Thursday, April 30, 2009
"I'm going to hire a quarterbacks coach probably by Thursday. We don't want to lose any time on the road recruiting. We'll be recruiting a quarterback in the fall, so I want to make sure we've got a guy on the road because I can't go see guys in the spring because of NCAA rules. So we'll be at our full complement of coaches. We're brought six people to campus ... I'll have this thing finalized by Thursday."
• Rob Moseley was busy yesterday and offered up three posts. The first is a recap on yesterday's "light practice."
"As far as highlights, it was the usual suspects. Walter Thurmond III had about three more interceptions, but he got beat deep by Jamere Holland, who separated from Thurmond about 30 yards down the field and made a “touchdown” catch. Kenjon Barner had a breakaway run toward the end of the day."
The second post is about the format for the Spring Game on Saturday along with the likely starters.
"Health permitting, the Ducks will play four quarters, perhaps with a running clock in the fourth."
Last but not least, Moseley has a post on where each of the coaches will be going during the upcoming recruiting season.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
"The UO junior is tough and soft-spoken, as if a Clint Eastwood character were lined up at middle linebacker for the Ducks."
"If there’s a key element to Matthews’ success, perhaps it’s that he never misses a chance to learn. His latest mentor is another of Oregon’s great inside linebackers of a decade ago, first-year graduate assistant coach Peter Sirmon. Matthews has picked Sirmon’s brain about footwork, and what it takes to succeed as a professional."
Only thing missing from this story is a famous Eastwood quote at the end. Something like, "go ahead punk, make my day."
• Running back coach Gary Campbell has a new post over at the coaches blog.
"The backfield has seen a lot of injuries throughout practice, but it looks like some of those guys will be able to participate in the Spring Game on Saturday which is very encouraging."
Personally, I would like to see Blount have a big day on Saturday.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Our favorite blogger, Rob Moseley, was there and he gives his thoughts.
"Play of the day might have been a leaping grab by receiver Will Murphy over safety Max Pond late in practice. Over the course of the day, though, Thurmond and Aaron Pflugrad probably caught my eye the most."
• Defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro looks ahead to the Spring Game at the coaches blog. He wants everyone to watch the guys on the defensive line.
"You will see our guys make plays all over the field because they never stop running and pursuing the ball. After every tackle, count how many defensive players are around the ball, if there aren’t 11, somebody’s in trouble!"
• Two more Oregon players were signed after the draft on Sunday. Offensive lineman Mark Lewis with the Miami Dolphins, and Washington signed receiver Jaison Williams. Good luck guys!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Ra’Shon Harris in the sixth round, 205th overall, is going to the Steelers and Nick Reed will join Unger in Seattle. Reed was selected in the seventh round, 247th overall.
That is a total of six players in this year's draft which tied a school record.
• Going unpicked in the draft was Jeremiah Johnson. According to the Houston Chronicle, JJ was signed as a free agent by the Texans once the draft had concluded.
I wish all these guys the best of luck with their new careers.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Patrick Chung (34th), Jairus Byrd (42nd) and Max Unger (49th) all were chosen in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft yesterday. A very nice showing for Oregon football players.
Here is a little draft day video of each of the players that was produced by the NFL.
Chung went to the New England Patriots, Byrd to the Buffalo Bills and Unger to the Seattle Seahawks.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Rob Moseley was there and said LeGarrette Blount was a nice surprise as well as the snappers having a better day than last week.
"He ran 12 times for 80 yards and a touchdown, and also caught a touchdown pass. Blount opened the day by hurdling a defender, but it was his number of physical runs that impressed Kelly, including one on which Blount weathered a hit by Ward."
Catch all the stats from the scrimmage here.
• A new feature at GoDucks.com starts on Monday.
“GoDucks LIVE with Jerry Allen” will originate from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday from the Duck Store in the northwest corner of the Moshofsky Center, beginning Monday, April 27. It offers the state’s first daily programming dedicated to the promotion and broadening the appeal of one of Oregon’s educational insti-tutions and its intercollegiate athletics program.
You can access this new webcast from the GoDucks.com homepage starting on Monday.
Friday, April 24, 2009
According to reports, Harris' brother got into an argument with officers over his red cap (not allowed under school policy) and was pepper sprayed. Harris then decided to join in the disagreement and was also pepper sprayed.
Oregon coach Kelley release the following statement: "We are aware of the allegations against Cliff Harris and are looking into the matter. We reserve any further comment until the legal process runs its course."
Not the kind of publicity Oregon needs.
• Special teams coach, Tom Osborne, posts his first piece on the coaches blog. He likes the competitive spirit and gives kudos to a bunch of guys who have really stepped up this spring. Osborne said: "It’s been really encouraging to see the effort level and the importance that our players are placing on being special teams contributors."
Practice starts at 8:30 am today so be there if you can.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The parking lot opens at 9 a.m. with a suggested $2.00 donation for the Todd Doxey Foundation. Enter the lot via Entry 4 and 5 off of Leo Harris Parkway.
The Oregon-UCLA baseball game will begin at 11 a.m. in PK Park with tickets running $8.00. The women’s soccer game will start at 1 p.m. at Pape’ Field and is free. The Spring Football game starts at 2 p.m. with a suggested donation of 3 non-perishable food items which goes to Food for Lane County.
Other activities include, live music, interactive games, demonstrations conducted by various Oregon teams and coaches, autograph sessions, as well as food and beverage courts. These will be held on the plaza next to the Mo Center.
Should be great fun with lots to do for the whole family.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Remene Alston is out for the rest of spring drills after suffering a foot injury during the scrimmage this past Saturday. LeGarrette Blount re-injured his foot and is listed as day to day. Filling in at running back yesterday was Chris Harper who got a few reps along with Andre Crenshaw.
Yesterday was also competition day and the defense crushed the offense, 120-67.
• Bob Rickert chimes in on the woeful punting situation and hopes touted incoming freshman Jackson Rice brings his A-game. He also likes what he sees in defensive players Simi Toeiana, Terrance Montgomery and Blake Ferras.
• Taking his turn at the coaches blog is the new receiver's coach Scott Frost. His biggest surprise is the speed of practice. "The tempo at practice is unbelievable. It really contributes to our identity as a football team."
Monday, April 20, 2009
"Kelly said he was particularly concerned with the snaps by the young centers. At least a half-dozen snaps were off-target Saturday, and one bounced past quarterback Darron Thomas and resulted in a 15-yard loss."
"Playing with a shotgun formation, Kelly noted it’s imperative for the Ducks to find reliable snappers. Holmes seems to fit the bill, but his backups are new to the position. And it shows."
Read the complete piece for an indepth look at the line play review from both sides of the ball. You can also check out the photo slideshow produced by Chris Pietsch and an interview with coach Kelly will play as you watch.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Overall, I would say the offense "won the day" although no official score was kept. Jeremiah Masoli was clearly the number one QB with Justin Roper coming in second and Darron Thomas a distant third. Aaron Pflugrad had two TD receptions and Jamere Holland had 5 receptions with one TD. Legarrette Blount and Andre Crenshaw split carries and were consistent but never scored any TD's but Crenshaw did break one run for about 20 yards.
A bunch of young guys on the defense really had a good day. Eddie Pleasant was all over the field. Josh Kaddu, with his speed, was putting on a show at defensive end in passing situations, and Bryce Littlejohn continued his streak of impressive performances at practice. Cornerback Scott Grady had a nice intercpetion and nearly ran it back for a TD.
The placekickers were perfect on the day but the punting was dismal. We are going to really miss Josh Syria unless things turn around. The only other glaring issue was the snaps. Where are you Max Unger? Sky high or scraping the turf about 75% of the time. We need someone to step up in this department.
Here are some links from the press.
• Rob Moseley, John Hunt, Andy Mac and coach Don Pellum.
Don't forget the spring game on May 2nd. It will be your last chance to visit Autzen and see some action until September. A little video action coming later today so check back.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
• John Hunt looks at how coach Kelly is keeping his hands on the offensive coaching responsibilities while trying to focus on the head coaches job. How long can he keep it up and will he hire an offensive coordinator anytime soon?
• Scrimmage today between 12:30 and 2:30 at Autzen. The weather promises to be beautiful, not a cloud in the sky at the time of this post. Try to be there if you can. I will post pictures and/or a video tomorrow.
Friday, April 17, 2009
• Another day and another announcement that Chip Kelly will do an interview next Thursday on ESPN's College Football Live show. If you want to catch the interview it starts at 5pm local time.
• Oregon secondary coach, John Neal, takes his turn posting an article at the "In the Huddle" coaches blog. He likes the frenetic pace of the practice sessions. "Because of the tempo and speed of practice, we’re getting over 100 plays against our offense every practice."
• No practice today as the team prepares for the scrimmage tomorrow at Autzen. If you get the chance it is a great opportunity to get your "football fix". The weather should be great and it starts at 12:30pm.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
• John Hunt informs us that Chip Kelly will be on the Jim Rome show coming up on Monday. The exact time hasn't been determined yet but if they release it I will let you know.
• Andy Mac says that the scrimmage on Saturday is set to run from 12:30-2:30 pm local time in Autzen stadium, weather permitting. I plan on attending and will take a few photos.
• Rounding out the news, Moseley has a story on the abundance of tight ends, which turns out to be a good thing. “It’s exciting,” said (Malachi)Lewis, who has five career receptions. “Chip’s a man of his word, and he’s going to put the best people on the field. So if the second tight end’s the next best person, we’ll be in double-tight sets.” Good read so check it out.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It's only spring practice but this has to rank right up there as one of the most amazing catches ever. Arizona St. receiver Kerry Taylor steals the show.
Ducks had the day off yesterday and will resume practice today. Rob Moseley learned that Bo Thran had knee surgery and will miss the rest of spring practice.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
• Rob Moseley notices a couple of new faces on the O-line at yesterday's practice. "Oregon’s offensive line got a couple additions today, with tight end NaDerris Ward doing drills as a tackle and defensive tackle Conrad Davis, a walk-on from Elmira, working out as a guard." These guys get a shot because of injuries to Bo Thran among others.
• Moseley has another piece with the injury situation in the Ducks backfield. "Senior Willie Glasper and junior Talmadge Jackson III came into this spring nursing injuries. The Oregon secondary has a budding superstar in senior cornerback Walter Thurmond III, but with free safety T.J. Ward also nicked up, the rest of the unit has been in a state of flux this month." Filling in for the absent Ducks are sophomore Anthony Gildon, redshirt freshmen Kenjon Barner, Scott Grady and John Boyett.
• Steve Greatwood (O-line coach) takes his turn at the coaches blog and even though the defense had the better practice yesterday he likes the leadership that Jordan Holmes brings and has been impressed with the progress of Nick Cody at right tackle.
There you have it Duck fans, you're all caught up on the latest news.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
• The offense won the competition yesterday and will get to wear the black jerseys when practice resumes on Monday. Moseley breaks down the scoring and thinks Jamere Holland had the best day.
• Nick Aliotti takes his turn over at the Coaches blog and said some of his players are really catching his attention. "Casey Matthews, Spencer Paysinger, Eddie Pleasant, Will Tukuafu, Blake Ferras who has really improved, Brandon Bair, and Walter Thurmond who is having a tremendous spring."
• Jeff Smith of the Oregonian gives his recap of practice and the return of Blount. "While Blount's return obviously helped the offense, the star of the day was receiver Jamere Holland. The junior caught several touchdown passes, including one at the end of the competition to punctuate the offense's victory."
• Word has it that there won't be a practice next Friday. Instead a scrimmage will be held on Saturday. If I find out what time it will start and where it will be held (practice field, Mo Center, Autzen) I will post it here.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Oregon Duck Football Practice 4/10/09 from DuckStud on Vimeo.
Just a short clip from practice today inside the Moshofsky Center. Darron Thomas is the quarterback and completes two passes. I got some photos also and will make a little slideshow I should have ready tomorrow sometime. Right now I've got to get back to the Masters.
• Gary Horowitz of the Statesman Journal says Walter Thurmond III is setting the tone for spring practice. Will Tukuafu described his play this spring as "flying around like an eagle." "Walt's made a ton of plays. He really sticks out," first-year coach Chip Kelly said. "He's probably been our most consistent player since practice started.”
• Rob Moseley makes some adjustments to his depth chart.
• Rob then takes a look at the off-season squad leaders.
• John Hunt tries to figure out how the O-line will stack up this year compared to 2008. Bottom line? “There is a lot of work to do in the last 10 spring practices for the offensive line, even if they don't make people forget about Unger, Tupou and Lewis.”
• College Football News breaks down the 2009 Pac-10 schedule team by team. How do they think the Ducks will fare? Realistic best case record with this schedule: 11-1. Barring total disaster worst case record: 5-7. Realistic record: 9-3. Hmmmm, what do you think?
• And finally, the Nashau Telegraph says that former Buc’s coach Jon Gruden could have been on the staff for Oregon. “Days after Kelly was named head coach of the Ducks, he contacted Gruden again. Instead of being a “guest coach,” Kelly offered Gruden the job of offensive coordinator.”
Thursday, April 09, 2009
“The kids flew around,” Kelly said. “Obviously they’re still going to make mistakes, but right from the beginning of practice they had a pretty good mindset.”
Moseley thought the passing game was sharper; "Jeremiah Masoli was less vocal and more accurate, completing a number of balls to Aaron Pflugrad over the middle. Jamere Holland and Chris Harper caught long “touchdown” passes, and Lavasier Tuinei held on to a ball despite being blasted by Chad Peppars."
Rob Moseley has another in depth story on the difficulty of replacing Max Unger at the center position. "“Some rather large shoes to fill,” noted the leading candidate to occupy them, junior Jordan Holmes."
"Snapping for the Ducks is a particular challenge, given that they play out of the shotgun and make so many adjustments on the line. But Holmes’ snaps have generally been consistent this spring, and he embraces the mental side of the game."
Read the complete article and you'll get a sense of just how important this position will be to the Duck's success.
Coach Kelly posted his thoughts on the practice and was impressed with Kenny Rowe, Mark Asper, and Jamere Holland. "They all 'Won the Day', at practice today. I want more players to be recognized, but we have set the standard extremely high. You have to do something special, and push yourself to be the best to win at our practices."
Coach also noted that Friday will be competition day to see who will claim the black jerseys, will the defense win again?
I plan on going to practice tomorrow morning and snap a few pictures, I'll post a couple here.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
The award is given annually to college football's defensive IMPACT player of the year as selected by the Pacific Club. IMPACT stands for; Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Bob Rickert gives his thoughts on the move to make Bellotti a part time quarterback coach for spring practice. "Great move by Kelly who is showing his ability to be innovative and get the most out of what's at his disposal goes beyond the playbook."
Coach Kelly has a new post over at Oregon Gridiron where he says that each week during practice "whoever wins the competition day gets to wear black jerseys for the next practice."
He also said that, "in yesterday’s practice, Will Tukuafu, and Jordan Holmes stood out with their play and their effort. We will need both of these men to bring that type of intensity all year."
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
There was no shortage of news around the blogs with a couple of videos thrown in.
LeGarrette Blount suited up for the first time but had a light workout with no contact. The coaches hope he is full go by Friday. Moseley notes that Blount has proven to be a quick healer.
According to John Hunt of the Oregonian, the best play of the day belonged to the defense.
"A hit by linebacker Casey Matthews on running back Remene Alston. It was a loud one. And the more ownage that the late-blooming Matthews shows, the better for an Oregon's defense that could use another enforcer type to go with T.J. Ward."
Moseley released an interview he did with strength coach Radcliffe that was shot last month in the Mo Center. Included is some video (by Chris Pietsch) of that interview along with footage of 40 yard sprints by Jamere Holland. Follow this link and then click on the video tab to watch.
Duck Sports News Blog has a video (by Ryan Welch) posted of day four but it doesn't play from their website for me. You can watch it directly from Vimeo though, by going here. It starts with coach Azzinaro running some defensive drills and concludes with coach Bellotti working with the quarterbacks.
I would have posted both videos on this website but the powers to be have locked them down. That's too bad for the community as a whole because I feel that the more exposure they get the more they will be watched and appreciated. As long as bloggers give credit to the producers and link back to the original post I don't understand this trend. I'm assuming it is a monetary thing. Enough for my rant.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Looks promising. There is also the coaches blog here.
Rob Moseley has a new piece where Coach Azzinaro gives kudos to strength coach Jim Radcliffe on the conditioning of the players as they started spring practice.
“The one thing these guys are, they’re really well-prepared for spring practice, which I haven’t experienced in a lot of places at this point in the year,” Azzinaro said."
Finally, Andy Mac has done a recap of the first week of practice. As is the case most years, the defense is ahead of the offense in the early going. Looks like Walter Thurmond III gets the highest marks."He must have grown some wings in the offseason because he was flying all over the field this week."
Sunday, April 05, 2009
The winning entry will receive their choice of season tickets and a $200.00 shopping spree at any Duck Store or if you are a U of O student you can opt for up to $400 for your Fall 09 course books.
Click here for a downloadable entry form or go to any Duck Store location.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
"Standouts to me were Jamere Holland (pictured) on offense and Walter Thurmond III on defense. Holland started the day with a long TD grab in the FUJI drill and made a number of other nice plays, though in a sign of his improved maturity he spent more time after practice stewing about his drops. Aaron Pflugrad had the bad luck today of lining up across from Thurmond, who made at least three spectacular, diving plays to break up passes."
Check out the complete article for updates on injuries and other tidbits.
Greg Biggins at ESPN has some news on a couple of high school players excited at the possibility of becoming a Duck.
"Running back Brennan Clay (San Diego, Calif./ Scripps Ranch) has a handful of solid scholarship offers on the table but none of them got him as excited as the offer he received Thursday."Oregon offered me and I'm so hyped up on it," Clay said. "Oregon is kind of my dream school and I've always liked the Ducks."
Here is the second player mentioned:
"This is shaping up to be a pretty solid year for talent in the state of Oregon and one athlete on a nice recruiting run right now is Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) standout Keanon Lowe.
Lowe said he grew up a big Oregon fan and the Ducks put an offer on the table for him on Thursday.
"I'm really pumped up right now," Lowe said. "I've followed Oregon for most of my life so it feels so good to get this offer. I heard they had been trying to get a hold of me all week and I finally called them up today and they offered."
Nice to see these kids so excited.
Friday, April 03, 2009
“We have to play at hyper speed, as coach Kelly says,” said Azzinaro, 50, a veteran East Coast assistant who coached at Marshall last fall. “Our defense has to reflect our offense in a lot of areas. We’re going to be the fastest show on Earth on offense, and defensively that’s how we have to practice.”
And Nick Aliotti seems to enjoy the addition of Azzinaro to the staff.
"Aliotti is clearly enjoying pairing with Azzinaro in what Aliotti affectionately calls “two Italian goombahs, just crazy and having fun.”
Thursday, April 02, 2009
..."Aaron Pflugrad and Jeff Maehl making some tough grabs to keep balls off the turf and Dion Jordan and Ed Dickson getting open deep over the middle for long receptions."
Our favorite running back was on the sidelines again. "Still no LeGarrette Blount, who stood on the sideline with help from crutches and a walking boot on his right foot. His injury has been diagnosed as a foot sprain rather than an ankle, Kelly said, and Blount is day-to-day."
I'd like to see Blount get some reps, hopefully he won't be out too long.
Ted Miller is getting down to the nitty-gritty of his top 30 Pac-10 players list and has Jeremiah Masoli ranked as ninth.
"Over the final three games of the 2008 season, he completed 50 of 75 (67 percent) passes for 830 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. He also rushed 38 times for 248 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and seven scores. Project those numbers into 2009 and you see why it's not completely cracked to use the "H" word in relation to Masoli."
High praise indeed for Masoli.
You have probably heard by now that Ernie Kent managed to keep his job as the basketball coach and is shaking things up with the hiring yesterday of Mike Dunlap. "Dunlap was most recently the associate head coach at the University of Arizona and will hold the same title at Oregon."
I've got mixed feelings about this whole scenario. I guess we will see what next year brings.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Probably my favorite was Rob Moseley's interview with Bryson Littlejohn, Lavasier Tuinei and Chip Kelly. Click on the "video" tab of the article to watch.
Here is Moseley's story on the "changing of the guard". It was a complete turnaround from a Bellotti practice. "When Bellotti was running things, the sound of the head coach’s raised voice commanded attention. On Tuesday, it was more unusual to go a couple of minutes without hearing Kelly yelling."
This Moseley piece is focused on the players. Blount was out with a sprained ankle received before practice. "As far as highlights go, two acrobatic interceptions by Walter Thurmond III just before practice ended were by far the cream of the crop. "
Speaking of WTIII, Ted Miller has Thurmond at #10, as he continues his top 30 players of the Pac-10 countdown. "His combination of size and athleticism makes him a likely first-day pick in the 2010 NFL draft, and he could play himself into the first round with a big season."
Last but not least, it's official. The season opener against Boise St. was officially set for Thrusday Sept. 3rd at 7:15 pm local time. It will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Better take a vacation day for that Friday :)