Chip Kelly and Quinshon Judkins

Ohio State Brotherhood Standing Out To Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly was hired by Ryan Day as the new Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator three months ago today, and it’s been a crash course in upkeep and keep-up for him ever since.

Kelly has been charged with not just running the Ohio State offense, but getting it back on track after an uncustomary season last year. This entails learning about the personnel on the team, what they are able to handle, and how they are able to handle it. There is also recruiting that needs done — both the high school kind and your own team kind.

So there’s been a lot to learn, which he has done. But the thing that has struck him most in his time so far isn’t something most outsiders think about.

“I think the most impressive thing since I’ve been here is how close this football team is,” Kelly said last month. “Some programs talk about a brotherhood, but here, this is really a brotherhood.”

Before Kelly got to see the Buckeyes on the practice field, he only got to interact with them off of it. This meant getting to know players via the weight room or the meeting rooms or just having lunch together. It was a good start, but spring practice continued to open Kelly’s eyes.

It wasn’t an eye-opening situation just because of the amount of talent — although there was plenty, but rather because of the collective purpose that was consistently on display.

“Our practices, we’ve talked about how good our defense is, they’re highly competitive, but they’re not combative,” he said. “Those guys really work very, very well together. Both the O-line and the D-line, the secondary and the receivers. The competition, it’s got to be the best there is in the country, and that makes you better.”

In the pantheon of coaching cliches, you will see “Iron Sharpens Iron” etched on the walls, but that’s because its true. As with any tool, however, you have to use it correctly if you want to get anything built properly.

“I think sometimes in competition, guys can lash out and it gets really combative,” Kelly said. “Then all of a sudden a fight breaks out and a fight breaks out. We’re trying to accomplish things and get football done. But I think the way these guys cooperate and work together as a group, it’s a special bond.”

There’s a reason why a run to a championship never starts with the first game of the season. There were seven or eight other months before that moment that will ultimately dictate what happens down the stretch.

Chip Kelly knows that as well as anybody, which is why he has been encouraged by what he’s seen in his 90-odd days on the job.

“I think you’re going to see that the closest teams and the most connected teams are the ones that win,” he said.

If that’s the case, then this could end up being exactly the kind of season that Ohio State fans have been hoping for.

Go to discussion...