FALL CAMP 2014 – HELFRICH TALKS IN-DEPTH ABOUT MARCUS MARIOTA – "He Still Has a Big Ceiling In So Many Ways Which is Scary"
If there was ever a time to take over a premier college football program, there’s no question it should be with a quarterback like Marcus Mariota at the helm! It’s likely second year Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich thanks his lucky stars each night before bedtime for having that opportunity with this seasons Heisman front runner since former ring master Chip Kelly took his bag of tricks to Philadelphia. After Tuesday’s fall camp practice, Helfrich opined about his signal caller and just what he brings to this Duck team. “He is elite,…or whatever the right word is right now” explained Helfrich. “The neat thing about Marcus that I’ve said in the past he has such a desire, a willingness and ability to improve and to go out and put in the work it takes to get better even with how good he is.” And while Mariota finds himself on almost every pre-season award watch list going into the 2014 season, his coach believes there’s still room to improve. “He still has a big ceiling in so many ways which is scary” said Helfrich. “I’ve told Frosty ( Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost ) that so many times, this ain’t normal to have a guy like this.” For the majority of college football teams as it relates to instructing their players to consistently improve, there seems to be the constant task ( by coaches ) to push their players / team on a day to day – practice by practice schedule. With Mariota, Helfrich say’s he’s really been his own coach in that respect – on and off the field. “He has always helped us push the envelope that way” explained Helfrich. “Even going back to his true freshman year he was way ahead of kind of all the curves,…whatever those are. Exceptional learner,…exceptional just corrector when he does do something wrong,…or it’s not on time. That’s an invaluable skill as a quarterback when that guy is the guy doing it consistently then you’re just honing everybody else.”