Jan. 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich (right) talks with quarterback Marcus Mariota prior to the game against the Kansas State Wildcats during the 2013 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Oregon defeated Kansas State 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich Chats with ESPN's Ivan Maisel

Wednesday was a busy day for coaches of the Pac 12 North on the ESPN Campus in Bristol, Connecticut. Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich started his day at 7am going from program to program in what they like to call ‘The Car Wash’. Along the way he stopped to talk with Ivan Maisel from ESPN about the Ducks.

Here is part of their conversation:

On the Biggest challenge as Head Coach vs Coordinator?

 We have people in place, a lot of great people – (also have a) decisive and concise plan for what we want to do. Issues that come up and decisions being made… is all on the job training for a new coach.

Oregon opens a new ‘Performance Center’ aka Workout facility next week. Thoughts?

 It’s been a lot of work by a lot of talented people, including Mr, Knight as a benefactor. (They went out and found stuff) Example: Where’s the best cafeteria, the best this and that. We’ve created a complex that’s unique. They go around the world and find the best stuff. It’s really incredible and indescribable.

Who will doing the Decision making on Saturdays

 All of this is ongoing. I’m still going to be involved offensively, we had a great Spring. He(Scott Frost) is going to call the plays. He’s a very bright guy and between him and the other coaches we’re gonna keep on rolling.

Will (Helfrich)  miss calling plays?

 My biggest concern is being on the sideline. I haven’t been on the sideline in 20 years.

Third year QB’s – There are several players who redshirted their Freshman year and are entering their second season at the helm including Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller. Is something in the water with 3rd year QB’s.

 (They are under) more media scrutiny and they are all different, asked to do different things and come from different places. Some (like Marcus) didn’t start till his senior year in high school, others started all four years. High School Football is coached better nationally, guys are being better in their training.

What did you see in Mariota in working with him from last season to now?

 Command and Control. (He’s) taking total command of the team. Marcus is the guy that everyone in Oregon loves. He’s from such a unique culture and is a very humble guy. His overall knowledge and timing of the offense. Marcus has the ability and the desire to be great.


De’Anthony Thomas – What is his role this season?

Expanded role – little bit more here and there. Kick game, receiver, tailback – we want the ball in his hands. How many carries? Who Knows How many catches? Who Knows. 


Full ESPNU Podcast interview with Ivan Maisel and Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich


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