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Report: Colt Lyerla upset with Mark Helfrich

Mark Helfrich AP

The transition from Chip Kelly to Mark Helfrich has been mostly seamless and Oregon looks as good as ever, but the first-year coach might be bungling his relationship with one of his star players.

The Oregonian is reporting that tight end Colt Lyerla is upset after Helfrich blamed Lyerla’s absence from the game against Tennessee on one word: circumstances. Helfrich repeated the word several times and would not elaborate further, creating the vague impression that there was something more to the absence. Lyerla was not pleased.

“I’m really upset with the way coach Helfrich said that after the game,’’ Lyerla said Sunday. “Really disappointed. I feel hurt about this. I watched a little bit of what he said, then started reading all of it, and … it was unfair.’’

Lyerla says he was ill, causing him to miss practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Per team rules regarding the number of practices one needs to go through, he said he knew he wasn’t going to play. He was told to stay home Saturday and get rest.

“Circumstances,’’ Lyerla said echoing his coach’s explanation. “He didn’t say I was sick all week.’’

Helfrich will need to mend this fence quickly since Lyerla is one of Oregon’s most dangerous offensive weapons and a future NFL first round pick. Although it’s possible the normally affable Helfrich has a bit of leverage with Lyerla in the form of freshman tight end Johnny Mundt, who burst onto the scene against Tennessee with five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Does the emergence of Mundt make it easier for Helfrich to take a hard-line position with regards to whatever issues he might have with Lyerla?

Whatever the case, this is a good test for the rookie coach. Stay tuned.

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5 Responses to “Report: Colt Lyerla upset with Mark Helfrich”
  1. jaydub101 says: Sep 16, 2013 12:37 AM

    what you have here…is “reporting” from Jason Quick of the Oregonian…he always looks to start some s**t with who ever he covers…we had to deal with this when he was the blazers insider…all the guy does is report on the negative….

  2. crazyfootballfun says: Sep 16, 2013 1:36 AM

    Don’t know if Helfrich wrong or not, but what I do know is that Lyera tends to run his mouth. He is one of the Newtown deniers..thinks all these families made up that their kids were shot and killed. That said, it would seem like what Lyera should have said is, ” I was sick, and i am gonna have a conversation with coach. ” That would have been the mature thing, IMO.

  3. Pac12Ute says: Sep 16, 2013 3:11 AM

    The comment of “I’m really upset with the way coach Helfrich said that after the game’’ should be responded to by the coach with with, “There’s the bench son, go warm it up.” As a player, should you really express your disappointment in the guy that holds your playing time (aka: your future) in his hands? Not a smart move kid.

  4. dhardy8207 says: Sep 16, 2013 9:29 AM

    This is an example of immaturity and a little arrogance.. The fact that he made any comment to the press about the way Helfrich handle a previous press conference could and should have been handled in private.

    As it stands, not only has this young man created an atmosphere of tension and possibly unnecessary anomosity between he and his coach but also has shown a sense of disrespect. Youngsters who have an enormous amount of talent (Johnny Football) often don’t think about their actions before and ususally learn that valuable lesson after they receive a negative response..

  5. grfg8r says: Sep 16, 2013 11:42 AM

    Neither the coach or the player need to air anything in public. This is how rumors get started and then shit gets out of control. A simple “no comment about players who didn’t play today.” This isn’t the NFL. College athletes are protected more, unless a situation like this happens. In the end, the player will go on. The coach, could end up being negative recruiting fodder. Just SHUTUP!

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