Is it "The System?"
March 22, 2011
benzduck in 1947, Heroes, Norm Van Brocklin, Perspective, Player profile

In 2007, some experts posited that Dennis Dixon’s remarkable progress was more a function of Chip Kelly’s offensive system than anything else. Kelly had made DD a “system quarterback.” Thus implying that Dixon wasn’t really that good.

In 2010, the experts were at it again, late in the season, suggesting that LaMichael James’ Heisman campaign maybe wasn’t quite legitimate because he gained his yardage on opportunities given him within Chip Kelly’s offensive system. He was a “system running back”. Thus implying that LMJ wasn’t really that good.

This argument is nothing new. Really. And fans of DD and LaMike shouldn’t be too upset by it. Because one of Dixon’s predecessors had the same argument made against him, almost 60 years earlier.


Collier’s Magazine article, Sept 1948, by Bill Fay; illustration by John Cullen Murphy.

“Aiken’s system made Van Brocklin”. 

The Dutchman went on to a Hall of Fame pro career.  

Some system.

Article originally appeared on duck downs: oregon football history (
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