Tomorrow brings us another minor football contest and more of the cryptic placards of battleships and jack-o-lanterns that Oregon backup QB Dustin Haines has been flashing at teammates throughout the season. The system appears to have been designed by some mad genius.
Oregon's high-speed offense relies on high-speed play calling. The giant signs serve as giant mnemonic aids. Oregon coach Chip Kelly isn't offering many hints as to their meaning. A picture of Rece Davis in the top left corner of one card means "RD," which stands for "Research and Development," indicating plays that have been poached from other teams, according to Kelly, who may very well be lying.
Patrick Hruby at ESPN took it upon himself to crack the code. He even recruited a math professor to help. Unfortunately, they came away just as bewildered as everyone else, although they did make the following observation:
Another headset-wearing backup quarterback, usually Bryan Bennett, stands in a peculiar pose, holding it for a few seconds. Meanwhile, a man who appears to be an assistant coach — but curiously does not resemble any of the assistants on Oregon's team website — wears brightly colored wristbands and makes quick series of hand signals.
'He looks like a third base coach,' Kozek said. 'On speed.'
The above happens regularly. Moreover, there often are two people with headsets making arm signals. Sometimes, when the Ducks call an audible, every offensive player looks to the sideline at the same time, as if someone had yelled "Fire!"
What does this all mean? It means the Oregon code involves more than goofy images.
The NSA really needs to get in touch with these people.
Can Oregon's placard code be broken? [ESPN]
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