Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich fits perfectly into Chip Kelly's shoes

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

New coach, same results. The Oregon Ducks haven't missed a beat without Chip and are looking as good as ever to start 2013.

1. Any differences you've noticed between Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich in the way they call a game? What differences have you noticed?

I've noticed some very small differences in the play-calling (particularly in the red zone and in short yardage situations), but other than that, Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost have done a pretty good job continuing Chip Kelly's offensive system this season. I also think that Helfrich and Frost will get more comfortable calling the shots as the season and competition escalates.

2. What improvements has Mariota seemed to have make between last year and this?

To this point, I think Mariota has actually regressed a bit in the passing game compared to last season. But I really don't think we've seen enough out of him to truly judge his performance. I think Tennessee will definitely put some pressure on the passing game to perform this week, so we'll get a real good luck at his progression this weekend.

3. Are you sold on the idea of De'Anthony Thomas as an everydown back? How does the running back stable look compared to previous seasons?

Thomas probably won't be used as an every down back this season, but will definitely make the most out of his limited carries. I think that Byron Marshall is a fantastic complement to Thomas' speed on the exterior, and Thomas Tyner might end up being a combination of both. After Tyner made a fantastic debut this past weekend, things are looking really bright in the Oregon backfield.

4. How does the rest of the Ducks offense look? Any new wrinkles you've seen?

While the running game looks to be up to par, I have yet to be really wowed by the Oregon passing offense this year. I know that will eventually change, simply because of the amount of talent and speed at Mariota's disposal. Josh Huff, Keanon Lowe, and Bralon Addison have already made some great plays this season, and with just a bit more fine tuning these units should be good to go against the better defenses in the conference.

5. How similar did Chip's offense look at Philly compared to the one it installed in Oregon?

Aside from one new advanced concept shown against the Redskins, Chip basically ran the exact same offense that he did in Oregon. Chip perfected his system in Eugene and is going to out-scheme plenty of coaches in the NFL with it. I can't wait to see how this impacts the Ducks on the recruiting trail now that Oregon can boast running a pro-style offense.

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