Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley has an interesting look at the ability of Oregon to keep players in the football program that were recruited from the other half of the country.

In the period 2003-06, the Ducks signed nine guys from the Eastern half of the country, and four left early...

...Where the Ducks’ efforts to keep Eastern players happy will really be tested is in the next year or two.

Check out his list and read the comments, it's worth the time.

• So how about BSU or Utah in the Rose Bowl? According to George Schroeder it just might happen starting in 2010. The BCS has signed a new contract with ESPN and it adds a new clause.

But in the new contract, I’m told, there is an interesting clause: The first time in the deal that the Rose loses one of its champions to the BCS title game, that opening will be automatically filled by a Coalition (non-BCS conference) team if one has qualified.

BSU in the Rose Bowl? That's just plain wrong.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Ted Miller looks at a recent informal poll of Pac-10 coaches who voted 6-4 against the current round-robin scheduling format.

"When the schedule went from 11 to 12 games, it seemed like the logical thing to do," said Jim Muldoon, the Pac-10's associate commissioner for communications.

A funny thing happened on the way to a logical, equitable decision: No other conference followed suit. And it benefited them.

Even with one marquee nonconference game, most Pac-10 teams could schedule their way to a 3-1 or even a 4-0 start, which is what nearly every other BCS team does.

It's the new strategic paradigm. It's the strategy of the BCS, which is about smart scheduling and public perception.

The whole thing kind of backfired in my opinion. It was supposed to make the Pac-10 look stronger in the eyes of the BCS. Sometimes the extra "W" in the win column outweighs who you played.

• More of the same for Nick Reed now that he has reached the NFL in this Seattle PI story.

He begins his journey with the Seahawks as a decided underdog despite being a two-time All-American at Oregon.

"I understand that," he said. "It's never going to be easy for me, but that's how it's always been."

They called him the Tasmanian Devil at Oregon because of his relentless style of play. But the devilish Duck is taking on stronger competition now in his initial foray into professional football.

Persevere Nick, that's what you do best.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Ted Miller ran a timely piece yesterday wondering how the Pac-10 backup QB situation looks.

Despite Roper's defection, the Ducks aren't in too much trouble here, particularly if Nate Costa -- the projected 2008 starter -- comes back healthy in the fall. Sophomore Darron Thomas is the quarterback of the future and looked good in the limited action he saw last year, including an inspired effort against Boise State.

• Speaking of the depth chart, Andy Mac has an "updated" look at the 2 deep after the recent departures. On this chart the backup to Masoli is sophomore Darron Thomas....interesting.

• In the "it's never too early" department, Brian Murphy from the Idaho Statesman wonders if the BSU vs Oregon contest on September 3rd is the "biggest game" ever in Bronco Stadium? To bad their season will end on the same day losing to Oregon 126-6.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• The exodus continues. Homesickness is the probable cause in Chris Harper's decision to ask, and be granted, his release from the Oregon football program yesterday.

“Harp tried to play through it,” Kelly said. “But as I told Chris, I can’t make Eugene, Oregon, any closer to Kansas. He wants to be closer to home.”

That's the third Duck to make this decision in as many weeks following Pflugrad and Roper. I hate seeing so many quality contributors leave the program but they all had viable reasons.

Position on the depth chart, lack of playing time and a new coaching staff are likely candidates for these moves as well.

Harper is a helluva an athlete and I think he had a bright future at Oregon if he would have stuck it out but I can't fault him for wanting to be closer to his family. I wish him the best of luck.

John Hunt had an interview with Justin Roper he ran yesterday with all of the reasons behind Roper's decision and it has a similar theme as Harper's.

Roper said, "I talked to my family a lot, and we decided it was time to move on.'' Roper, ideally, wants to move back nearer his family in Georgia.

Obviously, recruiting nationwide has it's drawbacks. Let's just hope that the attrition ends here.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Noah's 3rd Birthday Video

Thought you might enjoy the video of Noah's 3rd birthday party. Some very cute moments of everything from surprise and enjoyment to being just a tad annoyed with his little sister, "Millie". You can watch this is HD and full screen by clicking on the icons in the lower right corner of the player.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Candid Jake

Just fooling around with Jake at Noah's birthday party yesterday. Fun stuff, enjoy.

Golfing with Max & Chris

This last Saturday, Chris, Max and I went over to Shortridge and played 9 holes. I snapped a few photos and they are available for your perusal at Flickr. It was a beautiful day and while we were all a little rusty we had a ton of fun whacking it around the course.

Noah's 3rd Birthday

Big to-do's yesterday for Noah's 3rd birthday party. Good times were had by all, especially Noah. The pictures were taken by Dave & Kasey (thanks for the great job kids) and I have them posted over at Flickr. Cruise on over and check them out!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

eDuck is reporting that Justin Roper asked for, and been granted, a release from the football team. This one caught me off guard and it begs the question, who will be the backup for Masoli?

Roper had that job wrapped up and excelled at it. Now we are left with Nate Costa, who hasn't played, in what seems like forever and Darron Thomas. The only action Thomas saw was a brief stint in the BSU game last year.

Really sorry to see Roper go. He wasn't as athletic as Masoli but he always gave 110%. I wish him the best in the future.

• On a brighter note, states that the Spring Game helped raise over $6,000 in donations for the Todd Doxey Foundation in addition to 22,100 pounds of food and another $688 that have been forwarded to Food for Lane County.

“I believe it is important for the university’s athletics department to give back to the communities that have been so good in supporting us for so long,” said former head football coach Mike Bellotti. Well said coach.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• This is a no-brainer but I'm glad others agree. Ted Miller ranks the Pac-10's toughest places to play. Obviously, Autzen Stadium ranks number one.

One of the few places I've been where I feel like opponents get intimidated (for comparison, I'd say that also happens at Ohio State and in Florida's Swamp).

Rob Moseley is on vacation in New Hampshire, Chip Kelly's old stomping grounds. Moseley snapped a few pictures and even visited one of Kelly's favorite watering holes. Guess what is hanging from the ceiling? A Duck football helmet....sweet!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Kudos to dvieira at ATQ for finding this video on YouTube. A fun little piece about campus life at the U of O that is titled "Believe in Eugene." Bring back any memories Chuck or Dave?

Ted Miller ran a piece yesterday on "No-Names" who made a name for themselves at spring practice. For the Ducks he chose wide receiver Rory Cavaille.

...the Ducks get an influx of talent at receiver from their 2008 recruiting class, but Cavaille apparently has played his way into the mix.

• Nick Daschel at Buster Sports ran a story titled, "Non-USC edition: Oregon is Safety U." He gives USC props for producing the best class of safeties year in and year out but who comes in second?

Minus USC, the Ducks are clearly the class of the Pac-10 at developing free and strong safeties. They even went the extra step and routinely played a third safety on the field, called a rover. Just last month, Oregon rover Patrick Chung, a four-time all-Pac 10 honoree, was the 34th pick of the NFL draft.

Be sure to check out the full story, it's a good piece.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Ted Miller has a story on some folks who made a name for themselves during spring practice and in turn might have a chance of still impressing us come September.

For the Ducks it was linebacker Eddie Pleasant. New coach Chip Kelly raved about his linebackers this spring, and Pleasant earned kudos for stepping in for the departed Jerome Boyd.

John Hunt noticed that The Sporting News preseason poll has Oregon ranked at 7th in the nation.

Also, cornerback Walter Thurmond is first-team preseason All-American, and running back LeGarrette Blount made the second team.

Chip Kelly and O Heroes will be hosting a free youth football camp in Autzen Stadium on Saturday, May 30, from noon to 2 p.m.

This camp is free to all participants and will allow children (grades 1-8) to be instructed by Kelly and members of the Duck football team. The event is limited to the first 300 kids who register and each will be given a free autographed poster.

A printable registration form is available online in the camps section of

Paul Buker at the Oregonian has a fun piece called "Who ya Got". In this edition they take a look at the voices of Duck and Beaver football on the radio.

Jerry Allen vs Mike Parker. Be sure to read through the comments as fans from both sides let loose on each other.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oregon Football: Where Amazing Happens

JT Light over at ATQ
made this video available on YouTube. Well done JT. From the 1994 football season. Josh Wilcox catches this touchdown pass from Danny O'Neil to seal the 10-9 victory over Arizona at Autzen Stadium.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Jon Wilner starts out today's link-fest with 5 potential breakout players. His list includes Oregon WR Jamere Holland.

Perhaps the fastest receiver in the league. A transfer from USC, Holland caught just four passes last season but could be one of the best playmakers at what looks to be a weak position league-wide.

Ted Miller was busy putting together his ultimate Pac-10 road trip for 2009. Of special interest to me and Dave (we're going) was this snippet.

Week 1

Sept. 3 -- Oregon at Boise State

Oregon hits the blue Smurf Turf looking to get a measure of revenge for last season's home loss. Both teams have BCS dreams. One might see them end the first Thursday of September.

Dinner at: Gernika Basque Pub & Eatery

Miller also did a story on the Pac-10 power ranking now that spring practice is over with. He has Oregon listed third.

Andy Mac has his 2 deep depth chart for you to peruse.

Rob Moseley discusses Aaron Pflugard's decision to leave the football program which includes Aaron's official statement.

That should keep you busy this morning, enjoy.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Junior wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad asked for and has been granted his release from the Oregon football program it was announced yesterday. Not totally surprising after his Dad was "let go" earlier this year after he was told he would not be retained as the receivers coach by Chip Kelly.

Personally, I will miss his enthusiasm and ability to find an open lane. I'm sure everyone will wish him well wherever he decides to go to school next.

Ted Miller has a "Best of Spring" list for the Pac-10. Several Ducks are mentioned but I really like this one;

Best quote: "How do we go from nine to one?" said Chip Kelly on what he believes are his marching orders as Oregon's new coach. "Nine" is where the Ducks finished last year in the final coaches' poll.

I like your thinking coach!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Switch Throwing Pitcher?

In all my long years I have never seen anything like this. The kid throws with either hand. This video was shot while Pat Venditte was playing for Creighton 2 years ago. He is now in the minors pitching for the Charleston River Dogs, a Yankees Single-A club. It would be pretty cool to see him at Yankee Stadium someday.

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Much to do about nothing in my book but the U of O professor who was going to appeal the City of Eugene's decision to grant a variance for the oversized "O" on Autzen Stadium has withdrawn her appeal according to a statement released yesterday by the University.

It wasn't like it was some huge sign sitting in the middle of nowhere blocking a pristine view. It is attached to a massive structure...some folks just have nothing better to do.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Ted Miller starts us off today and thinks Oregon needs to attend Summer School. His concern is the line on both sides of the ball.

"So those wide-bodies need to hit the weight room -- and the track -- hard, making sure their lack of experience is offset by outstanding conditioning."

Jon Wilner is up next as he projects the order of finish in the Pac-10. He has the Ducks in the third spot behind Cal and USC but...

..."Ducks could easily finish second and I wouldn’t be surprised if they, not Cal, overthrow USC. They’re in great shape at the skill positions and decent shape on the OL and in the secondary. But they lost a lot on the defensive front and have no margin for error with the difficult schedule: at Boise State, Utah and Purdue, then Cal — and that’s September!"

Flethcher Johnson at eDuck takes a look at the defense and wonders how the 2009 team will fare.

"The real question, which has always been the question, is whether Oregon’s defense will show up for every game."

It's a good read so check it our if you have a couple of minutes to spare.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Going down memory lane again today. This time it's back to the 2002 Fiesta Bowl and the perfect strike from Joey Harrington to Sammie Parker. Sweet play that led to an eventual Oregon victory over Colorado 38-16.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

As you have probably noticed the football news these last couple of days has been pretty slim. ATQ posted this video today and although I had seen it before it was still fun to remember the moment. Good times indeed. Hopefully some football news will present itself soon.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Chip Kelly on Jim Rome is Burning

Chip Kelly is the correspondent on Jim Rome is Burning show today. Enjoy!


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports has a very early look at the top 25 now that spring practice is over. He has Oregon at #8. Like all of these 'way too early to tell' predictions you have to take it with a grain of salt.

Andy Mac reminds us that you can catch Chip Kelly on the Jim Rome is Burning show today on ESPN. Kelly's segment will be on around 1:55 pm local time.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Ted Miller picks the 20 players who will "emerge" in 2009 from the Pac-10. He chooses two (1 on offense and 1 on defense) from each of the schools and has named these folks from Oregon;

Offense: Jamere Holland, WR, Jr.: He's always been fast, but he broke out because he started doing what his coaches told him to do.
Defense: Brandon Bair, DT, Jr.: Singled out by coach Chip Kelly for his play this spring.

Rob Moseley ponders what the economic downturn might mean for the U of O.

At some schools, there’s even talk of scrapping the longtime — and expensive — practice of quartering football teams at a local hotel on the night before home games.

Take the time to read through the comments. There's a lot of good discussion on this particular. issue.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• The Buffalo Bills liked what they saw when they selected Jairus Byrd in the 2nd round of the NFL draft recently. They have had their eye on Byrd for quite some time according to this article in The Buffalo News.

"Byrd’s ball-hawking ability is the reason he was chosen in the second round of the NFL draft. It’s also the reason he is targeted to be the starting free safety for the team, once he picks up the Bills’ defensive scheme. Byrd played cornerback for Oregon. But the Bills actually have been thinking of him at safety for a long time."

Bob Rickert had a good piece yesterday; "Things I like about what happened this spring that aren't 'who is doing well' related."

He likes what the new coaches bring to the table, no major injuries so far, all the folks who showed up for the Spring Game and donated to the Todd Doxey Foundation and...

...Oregon once ran 4 plays in less than a minute this spring. Four plays. That means not just Masoli, but the experience the offense has as a group is good...Speed wins. And not just footspeed.

He also takes note of what Chip Kelly said the other day at an alumni golf tournament;

We're not going to line up our best against the rest like the Huskies did in their spring game. They ran their number one offense against the number two and three defenses so Jake Locker could go 16 of 18 with two drops. And they had their number one defense up against the second and third offense so they could shut someone out. We're going to compete. The number one offense will go against the number one defense. That's the way it's been all spring. Walter Thurmond III (starting corner) will be lined up against Jamere Holland (starting receiver), head to head and we'll see who comes out ahead.

Fanning the flames, I like it.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Spring Game Highlight Video

Not my best but I had problems with the original video file. Youtube wouldn't let me put the music I had selected on the video so I had to choose one of their "generic" tracks. I should have my capture device problems worked out by September.

Some very nice passing and by both Masoli and Roper and with some outstanding receiving by Pflugrad, Harper, Dickson, Maehl, and Holland. Some good running by the QB's and how about Barner for the Green Team, he looked pretty good didn't he?


Monday, May 04, 2009

Oregon Spring Game Recap Video

John Hunt breaks down the Ducks spring game

Thanks go out to John Hunt who posted this video recap. I am working on a little highlight video that should be done in the next couple of days.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud has a complete wrap-up of yesterday's game which the Green team won 21-14.

We arrived late to the game and weren't lucky enough to snap some of the covered seats. Being unprepared for the monsoon-like rains we took off early.

I taped the game but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. Of course I have read all about it and here are a couple of highlights from the article.

Green Team offense: Justin Roper completed 22-of-34 passes with three touchdowns...Redshirt-freshman running back Kenjon Barner led all ball-carriers with 54 yards on the ground...Lavasier Tuinei caught five passes, including his game-winning touchdown grab, for 59 yards...Blake Cantu had 5 receptions for 111 yards with a 60 yard TD catch...Chris Harper had a 19 yards TD catch as well.

White Team offense: Junior Jeremiah Masoli had 215 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns on 15-of-22 passing. His favorite target was junior Aaron Pflugrad, who caught both of Masoli's touchdown passes and grabbed six balls for 107 yards overall...Ed Dickson, was also a reliable target for Masoli, catching four passes for 95 yards, including a 36-yard catch and run over the middle.

White Team defense: Junior rover Chad Peppars led all players with 10 total tackles (nine solo) and made two blocks on field goal attempts, junior transfer linebacker Bryson Littlejohn, made seven stops and sophomore linebacker Josh Kaddu had six tackles.

Green Team defense: Junior defensive end Kenny Rowe led all players with two sacks and three tackles for loss. Junior transfer defensive lineman Zac Clark also had a sack.

In my opinion it was pretty clear that Roper and Pflugrad had the best day.

Chris Pietsch at he R-G posted some gameday photos on his blog for your enjoyment. be sure to check them out.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

3 More Game Times Announced

According to the GoDucksDotCom Twitter feed, three more regular season home game times have been set.

The Utah game (9-19 ESPN) will be at 12:30pm, Cal (9-26 ABC) 12:30pm and USC (10-31 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) at 5:00 pm.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Lost in the excitement of new possibilities and today's Spring Game, is the fact that longtime head coach Mike Bellotti has hung up his whistle for the last time.

George Schroeder at the R-G paid tribute to Bellotti in a piece that ran in yesterday's paper. Be sure to read the complete article. Here are a couple of snippets.

But Wednesday morning, Bellotti walked off the field in the Moshofsky Center. A couple of fans asked for his autograph, shook his hand, told him thanks, seemed to recognize the significance of the moment.

“It gave me pause,” Bellotti says — because he recognized, too.

The past five weeks have felt, he says, like “a reprise, or a second honeymoon.” That’s because he’s still been a coach, if not the coach...

... “I feel good,” he (Bellotti) says. “I don’t question my decision at all.”

So on Saturday, Bellotti will schmooze some, and gab a bit, and he’ll ease toward a new role. He doesn’t expect to get sentimental. He has one hope for the afternoon.

“If nobody gets hurt,” he says, “that would be the biggest thing for me.”

Yeah, he’s embraced the new challenge, gone back to school, hung up the whistle. But Oregon’s next A.D. still thinks like a coach.

Thanks for all the memories coach, and bringing Oregon football to such a high level.


Friday, May 01, 2009

The Hunt For Gollum

Being a fan of the Lord Of The Rings I thought I would pass along this trailer from the upcoming fan film.

Pretty amazing considering they had a budget of about $4500.00. The 40 minute film will debut on May 3rd on the official The Hunt for Gollum website.

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Oregon coach Chip Kelly announced the hiring of Mark Helfrich as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach yesterday. Kelly also announced that Steve Greatwood was promoted to running game coordintaor.

One thing that really caught my eye about the official announcement was this statement.

“Mark not only impressed me as a very intelligent individual but as someone who utilized that knowledge to coach quarterbacks at both Boise State and Arizona State,” Kelly said.

First hand knowledge of the Boise St. system will be a nice bonus going into the opening game of the regular season on September 3rd.

Spring Game tomorrow at 2:00 pm local time, be there if you can but if you can't you can catch the action locally on television if you are a Comcast customer. It will be on channel 37.

Saturday’s simulated game will include a traditional scoring system, with the intention to play four 15-minute quarters along with regulation clock management throughout the duration of the scrimmage. However Kelly said that could change, subject to the health of players involved.

The Ducks will utilize kickoffs to start the first and third quarters, starting all other drives at the offense’s 35-yard line on change of possessions, and will not encompass punting into the format once the game has started.