On Twitter, the speculative consensus is that this could mean Oregon’s looming NCAA sanctions are worse than previously thought. Here in Nebraska, I’d rather speculate about something else — What happens to the Ducks’ current wide receivers coach and former Husker Scott Frost? (It’s not just me, at least one other person is with me on this.)
George Schroeder reported in USA Today a couple of weeks ago that, should Kelly leave, Oregon was prepared to hire current offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to take over the Ducks’ program. Within an hour of the Kelly news breaking, Helfrich reported that he was ready to take the reins.
That could — and, again, we’re just playing the hypothetical, back of the envelope figurin’ game here — open up a couple of intriguing options for Frost. One, he could presumably follow Kelly to Philadelphia. Frost played six years in the NFL and, according to his Oregon bio, “was tutored by some of the legendary football coaching minds of all time, including Stanford’s Bill Walsh, Nebraska’s Tom Osborne and the New York Jets’ Bill Parcels.” That move makes sense.
Option two could be to stay at Oregon and get a promotion. Best case scenario, Frost gets the title of offensive coordinator, something he obviously would covet. Bo Pelini pursued Frost back in 2011 but those talks reportedly broke down because Frost was looking for a promotion, not a lateral move. In other words, he wanted to be the offensive coordinator then.
That’s what makes this Kelly news, and its effect on Frost’s career, interesting from a Nebraska perspective. I’ve always been of the opinion that Frost would make a very intriguing head coaching candidate at Nebraska in the future. Oregon’s offense is certainly the flavor of the month in football right now, but it goes beyond that. On the field at least, Kelly ran a crisp program that sweated the details. The practices were fast and furious, but well-calibrated. It was a lot like the program Frost played at, and the Ducks’ run-first spread attack seems like it would sell really well in Lincoln.
But, I’ve also always been of the opinion that, if Pelini were to leave tomorrow, Frost’s experience could be a bit of a tough sell. At this point, his only coordinator experience is a year as the co-defensive coordinator at Northern Iowa. He doesn’t have any head coaching experience. That’s not a deal-breaker for me, but it is for some.
Kelly’s surprise move to Philadelphia likely means career advancement for Frost one way or another. Does that bring him closer to a Nebraska job should one open up?
Hypothetically, yes. A coach with a few more years of NFL experience or as a BCS-level coordinator certainly looks more appealing. At least in my hypothetical.
But what say you? Interested in Frost? Not interested? Concerned about experience or not? Feel free to chime in below.