Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
While LeGarrette Blount is the main man, who will be splitting reps with him?
LaMichael James and Remene Alston have completely healed from their injuries and look forward to fall camp and being in the mix to offset the brute force Blount brings.
“Our only goal is to win a national championship,” Blount said Wednesday. “That’s what our goal has been since I’ve been here, and now it’s been enforced more than ever since coach Kelly has taken over.”
Check out this video as Adam Jude interviews James and Alston during a practice session earlier this week.
• Senior tight end Ed Dickson is on the Mackey Award watch list. This prestigious award is given to the nations best tight end each year. Congrats to Dickson!
• Pac-10 Media Day happens starting at 9:30am local time today. Go here to watch the webcast. Here is the complete schedule of events.
9:30 am - Introduction - Jim Muldoon
9:35 am - Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott
9:45 am - Paul Wulff/C Kenny Alfred - Washington State
10:00 am - Steve Sarkisian/OLB Donald Butler - Washington
10:15 am - Rick Neuheisel/MLB Reggie Carter - UCLA
10:30 am - Jim Harbaugh/RB Toby Gerhart - Stanford
10:45 am - Dennis Erickson/OLB Mike Nixon - Arizona State
11:00 am - Break
11:10 am - Mike Stoops/FS Cam Nelson - Arizona
11:25 am - Jeff Tedford/TB Jahvid Best - California
11:40 am - Mike Riley/OLB Keaton Kristick - Oregon State
11:55 am - Chip Kelly/CB Walter Thurmond III - Oregon
12:10 pm - Pete Carroll/FS Taylor Mays - USC
12:25 pm - Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott
• On a side note, I will be away for a few days on our annual Man Camp trip. I should have a fresh post on Monday but there might be a surprise or three while I am gone.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Olin Buchanan does a good job laying out the reasons for his ranking so be sure to check out the complete article. The bottom line?
The Ducks have so much talent at the skill positions that there is reason to be optimistic for Kelly's first year at the helm. But that optimism should come with a full measure of caution.
The uncertainty and inexperience in the offensive and defensive lines raises doubt whether Oregon can seriously contend for the Pac-10 championship. If the new starters up front perform at a high level, the Ducks could jell and become a major factor in the race. But this is a young team. In all likelihood, they're a year away from being of championship caliber.
• Still looking for tickets to a game? Why not follow the ticket office on Twitter? You could snag tickets that have been returned by visiting teams or there are a few single tickets available for Purdue and Utah. The WSU game has some paris left as well. You can "follow" them here.
Links today were courtesy of this Rob Moseley post.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Football fans will be able to ask coaches and players questions -- via Twitter -- during Pac-10 media day on Thursday.
It will run from 9:30 to 12:45 PDT.
• ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin says that Oklahoma St. is still embarassed by their showing in the Holiday Bowl against Oregon.
"What happened to us against Oregon is they hit harder than we did and were tougher than we were in the fourth quarter," Gundy (coach Mike Gundy) said. "Up front they beat us on both sides of the ball. As a staff we were very disappointed in ourselves in our preparation. And our players were disappointed they outhit us in the fourth quarter."
Expect comments like this from BSU in about 5 weeks.
• The HeismanPundit website is keeping a close eye on LeGarrette Blount.
Am I the only one that thinks Blount is set to have a blowout season? He had 1,002 yards and 17 touchdowns last year while splitting time with Jeremiah Johnson. He’ll get the lion’s share of the carries this season and should be aided by the continued improvement of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. If he can handle the load, I think Blount, a senior, has a chance to lead the nation in rushing.
Nice props for Blount but with Oregon's system of RB's sharing the load not very likely.
• Adam Jude at the RG looks at playing conditions down at the practice field.
As members of the UO football team hit the practice field for a regular conditioning workout, most of the Ducks took off their shirts or escaped to a rare shaded spot while waiting for drills to begin. In temperatures that soared to 102 degrees Monday afternoon, who could blame them for trying to stay cool? Then Jeremiah Masoli walked in.
Be sure to check out the complete story, these guys are on a mission!
Monday, July 27, 2009
According to Rickert, the dismal Coug's only hope for winning a game this season will come when SMU visits Pullman on Sept. 19th.
I reckon we can chalk one up in the "W" column when Wazoo comes to Autzen on Oct. 3rd.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
All too easy really, 13-0 and a National Championship!
• While Oregon football gets 99% of the focus on this blog I just couldn't pass up this story at GoDucks.com.
Joe Gordon, U of O baseball standout and former N.Y. Yankee second baseman will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame tomorrow.
He completed his two-year Oregon stint in 1935 with a career batting average of .358.
Gordon hit .322 and drove in 103 runs to earn American League MVP honors with the Yankees in 1942.
You can also read about Gordon on the MLB website.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Atkinson was arrested early Wednesday on misdemeanor DUI charges. He was the scout team player of the year last fall for BSU and figures to be in the mix for significant playing time this year.
According to Moseley, “the arrest puts Atkinson’s playing status for the season opener against Oregon in jeopardy. The Broncos host the Ducks on Sept. 3 in Bronco Stadium.”
• Highly touted Oregon recruit and incoming freshmen, cornerback Cliff Harris, pleaded no contest to charges of obstructing a police officer during a scuffle at their local high school.
Harris was charged this past April. Here is a piece from the story in the Fresno Bee.
According to Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster, the incident began when an officer told Harris' younger brother to take off a red cap that violated the dress code. The student became upset and pushed the officer as he was being escorted to the office, police said.
Harris came to his brother's aid, Foster said, and more scuffling ensued. Officers then pepper-sprayed the brothers and handcuffed them.
Attorney Timothy Cox, who represented Harris, said the case against his client was "winable" but Harris chose to plea no contest so he can resolve the case and head to college. Harris said he plans to arrive in Eugene on Aug. 9.
Cox said if Harris stays out of trouble for a year, he can get the misdemeanor expunged from his record.
"Now it's up to you," Cox told Harris. "You have to study hard and not just play ball."
Hopefully, Harris will take advantage of his scholarship to Oregon and keep it clean.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
They now include some 11 on 11 situations to get the freshmen involved.
One of those freshmen is 6'7" 315lb. offensive linemen Everett Benyard (this guy is HUGE). He found himself lined up against Will Tukuafu. Can you say welcome to Duck Country, but Benyard held his own.
Check out the video here.
• Ted Miller looks at the offensive coordinator changes around the Pac-10.
At Oregon, Kelly moved on to the head coaching position and Mark Helfrich stepped in.
It will be interesting to see how this goes. Kelly is very hands on and, make no mistake, this is his offense. But Helfrich, 35, escaped a tough situation at Colorado and now can learn a spread offense from one of its maestros. Also, say what you want about his Tempe tenure, Koetter could really run a passing game, so Helfrich figures to contribute ideas.
• Jeff Smith at the Oregonian has a nice piece on former walk-on Riley Showalter's (linebacker sub) last season at Oregon and what it took to become a scholarship player. Here is a sample of the story.
"The journey that I've had here has kind of been up-down, up-down," Showalter said. "To see where I started and what I've been through and where I'm at now, it's definitely pretty cool to see how far I've come. But, like I said, I'm still not satisfied. I know now what to expect out there and I'm ready.
"I'm ready to go out and have a season to remember."
Yeah, were rooting for you and the rest of the team to have one fantastic season Riley.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
• Ben Schorzman at the Daily Emerald has a must read article, "a sense of urgency." The piece details the preparations for the upcoming Boise St. game. Grueling workouts in the hot summer weather that should translate into a well conditioned team come opening day.
Be wary though, you sure don't want to screw up.
"Things are a little bit quicker," Paysinger said. "If you mess up you knew he was coming for you. He's kicked guys off the field for a few plays. Sometimes Mike (Bellotti) would just try and talk to you instead … He's making us more accountable for our own actions. The penalties are harsher."
One of those penalties is the "Friday Night List." It's a list a player is added to for infractions ranging from tardiness to not turning in homework assignments. Basically, any members of "The List" meet with a few coaches at Autzen Stadium at 8 p.m. Friday night and are run ragged. "Everyone walks on pins and needles, hoping they're not on the list," Paysinger said. "But it's all for the good of the team."
Check out the complete story here.
• Andy Mac reports that former Duck DE Nick Reed has been awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the Pac-10, commissioner Larry Scott announced Tuesday. The $3,000 awards go to student-athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA who have also demonstrated a commitment to continuing education, campus and community involvement, and leadership.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
They are putting in time after practice to do a little work on their own. Just click on the video tab after you land at this page: Check out the video here.
• Ted Miller looks at how the recruiting class of 2006. Are they hits of misses?
How many are expected to start in 2009: Five (C Jordan Holmes, LT Bo Thran, RT C.E. Kaiser, DT Brandon Bair, LB Spenser Paysinger)
Misses: The class included three quarterbacks: Cody Kempt, Justin Roper and Nate Costa. Kempt and Roper have transferred, Costa has been riddled by injuries.
Verdict: Decidedly mixed. One thing is for sure: This class bolstered the Ducks offensive line. Also interesting, Bair and Paysinger transitioned to their current positions from tight end and receiver, respectively.
• Jon Wiler continues his "Pac-10 Best of the Decade" series with a look at the quarterbacks.
Two of the seven QB's listed are Ducks. Coming in at #5 is Dennis Dixon and at 3# is Joey Harrington. Here is what he had to say about Joey:
Was (Harrington) very good in ‘00 and terrific in ‘01 — he should have played for the national title (and would have if not for that late-game INT vs. Stanford and/or the controversial voting/BCS finish). There’s very little difference between Rodgers, Harrington and the top two on the list. All four were, at their best, as good as college QBs get.
Check out the complete list here.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Says Grasu, “I have a motor that never stops. I have good athleticism for my size and play hard on every play. I like being on defense, but I’ll play wherever the coach wants me to.
“I still really want to bulk up and develop my muscles more. That’ll help me be more physical and tough.”
His older brother, Nico, plays at Washington St. and the Ducks are also recruiting his high school teammate, QB Bryan Bennett.
Oregon recruited him with playing center in mind.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Confidence. Creativity. Charisma. Energy. Ingenuity. Intelligence.
Just a few of the attributes associated with Kelly. But where did it all start?
“I’m really proud to say I coached him, and to call him a friend,” said Bob Leonard, Kelly’s coach in football and track at Manchester (N.H.) Central High School.
As a senior, Kelly was named all-state at quarterback. That fall, after a Thanksgiving Day game, Leonard told the team he wasn’t returning as head coach.
Kelly’s response? “No, don’t do it — I want to coach with you some day,” he told Leonard.
“He knew from the time he first stepped on the field,” Leonard says now, “that he wanted to be a coach.”Read the complete article to learn a little more about Chip Kelly.
• Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune (link courtesy of Moseley) has a piece on Nate Costa.
Training camp opens Aug. 7, and Costa yearns to be in football gear for the Sept. 3 opener at Boise State. He hasn’t been on the sideline, ready to play, since his true freshman campaign of 2006. All he wants to do is play football. It’s why he has persevered.
The Ducks really need – not just want –him to be ready. With Justin Roper now at Montana and Chris Harper at Kansas State, the Ducks have only three returning quarterbacks – Masoli, Costa and second-year player Darron Thomas.
Check out the complete feature for a good read.
Friday, July 17, 2009
For the Ducks, Miller goes with Jamere Holland.
This is a pure projection because Holland only flashed potential last fall after transferring from USC -- where he was touted as the Trojans fastest receiver. But an outstanding spring makes these numbers notable: Holland ran a 10.36 100 meters in high school.
We'll have to wait and see if Holland lives up to Miller's projection.
• Rob Moseley does a story on the new terminology Oregon is implementing this season.
Whether the new verbiage is a reaction to the transfers or typical summer streamlining, it’s a change. But players said this week, while declining to talk specifically about the changes, that their implementation has been smooth.
Moseley also has compiled all the results from last weeks situational scenario poll, check them out here.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Making his list is Oregon's LeGarrette Blount.
A rare combination of size (6-2, 229) and speed that has led to comparisons to former Ducks star Jonathan Stewart...
• Ted Miller has another of his "Don't be surprised if..." pieces. This time on Pac-10 recruiting taking a jump in 2010. Not much on Oregon in this story except for this snippet.
It's too early to pass judgment on Chip Kelly at Oregon, and it wasn't like the Ducks struggled to recruit well under Mike Bellotti.
• Single games tickets go on sale at midnight Thursday night/Friday morning online at GoDucks .com
The cost of reserved seats for games vs. Purdue (Sept. 12), Utah (Sept. 19), California (Sept. 26), Washington State (Oct. 3) and Arizona State (Nov. 14) will be $55 each, while tickets for contests against USC (Oct. 31) and Oregon State (Dec. 3) are $70 each.
Tickets may be purchased online through Oregon’s official athletics department website, www.GoDucks.com, at midnight Friday morning, or beginning at 9 a.m. by phone (541-346-4461 or 1-800-WEBFOOT) and in person at the Casanova Center Athletic Ticket Office.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Being the geek that I am, I thought I would share this with everyone.
This is pretty amazing footage as we watch the booster rockets from STS-125 (last Hubble repair mission) do their job and then fall back into the ocean.
• Ted Miller checks in with Pac-10 recruiting efforts here.
• DuckTerritory has compiled all of the preseason polls and has the complete list here (long). Looks like the average for Oregon is about 11 or 12.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Oregon makes it on the list with the game against Purdue on Sept. 12th.
...this game is sandwiched between the marquee season opener at Boise State and a visit from Utah. Even though Purdue has been sliding of late and changed coaches, the Boilermakers are still a Big Ten team worthy of respect.
Personally, I think the opener at BSU is scarier.
Miller's second piece is titled, "Hope and concern: Oregon." Here it is in a nutshell.
Biggest reason for hope? Jeremiah Masoli.
Biggest reason for concern? Replacing six starting linemen.
It's a good read, check it out.
• It has been a year since the tragin loss of Todd Doxey. Nice rememberance story here.
• A few media folks were invited to a Q & A session with the new AD, Mike Bellotti yesterday. Jeff Smith of the Oregonian has the complete rundown here.
• Max Unger looks to be a starter somewhere on the field for the Seahawks this year. His versatility, football smarts and attitude are turning heads in his direction.
It will be fun to see Unger in action. We all new he would play somewhere, he's just too good no matter his size.
Monday, July 13, 2009
• Jon Wilner assembled his list of best Pac-10 coaches for the decade. Mike Bellotti comes in at a predictable #2 slot behind Pete Carroll.
• Former Oregon QB Chris Harper finally answered the exact reason of his transfer to Kansas State in his interview with Rob Moseley. It really was just being homesick.
• Rob Moseley has another fun post regarding Oregon history and "what if" scenarios. Here are the first four. Read the complete list here and be sure to read the comments as the post generated quite a few really comments.
1. You’re down six with 2 minutes left in the game, and 75 yards from the end zone.
Your quarterback is:
2. You’ve driven down to the 2-yard line and have just enough time left to hand off and punch it in for the score.
Your running back is:
3. Same scenario, but you need to pick a blocker to run behind.
Your offensive lineman is:
4. Same scenario, but this time you’re on defense and need to stuff the run.
Your defensive tackle is:
Saturday, July 11, 2009
If you can't tell, I am on vacation for a few days. Blogger allows you to "schedule" posts which is the reason for the video yesterday and today.
Here is another good one. This time it is Oregon CB Jackie Bates laying out a Stanford player.
I will be back to posting on Monday morning.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
1. Who, in your opinion, was the best Oregon quarterback ever?
2. What, in your opinion, was the best game at Autzen?
3. How should the Ducks handle themselves at Boise State this year after the apparent cheap shots by the Broncos last season?
4. If Oregon gets off to a poor start, how long will it be before fans are calling for Chip Kelly’s head?
5. Which program will turn it around first, Washington or WSU?
6. If T.J. Ward isn’t the biggest hitter in the entire history of Oregon football, who is?
Be sure to read the comments here to see everyone's answers. Good stuff.
• Are you following all of the BCS crap that is going on in DC? The BCS was brought before a Senate subcommittee yesterday because Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah, 13-0 last year) believes there is inequity in the current playoff system.
Just a bunch of pointless political BS in my opinion.
Here is a guy who has his head on straight and deals in the facts. Tony Barnhart (Mr. College Football) writes for the Alanta Journal-Constitution.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
He calls his leadership style “proactive.” And you ought to be more encouraged by hearing about it than by recalling any of the highlights he produced late last season.
Because Masoli’s skill set is perfect for the Ducks’ spread option, but quarterback is more than talent. We’ve all seen kids with rocket arms or quick feet, guys who can diagram plays and dissect defenses.
All of that’s necessary, and important for winning football games.
But the quarterback had better have more. Work ethic and determination. Hard-to-define stuff like moxie, grit and fire. Charisma, and a desire to lead.
All of which, it seems, Masoli is showing this summer.
Be sure to read the complete article, it is a gem.
• Andy Mac has a piece on the returning starters and looks at all of the pre-season predictions for the Pac-10. Also of note in this article is the news that place kicker Daniel Padilla has been granted his release in order to explore playing opportunities elsewhere.
• Ted Miller continues his "don't be surprised if" series and this time concludes that the Pac-10 final standings are closely tied to how good a team is at stopping the run. Good read if you have a couple of minutes.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Anytime the Ducks have been faced with a need at the running back position they have known right where to turn and have rarely been wrong in their assessment of these junior college players.
• Jon Wilner looks at the best Pac-10 teams of the decade. Oregon makes his list twice in the twelve teams listed.
• Ted Miller has a pair of stories. First up, don't be surprised if road schedules play a critical role in sorting out the conference as well as its national perception. Be sure to check it out as Oregon plays a big role in the story.
Ted also has this piece on who will represent the Pac-10 teams on Media Day which is July 30 in LA. The Ducks will be represented by Walter Thurmond III.
• Finally, Ryan Howe of the Times-News has this post on Burley High (ID) grad Steven Patterson. Patterson has been invited to walk-on as a long snapper by the Ducks.
"I don't know how far I can take it, if I can even take it to the pros because it's such a special ability," Patterson said. "Or if I can just pay for my education, that's good enough.
We wish you the best Steven.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
“I love to block,” Gaines said. “It just so happens that I know how to run and catch as well. I like the big plays. That’s what it’s about. It’s the teamwork, getting my running backs to the sideline and me running with them. That’s more exciting than catching a touchdown and doing it myself.”
Sounds like Gaines has his head on straight. Rice comes into a program in desperate need of a consistent punter (did you see the Spring Game?)
Rice averaged 47.6 yards per punt as a senior, was roundly considered one of the top one or two punters in the nation and participated in the prestigious U.S. Army All-America Bowl.
This guy is the real deal. I wish them both the best of luck.
• Ted Miller is up next with his continuing series, "Don't be surprised if...". This time he thinks Pac-10 QB play will be much better in 2009. He has Oregon on the upswing:
Masoli was the best quarterback in the Pac-10 over the final quarter of the season. If he improves, he could end up first-team All-Pac-10... and maybe more.
"Maybe more" as in the "H" word? Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
First team: OL Adam Snyder and DL Haloti Ngata.
Second team: OL Max Unger and DB Patrick Chung.
Did Wilner leave any other Ducks out? Check out the list here.
• Brandon Oliver does a Q & A with Brady Leaf. I would have to agree with Brady on his best moment as a Duck.
DT- Favorite game and favorite play as a Duck?
BL- I would have to say my favorite game was against Cal my sophomore year at home when we won in OT. I threw my first touchdown as a Duck. My favorite play was the catch Jonathon Stewart made against USC at their house in the back of the end zone.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Zach Taylor, a junior long snapper, and Dominic Glover, a defensive end.
Also worth noting in this article is the start of Fall Camp, which is slated for August 7th.
• Bob Rickert travels on the recruiting trail and highlights five potential Ducks. Highest rated player on his list?
Terrance Broadway: Terrific player. Still being recruited by the Ducks. 4th rated dual-threat quarterback nationally. Ole Miss, Alabama, Nebraska and the Ducks have all offered. He's visited Ole Miss at the beginning of June and came away with good reviews. Nothing spectacular but, clearly Oregon's going to have a lot of competition for his signature.
• Brandon Oliver continues his Q & A series at the DuckTerritory with Zac Clark. This guy has one thing on his radar, the Rose Bowl. Nothing wrong with that.
DT- What are your goals for this year and your time at Oregon?
ZC- Rose Bowl(s)