INDIANAPOLIS -- Oregon running back Kenjon Barner remembered how practices were run under former head coach Mike Bellotti. You'd run a play. Take a break. Run the next play.
When Chip Kelly took over as Oregon's head coach in 2009, the practice routine changed immediately. It was go, go, go all the time on the field in order to maximize efficiency. That go, go, go mentality carried over to the field when games began.
"He pushes you to a limit you didn't know you had," Barner said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "It was beautiful. It started off ugly, but it became a masterpiece."
Oregon's offenses under Kelly were some of the most prolific from not only a scoring standpoint, but a rushing standpoint as well. No team in the nation had more rushing touchdowns last season than Oregon. Barner, individually, ranked fourth in the nation in rushing yards per game with 135.9.
"Coach Kelly is going to put you in a position to be successful," Barner said. "Whether or not you're successful, that's on you. You just have to take advantage of it and that's what I did. "
Barner praised Kelly's ability to "adapt to any environment or situation." Last season, the Ducks were playing against Oregon State in the annual "Civil War" and Oregon's ground game struggled. Kelly was calling for inside zone runs all game and Oregon State was all over it. Well, on the first play of a fourth-quarter drive, Kelly noticed something with the defensive end and called timeout. He told Barner to cut it back after he got the handoff. Barner said that it hadn't been working all game. On the play, Barner took the handoff for a gain of 52 yards.
"For him to see that before the play is even ran, I think that's kind of uncommon," Barner said.
Not that the game was close, the Ducks doubled down on the Beavers by a 48-24 score.
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