive style is quite different than what began under Charles Kelly over a dozen years ago. Chip operated the Spread Offense to run the ball, while current OC Kenny Dillingham wants a balanced attack.

Screenshot from Fox Sports Video

The Jumbo formation is an overload on the right side that is about to carve up the Bruins.

This new Oregon Brand is quite the varied offense, and is not dependent upon a handful of plays as before. The base is a Spread Offense but it includes old “I” formation sets, unveiled early in the season with great success, as well as a “Jumbo” formation using the Stanford tactic of the past. Next came a scheme using Twin-Backs in the backfield, and even a number of “Pistol” formation plays that were anything but plodding against Cal.

Coach Dillingham loves to introduce a new play and then roll in variations or sequential plays off of those new sets, with killer results. We’ve seen way too many to discuss here, but you can be assured that Coach Boles and I will go nuts in the off-season breaking down this incredibly varied new Oregon Offense. It is very hard for an opposing defense to stop a play not seen on film from the past, and once defenders get their adjustments set–Dilly runs a constraint play off the base play to skewer the opponent for another touchdown? Nasty.

It is Fun for EVERYONE…

You cannot imagine the number of people who told me that their spouse or other family members “were just not into Oregon football” until the program became exciting during the the glory years of Rose Bowls, championships and playoffs. I believe Oregon gained a large block of fans, and then lost many under Cristobal … and is now wooing them back with high scoring and an offense that is just-plain-fun. I am hearing again now from returning fans, and we can see it when Autzen is packed as it has been this season. The FishDuck photographers told me that the noise at ground level during the UCLA game, “resembled a jet engine on explosion plays of a decade ago.”

I groaned when I saw this year’s schedule with the game at Colorado, as they are not a good team. Darn, I thought, that means we will be the worst television time slot on the Pac-12 Network, which probably means a 7:30 PM start. Wrong. I was dumbfounded to learn that the Ducks are playing again in prime-time at 12:30 PM and on ESPN? What?

Nancy Paiva

A fast, elusive QB who can run the Zone-Read is ideal for stressing defenses.

I guess it goes to show that when the Oregon Brand is back–everyone wants to watch? Even against a poor opponent?  I am slack-jawed and giddy again at the prospect.  The good times are BACK my FishDuck Friends, and everyone wants to join the party.

The Best Part of the Return of the Oregon Brand?

When Coach Dan Lanning and Coach Dillingham were hired, a certain FishDuck writer wrote an open letter asking for the return of the Oregon Brand. It wasn’t necessarily the Spread Offense, not necessarily what Coach Kelly did here, but a style of high scoring that is fun to watch. Coach Dillingham told us what we wanted to hear in the off-season about the offense, but the results this fall have exceeded all expectations on so many fronts. From the growth of Bo Nix, to the maturing of the offensive line and the unfolding of new stars such as Troy Franklin, Duck football has been a joy for fans to witness.

For yours-truly? The best part is finally discarding the association of the Ducks’ high-powered offense with just Chip Kelly; it is now the Oregon Brand, and not that of Coach Kelly. He’s gone and his style went with him. These Ducks are unfolding a potent offense that now is the Oregon Brand. It is ours, it is Oregon’s, and while we can look with pride at the past–we can now embrace the updated version that is the Ducks’ high-powered scoring machine.

The Oregon Brand is back!

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Nancy Paiva

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