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Report: Oregon to promote OC if Kelly leaves

The SportsXchange

Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich reportedly will be promoted to head coach if Chip Kelly leaves for an NFL job.

USA Today Sports reported Helfrich's ascension, citing a source with direct knowledge of the university's plans.

An ESPN.com report said the Bills had scheduled a Friday interview with Kelly. He will meet with Buffalo in Arizona, a day after the fifth-ranked Ducks play Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

The offensive-minded Kelly, who has a 45-7 record in four years at Oregon, reportedly also will interview soon with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

The USA Today also report said heralded Boise State coach Chris Petersen will not be a candidate for the job.

"Conceptually, it's about continuity," the person said.

The source added Helfrich was the top choice last year when Kelly nearly took head coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I don't think anybody wants to see this change happen," the person said. "But if it's gonna happen I don't think anybody has concern with (promoting Helfrich)."

Helfrich is an Oregon native who played at Southern Oregon University and has coached at Boise State and two other Pac-12 schools. He has been greatly involved in Oregon's game-planning and knows the Ducks' intricate offense as well as Kelly.
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