Throughout this spring, you'll hear -- if you haven't already -- a lot about communication and chemistry. Take the secondary for example. Lots of new guys are being mixed in with some veterans, and so far, everyone says it's the chemistry that's been the separator. "We're doing some good things" fifth-year senior Erick Dargan said. "We're making progress on the daily. Communication wise, everything is clicking." Chemistry is no doubt a big part of on-the-field play and locker room relationships but it's not just exclusive to the players. It's a big factor with the coaches as well. The Ducks' staff has a little bit of a new look this year, with Don Pellum taking over for Nick Aliotti as defensive coordinator and Erik Chinander brought back to coach the outside linebackers. While Pellum and Chinander aren't exactly new faces, they're in new roles. Fortunately, defensive backs coach John Neal said the transition has gone smoothly for the men with the whistles. "You don't see it, but coaches all across the country hate each other's guts," Neal said. "There's stories upon stories of that happening. It completely destroys you." That's not the case at Oregon, at least according to Neal. Neal, who has coached at Oregon for 10 seasons, was good friends with Aliotti and said he'll miss the relationship he had with the long-time coach. But he's close with Pellum, as well, and that can be important for the cohesiveness of the staff. "Nick was a big part of this thing, a real strong personality and a good friend," Neal said. "So when you lose a guy like that you lose the friendship stuff and the camaraderie. But me and DP are really close. The staff will be just as strong.
Chemistry is just as important for Oregon Ducks coaches
Oregonian | Apr 3