When Mark Helfrich was officially announced as Oregon’s next head coach Sunday afternoon in The Club inside of Autzen Stadium, a handful of Oregon players on hand to watch the ceremony clapped and cheered.
One of those players was redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, who after his first year in that starting role, must now get acquainted with Helfrich as his head coach and not his quarterbacks coach who sits upstairs in the coaches booth on game day.
When Oregon takes the field for their first game on August 31st, Mariota will have Helfrich on the sideline, most likely calling the offensive plays like former coach Chip Kelly did.
“To have someone who’s been here, been through the process, understands our culture — it’s very pivotal for us as a program,” Mariota said on Sunday.
And relying on that continuity is important to the growth of a young quarterback.
“It’s very important as a team” explained Mariota. ”Coach Helfrich has been here for us,…he understands what kind of culture we’ve had from Coach Kelly. Just to have that continue on I think will be pivotal for us.
When asked about any possible changes, Mariota was quick to say he didn’t think they’d have much change at all. “I don’t think there’s going to be much change,…so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Other Oregon players on hand to watch the official announcement of Helfrich’s promotion was Hroniss Grasu, De’Anthony Thomas, Brian Jackson, Ricky Heimuli and Mariota.
( Watch the interview with Marcus Mariota by clicking the video box above )