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Mark Helfrich says Marcus Mariota would not have a drastic learning curve

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One of the main concerns for Marcus Mariota is how quickly he'll be able to transition to the NFL. Spread quarterbacks,a pretty ill-defined term, actually have a history of early success in the NFL, but there's no doubt that Mariota's college system with Oregon was less similar to pro-style offenses than Jameis Winston's at Florida State.

Mariota's coach doesn't think that'll be a problem, though. Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich joined the Rich Eisen show to talk about Mariota.

"Well I think there's a lot of variation of quote-unquote spread or no-huddle and all those variations are based on the coaches' strengths, or the coaches' background and we have elements of option, we have elements of West Coast. You know our passing game would fit into any other NFL franchise's playbook easily.

"And that's why I think that a lot has been made of that he should have this drastic, huge learning curve to the NFL from a schematic standpoint. I don't think that's true. Dirk Koetter is the offensive coordinator in Tampa now, has a huge background that I've been fortunate enough to learn from for many, many years. And there's a bunch of stuff in our offense that'll marry up well."

Of course, most college head coaches would defend both his own system and his players, so take this with a grain of salt.

Helfrich also confirmed he's talked to Dirk Koetter about Marcus Mariota, which is not a surprise -- the Helfrich coached under Koetter for years in college. The Bucs would have talked to him anyway, but that familiarity may give them a little extra insight into Mariota -- good or bad.