CORVALLIS - Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick talked about the unlimited potential of freshman quarterback Justin Herbert following the Ducks' 34-24 loss at Oregon State.
UO defensive coordinator Brady Hoke discussed what his young defenders must do during the offseason to improve, and about hitting the recruiting trail on Sunday.
But both did so while also being unable to definitively answer one simple, yet brutally uncertain question: Will any of them have jobs come Monday?
"We hope so," Lubick said when asked if he felt he would be around to see the development through on UO's young talent. "But it is what it is. All we can control is what we can control and that's wake up tomorrow and do the best we can. I'm very proud of the guys I've been around and I love our coaches. They've accomplished a lot for this university."
The Ducks (4-8, 2-7 Pac-12) finished off a disastrous season by blowing a 24-14 lead in the second half to end an eight-game winning streak over OSU (4-6, 3-6). Ever since the team hit 2-4 with a 70-21 loss to Washington, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich and his staff have been faced with the possibility that this could be their last season at UO. The fact Oregon went 2-4 the second half of the season certainly didn't help their cause. However, this was Oregon's first losing season since 2004 and the Ducks were in the national championship game just two seasons ago under Helfrich.
Helfrich said Saturday that the staff would debrief and hit the recruiting trail starting Sunday. He said he had no meetings scheduled with UO athletic director Rob Mullens.
"We'll have some time to debrief on everything," Helfrich said about the staff's immediate plans. "We do that every year, whether it's a great season or a season like this. Recruit. Heal up mind and body with the players and finish off strong here academically over the next couple of weeks and then move on."
If a coaching change were afoot it would likely mean that the staff would be held back from making such trips. It does the program no good to send coaches out recruiting if they are about to be fired.
What we know as of tonight is that the coaches don't appear to even know what their status is, which can make for a gut-wrenching situation for them and their families. Hoke said he is operating under the assumption that he will be back next season until he is told otherwise.
Lubick bluntly summed it all up when asked about what kind of a job he believes Helfrich has done this season:
"I think he has done an amazing job," Lubick said. "Football is what it is. It's what have you done for me lately."
It's likely that Oregon won't make a coaching move unless it has a high-end candidate already on the hook. Houston's Tom Herman was arguably the hottest coaching candidate in the country until Texas snapped him up today a day after the Cougars lost their final regular season game to Memphis on Friday.
Big names that remain available for UO to explore are Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, former LSU coach Les Miles and former Texas coach Charlie Strong.
If Oregon does not have a slam dunk candidate in place, chances are that Helfrich and his staff are given a year to turn things around. The biggest mistake UO could make would be to fire Helfrich and his staff and then hire anyone that wants to come to UO. This move must be made with deft precision to make sure that the Ducks land a new coach assured of success. Otherwise, what would be the point?
We know for a fact that this staff can win. It has done so, in some cases, for decades. Should one bad season in 12 years completely derail a 40-year legacy of not firing head football coaches?
That's up to Mullens to decide. For now, the coaching staff is carrying on as if it's business as usual.
"I am excited about the future," Lubick said.
Now everyone waits to find out if this staff still has a future at Oregon.