Pecking order, I get it. As a man who served his country for six years I know the importance of rank. In a true meritocracy you earn your place, and frankly, rank has its privileges. But if there is one beef I have with Kelly's coaching style after the national championship game, it is his reliance on the pecking order in the face of situational utility.
I just read something on Oregonlive that made my blood... reboil. Care to know what it is?
Let me take you back. It's the national championship, and it's fourth and goal from the two. Lamichael James is getting taped on the sideline and Kelly decides to run Barner for the do or die score, one which could have altered the outcome of the game.
Auburn gets the goal-line stand and makes the stop. Meanwhile the 205lb Remene Alston, who averaged 5 yards/carry over his career, stood on the sideline. Why, because he was the #3 back and the #2 back was good to go.
205lbs might not sound that hefty, until you consider Remene Alston is 5'8". Frankly, he was a bigger version of that Rodgers kid who played just north of us. In my humble opinion, Remene would have got us that score, but he was never given that opportunity because Kelly values rank over utility.
So when I read up on today's practice report, naturally it all came back to me.
In the meantime, Carson and Thomas appear to be pushing for playing time.
“Me and Kenjon are helping those guys out to the best of our abilities,” James said. “Tra has phenomenal moves for a big guy. I think he can play right now. He’s a big kid. And De’Anthony is really fast, quick.”
It’s the kind of thunder-and-lightning combination Campbell loves. The Ducks didn’t have a power back for short-yardage situations last year. -Ken Goe
What Mr. Goe fails to see, other than we had Remene last year, is that thunder and lightning was a Mike Bellotti thing, not a Chip Kelly thing. Consider that once Blount was reinstated he was not used in a similar fashion. Kelly had the perfect thunder and lightning combination going into the ASU game and he chose not to use him until he absolutely had to during the Civil War.
So what does all of this mean? It means that, while Carson is the big back that Oregon needs, he will probably red-shirt this year, usefulness be dammed. With Lamike, Barner, and DAT in the three deep, and with Seastrunk (who in my mind would make a better receiver at this point) having already used his red-shirt, I seriously doubt Carson sees the field this season. Regardless of how much Oregon needs a power back.