|Mark Helfrich (center)|
I was doing some reading on another site and came across a piece in which the writer (who I'm not mentioning because he's a fellow Duck) argued in favor of Oregon opening its practices to the public (Chip Kelly closed practices during his time as head coach).
I say keep them closed. Under Kelly the Ducks were militant about their business: regimented, focused, and secretive. The fans couldn't see what they were up to behind closed doors Monday-Friday, but it sure looked great when they came rolling out on Saturday's.
The formula worked pretty well for them: 46-7 in 3 years, 2-2 in BCS bowl games, and one appearance in the national title game (a couple missed field goals away from playing for 2 more).
Why does Mark Helfrich have to come in and make changes? How does opening practice "put his stamp on the program?" You wanna put your stamp on the program? Keep winning.
The writer went on to say that, "having closed practices doesn't necessarily provide anything to the team aside from secrecy." That's exactly why they should keep it closed.
There's talk that Oregon's offense may look a little different next year under new offensive coordinator Scott Frost, and that they will be passing it more. Just how different they look should remain an element of surprise.
Why should Oregon let the enemy know what they're doing? Would the U.S. want a bunch of countries checking out their latest technology and watching how they train for battle? Probably not. It's no different here. Why put it out there for other coaches to see what Oregon is working on for 2013?
And it's not like the fans would be clamoring up to watch Oregon practice, if it was open to the public. With the exception of a few nuts out there who have nothing better to do than watch 18-24's perform drills and scrimmage against each other, nobody really cares one way or another.
As long as the product Helfrich puts out on the field Saturday's is good, and the Ducks keep winning 10, 11, 12 games a year...the fans will be happy.