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Chip Kelly NFL Rumors: Mark Helfrich has Phil Knight's "approval" to be successor

Should Oregon's Chip Kelly leave for the NFL, Phil Knight, the Ducks' most prominent booster, would approve of offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich as his successor.

Stephen Dunn

With college football's regular season coming to an end, fans of the Oregon Ducks are going to have to endure endless rumors of Chip Kelly going the NFL. Attractive jobs are sure to open up in places like Philadelphia and Carolina, and we're seeing Kelly rumored in all of them. However, we may not be sure that Chip is staying, but the consensus seem to be that offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will get the gig if Kelly bolts. Per the Oregonian's Adam Jude, Helfrich has the Phil Knight seal of approval:

One UO insider estimated that, if Kelly were to leave, offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich would almost certainly be promoted to the head-coaching job. The same source would be "shocked" if Oregon went after Boise State's Chris Petersen.

Another source said that while Nike co-founder Phil Knight is "a big fan of Chip," Oregon's most influential booster approves of Helfrich as Kelly's successor.

It's worth noting that it is no sure thing that Kelly leaves, as much as many make it out to be. But, if he does go, Helfrich seems like right fit. Nothing is a guarantee in the world of athletics, but giving the job to a guy who learned from the man himself and will keep the system going seems like the best shot at sustainability if Chip find the NFL itch too hard to ignore.