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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Duck Stuff - Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ted Miller has his fearless predictions and just "normal" predictions for the Pac-10 this year. Here is a sample from each post.

Fearles: Chip Kelly will provide a brief answer to many, many questions:

Chip, are you worried about your QB making his second career start in front of 105,000 at Neyland Stadium? "No." Coach, tell us about your recruiting philosophy? "Speed." What are your feelings on LaMichael James' 229 yards rushing? "Good." Coach, I bet my sister I could get you to say two words. "Lose." Coach, you just won Pac-10 coach of the year for the second time in two years as Oregon's coach? "Thanks."

Normal: Conference winner: Oregon

It took a while to re-warm up to the Ducks after the, er, departure of He Who Shall Not Be Named. But the Ducks have so much going for them, it's hard to go against the defending champions.

 Jon Wilner reports on the latest Pac-10 conference re-alignment rumors.

 R-G reporter Chris Hansen shares his feature story on the Lobo's expectations coming into the always loud Autzen Stadium.

“As a little kid, that’s what you dream of, playing in front of loud fans, chaotic, crazy, and I’m just going to have fun with it,” [QB B.R.}Holbrook said. “We’re going to try and stay at our tempo, stay calm and collected and move the ball. … I want us to stay competitive.”

 Rob Moseley attended the practice yesterday and his this report. His highlight moments include these:

Among the highlights were a great one-handed catch of a deep ball by Eric Dungy, a loud collision in which Tony Washington floored Daryle Hawkins in the backfield, and some tight coverage by Anthony Gildon, who will start at one cornerback spot.

 Kenjon Barner made it onto the Hornung Award watch list. The award is new this year and will honor the nations best all-purpose player.

Be sure to cast your vote for the Oregon Duck in the Capital One Mascot Challenge. This is the first time our mascot has been selected to compete in the annual event.


CB's Gildon & Jackson Interview - Video

• Anthony Gildon and Talmadge Jackson talk with reporters after the practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Darron Thomas after 8-30 practice - Video

• DT talks with reporters after yesterday's practice in the Moshofsky Center. Video courtesy of KVAL.

• FYI - Comcast is having issues this morning in my area and the broadband service is very spotty at best. Normal posts might be coming later than usual today.



Monday, August 30, 2010

Oregon Sports Network preview - The "D" - Video

Comcast and the Oregon Sports Network preview the upcoming season and profile the defense in this clip.


Oregon Sports Network preview - Kenjon Barner - Video

Comcast and the Oregon Sports Network preview the upcoming season and profile Kenjon Barner in this clip.


Oregon Sports Network preview - QB's - Video

Comcast and the Oregon Sports Network preview the upcoming season and looks at the QB's in this clip.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
George Schroeder shares a feature story that appeared in yesterday's R-G on Darron Thomas. Here is a short sample.

Darron Thomas had been Oregon’s starting quarterback for less than 24 hours, and he was handling the upgrade with nearly perfect execution and the kind of precision Chip Kelly would appreciate.

Saturday morning’s football practice? It went well. As did Thomas’ reaction to working exclusively with the first team.

And then he moved on to Oregon’s annual fan day festivities, which took place Saturday afternoon inside the Moshofsky Center.

As you’d expect, Thomas was one of the main attractions. He sat at a table, between running backs LaMichael James and Remene Alston, as hundreds of Duck fans streamed by, offering congratulations and asking for autographs.

He chatted, and he posed for photos, and he seemed very comfortable with all of the attention.

Until someone asked him to sign the puppy.

Click here to catch the rest of the story.

Ken Goe says there is no quarterback controversy, at least for now. Some quotes from the story below.

Everybody seemed on board with UO coach Chip Kelly's decision to name Darron Thomas as the starting quarterback.

The Ducks actually are in a good situation, with Thomas getting a relatively weak slate of nonconference games with which to grow into the job, and Costa in reserve, a steady veteran who can come off the bench if something goes wrong.

The Ducks love the way third-stringer Bryan Bennett, an incoming freshman, has grasped the offense, and the panache with which he handled last week's scrimmage.

I think if the UO defense is as good as advertised, there is going to be less pressure on whichever quarterback is on field, be it Thomas, Costa or Bennett.

Stay tuned for a couple of video clips from the Comcast preseason special which aired recently.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chip Kelly Interview - Video

Chip Kelly talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


OC Mark Helfrich & DC Nick Aliotti on depth charts - Video

• Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich and defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti talk with reporters on the depth chart after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Darron Thomas Interview - Video

Darron Thomas talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Nate Costa Interview - Video

Nate Costa talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Kenjon Barner Interview - Video

Kenjon Barner talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• We have lots of reports from yesterday's practice so we'll just dive in. We have stories from John Hunt, Adam Jude posting for Rob Moseley, Chris Courtney and Ken Goe. The reports from each tend to be not about the play, but who was on the field at each position, so I'll leave it to you to read each one.

• Here is the official two-deep that was released yesterday afternoon.

• The one story that caught my eye yesterday was from John Canzano. Most of the time I consider his pieces publicity stunts to grab headlines but every once in a while he writes something worth sharing. The story is titled, "Kelly rediscovers how to roll dice with decision on QB," and it is worth your time so give it a read.

• Coming up next, a bunch of videos from yesterday. Stay tuned.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• The "O" Games marked the end of Fall Camp yesterday and it looks like everyone had a good time. Video above is courtesy of KVAL. How cool is Mark Asper calling the play by play in Spanish?

• The focus now turns to the game next Saturday versus New Mexico. The newly named QB, Darron Thomas, will be out on the practice field this morning with his teammates as they prepare.

• John Hunt and Ted Miller weigh in on Chip Kelly's decision to go with Thomas instead of Costa.

From John Hunt: It seems in Thomas they saw two things: more of a running threat, and more an upside despite a relative lack of experience.

From Ted Miller: Kelly, who made the announcement on twitter, isn't conservative. Picking a sophomore over a steady fifth-year senior with Costa's leadership skills shows that Kelly is willing to roll the dice when his instincts tell him to.

• Ken Goe says the Ducks have an opportunity for a special season and should settle for nothing less.

There is a void at the top, and Oregon is well positioned to show last year's run to the title was no fluke.

So, Oregon's mission statement in 2010 isn't just to fill void at the top of the conference. The Ducks need to do something in the postseason too.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Chip Kelly Names Darron Thomas QB vs New Mexico

• Twitter is  on fire with tweets from @georgeschroeder and @oregonfootball. I'll post the link to the official story in a bit.

Here is Rob Moseley's story.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Now the waiting game begins. Everyone posted their stories and thoughts about yesterday's scrimmage including, Rob Moseley, Ted Miller, Chris Courtney, and Ken Goe. Of course they were all using information supplied by Andy Mac and the Oregon staff as the scrimmage was closed. Complete stats are here.

And in the opinion of one R-G columnist, George Schroeder, a tie should go to Costa. Ted Miller seems to agree.

Saturday will tell all.

In other news, Jordan Homes made it onto the Rimington Award watch list. The honor is given annually to the best center in the nation.

Speaking of watch lists, Ted Miller notes that the annual Doak Award, given to the best running back in the nation, failed when it didn't include LaMichael James on their initial watch list. I would have to agree.

In case you were wondering, the television schedule for games against New Mexico and Portland St.were picked up by Comcast yesterday. The only games not being televised to this point are the Washington, Cal and Civil War games, which will be announced at a later date.


Nate Costa after Scrimmage Yesterday - Video

• Nate Costa is interviewed after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Coach Kelly after Scrimmage - Video

• Chip Kelly talks with reporters after scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today's Scrimmage Update

Can't wait for tomorrow's Morning Mud? Here is Ken Goe's report from today's scrimmage, and of course, a sample.

 “I had a slow start, and I wasn’t happy with that,” Costa said. “But I ended very well. I think overall it was a good day, and I think I made my case."

Thomas was happy with his performance too.

“Today was a good day for me,” he said. “I’ve got a few things to correct, but it was a good day. I didn’t turn over a ball. That was my goal going in. I did a good job with that.”

Read the complete story here.


ESPN Pac-10 Preview - Video

• Brent Musbugrer and Kirk Herbstreit preview the Pac-10.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Two-a-days came to an end yesterday with Rob Moseley and Andy Mac providing you with their observations. Today there will be a closed practice with a scrimmage giving all the players one last chance to make their case for a starting position. Here are some samples from each reporter from yesterday.

Moseley on the morning session: When they did break off for 7-on-7, Darron Thomas got the better of Nate Costa, though Thomas may have benefited from playing with the first-team while Costa was with the twos. If you just based the quarterback decision on those 10 minutes, it would have been an easy decision. Chip Kelly, however, said he’ll go into Thursday’s scrimmage with no preconceived notion as to a leader in the battle.

Andy Mac on the morning session: Darron Thomas had a hand in a pair of nice plays during 7-on-7, firing a seed to Drew Davis down the left sideline and following that up with a great ball to David Paulson on the right sideline.

Moseley, afternoon session: This time it was Nate Costa with the first team for 7-on-7, and benefiting from the talent around him just as Darron Thomas did when the roles were reversed this morning.

Andy Mac, afternoon session: Freshman Curtis White turned in a gem with a one-handed tip to himself on a deep pass down the seam from Darron Thomas during 7-on-7. Top play 1B also came during 7-on-7, when Costa found Daryle Hawkins with a bullet that "Slash" made a nifty over the shoulder grab on.

Ken Goe says this could be the year the Ducks get defensive.

This could a breakout year for Oregon's defense.

The Ducks aren't only athletic and across-the-board good on D, they're deep.

The most impressive athlete on defense -- at least, to my eye -- is outside linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and he is on the second team.

Ken Goe also has a good story on Kenjon Barner who is more than ready to start against New Mexico a week from Saturday.

The Ducks open the season on Sept. 4 against visiting New Mexico. With LaMichael James serving a one-game suspension, Barner is expected to get the call.

Asked about the two-back sets, Barner grinned.

“Those are my favorite packages,” he said. “I think for defenses, it has to be a nightmare. LaMichael is very explosive, and I would like to think I’m explosive as well. It’s going to be hard for the defense to stop.”


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nick Aliotti Interview - Video

Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti is interviewed after the practice on Monday. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
John Hunt, Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney give their impressions of yesterday's practice.

From John Hunt: In the second day of the Hawkins Versatility Experiment, the redshirt freshman played all three positions. He showed good hands at receiver – among quarterbacks playing the slot, he was worlds better than Jeremiah Masoli this spring and a tad better than Chris Harper was, too.

From Rob Moseley: Senior Nate Costa was with the ones to start the day—and threw an early interception to Javes Lewis—and sophomore Darron Thomas worked in with the first unit later in the day. Nothing to see here, move along, move along ... OK, maybe a little.

From Chris Courtney:  Wide receivers D.J. Davis and Eric Dungy  had particularly good days Tuesday catching the football all over the field. While Dungy displayed sticky hands as he made difficult catches near the sidelines during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11's, Davis did the majority of his work in the middle of the field.

Andy Mac looks at the big picture from fall camp and gives his overall impressions on how things stand.

Ken Goe notes that both Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James have benefited from their time spent on the track team.

"It worked out great," James said. "I'm in the best shape I've ever been. I'm faster, and my running mechanics are better."

Ken Goe also says to keep an eye on Cliff Harris to play with Talmadge Jackson in the backfield.

“Every day, every hour, every minute I have to stay focused,” Harris said. “That’s all it really is. I can be a goofball at times. I just have to stay focused, all day every day. That’s all they keep pressing on me, stay focused. I’ll get there.”


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

John Boyett after Monday Practice - Video

• John Boyett discusses his role in the defense. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.


QB Decision Coming Saturday - Video

KMTR reports that the long awaited and hotly contested quarterback duel will finally result in a starter being named for the New Mexico game on Saturday.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley continue their coverage of practice with updates on yesterdays action.

From Chris' report: Nate Costa and Darron Thomas  kicked off the third week of fall camp in rather mediocre fashion. Neither quarterback "wowed" during team drills, as both players never appeared to get settled throughout the course of practice.

Junior tight end Brandon Williams particularly shined, demonstrating his terrific size and athletic ability catching balls in the middle of the field and rumbling for big yards.

From Rob's report: One of the offense’s two-point scores was by Daryle Hawkins, who took snaps at receiver and running back along with quarterback today. Hawkins may move to a new position eventually. He was listed as an “athlete” when he signed in 2009. 

“The more versatile those guys can be, the better off they’re going to be,” Kelly said. “That may help, do they make the travel roster? ... If we’re going to bring him, instead of just having him on the bench, we can use him. If he can give us a boost in special teams, or a boost at running back, or a boost at receiver, then we’ll use him there, because he’s that type of athlete.”

The Heisman Pundit looks at the top ten linebackers and has Casey Matthews at #10. They also have a list of "really big Heisman games" for 2010 and Oregon is listed twice. Once against Tennessee and the Civil War.

John Hunt reports that Blake Cantu injured his shoulder yesterday and attended practice with his arm in a sling. You have to feel bad for him as this is a recurring injury that he has fought since he has been at Oregon.

Hunt also noted that Chip Kelly will announce his starter at QB this Saturday.

“Saturday morning when we come out to practice (for) New Mexico, we’ll know who our starting quarterback’s going to be,’’ Kelly said after Monday’s second practice session. “It’s been the same plan all along, I’m not being evasive.

I don't usually post about the "other Oregon school" but the story coming out of Corvallis was just too hard to pass on. This has to rate right up where with the sheep incident.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley shares a story that appeared in the R-G yesterday on offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich's reconstruction efforts with a new home he purchased and some tweaking of his offensive strategy plan.

Andy Mac looks at the former Ducks in the NFL and how they did in their latest preseason games.

Which college teams have the best mascot? AP voters weighed in and the Oregon Duck came in twelfth.

Rob Moseley gives you his view of the depth chart after two weeks of practice.

Ken Goe has a nice little piece on LB Casey Matthews who broke with family tradition to attend the U of O and says the defense could be "lights out" this year.

The Ducks have all kinds of speed off the edge, veterans like Matthews and Spencer Paysinger -- both three year starters -- manning the interior linebacker spots, a bunch of good cover corners and a knock-your-helmet-off safety in Eddie Pleasant. The defensive line has been tearing up camp.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

The AP poll was released yesterday and shows Oregon came in at the #11 slot, exactly where the coaches poll has them.

Saturday was competition day and the defense pulled out a victory on the last play of the day 138-136. Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley give their impressions.

From Chris' report: True freshman wide receiver Josh Huff continues to impress, as he had another terrific practice making great catches all over the field.

Huff dominated 3-on-2 drills versus the defensive backs and was a force when his number was called during 11-on-11's.

From Rob's report: [Jeff] Maehl had a big day, and is obviously a very trusted resource for both Costa and Thomas. Dior Mathis made a couple nice plays for the No. 3 defense, with an interception of Bryan Bennett and a tackle of [Dontae] Williams in the backfield.

Ken Goe spoke with Nick Aliotti on competition day and the last play of the scrimmage.

It wasn’t settled until the final play of the final drill, when Josh Kaddu and Eddie Pleasant came off the backside on a blitz to sack quarterback Darron Thomas, with the offense on the defense’s 3.

“Live by the sword, die by the sword,” said defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti of the blitz call. “You’ve got to make them think fast. That’s the way I look at it. They’re either going to score fast, or we’re going to get them.”

Rob Moseley shares a feature story that appeared in yesterdays R-G, as Darron Thomas and Nate Costa each have backers among teammates.

“Nate’s one of my best friends in the world,” Holmes said. “I want to see him do well. Darron’s a teammate; I want to see him do well. I’m kind of stuck in the middle.”

“We’re all teammates out here,” Pleasant said after practice Thursday. “Even though I am closer to Darron than Nate, I don’t show favoritism. Because I don’t make the decisions. I just wish the best for both of them.


Casey Matthews on Fall Camp - Video

Video: Linebacker Casey Matthews is off to a good start for the Ducks

• Casey talks about fall camp, his family and taking a leadership role with the team. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sled Needs Surgery - Video

Video:Injury update -- sled needs surgery

• Here is the video proof that the sled mentioned in the post earlier this morning took some serious abvuse from the LB's. Courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley broke his practice updates into two parts, morning and afternoon, while Chris Courtney combined his coverage into one post. Here are some samples.

Moseley on the morning practice: Nate Costa and Darron Thomas were a bit inconsistent, tilting the practice in favor of the defense for the most part. Costa hasn’t been as accurate as usual in the last 24 hours, and Thomas isn’t really standing out either.

LaMichael James had a great option run today on which he ended up racing down the sideline, thanks to a block by receiver Justin Hoffman on the perimeter.

Moseley on the afternoon practice: Slotback Josh Huff got his most extensive work since returning from an ankle injury. He looked really explosive both as a kickoff returner and with the offense. “The one thing I’ll give Josh credit for, he stayed on top of things mentally” while sidelined by the injury, Kelly said. “When he gets in, he knows what he’s doing.”

Chris Courtney's Report: Nate Costa, despite showing good speed on designed runs, he was plagued -- unofficially -- by three ugly interceptions (one of which came during the team's redzone scenario) today during 11-on-11's. For Darron Thomas, though he may have been more accurate overall, he failed to produce big plays in the passing game and was often forced to throw the ball away when pressured in the pocket.

 Sophomore running back LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner  once again had good days today, as both players appear to already be in midseason form. Barner, for a second consecutive day, was particularly impressive, showing his versatility gaining big yards on an end around while also establishing himself as a force lined up as a more traditional running back.

John Hunt shares his impressions of the Friday afternoon practice session.

Lovely afternoon on the practice fields Friday but not for Nate Costa, as cornerback Cliff Harris continued his one-day torment of the quarterback.

After picking off Costa in the morning, Harris had two more interceptions in the afternoon session.

Darron Thomas got the upper hand today, but he was continually throwing balls away – not that that’s a bad thing, but the passing game was sputtering.

Ken Goe looks at the lighter side of practice after linebacker coach Don Pellum challenged his group to take on a tackling sled.

The UO linebackers destroyed a tackling sled at the Ducks’ Friday morning practice in Autzen Stadium by hitting it so hard bolts popped out from the sled's base.

"Coach said if we break one of the sleds during drills he would get us lunch," Matthews said. "We all went through it, and finally the cord snapped. So I think he owes us lunch."

Pellum smiled sheepishly.

“I didn’t think they would break it,” he said. “It’s a brand new sled.”


Coach Kelly on how the freshmen are doing - Video

Video: Chip Kelly after Oregon Ducks practice

UO coach Chip Kelly said he wouldn’t be afraid to go with Bennett as the Ducks’ third-team quarterback.

“If Bryan Bennett is the third quarterback by the time we get out of camp, he’ll be the third quarterback.”

Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Friday, August 20, 2010

WR Drew Davis Interview - Video

• Jerry Allen talks with WR Drew Davis after practice Wednesday. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.


WR Blake Cantu Interview - Video

• Jerry Allen talks with WR Blake Cantu after practice Wednesday. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The Ducks had just one practice yesterday and as Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley report, the defense won the day. Here is a quote from each story.

Chris: "Our offense has got to learn to step up," said Oregon head coach Chip Kelly after practice, "but that's a positive thing for us that our defense is that good."

When asked if he thought that it was still early enough to give the defense the edge, Kelly didn't waffle.

"No. That's worn off. Everybody's got the same stuff in. The defense just played harder today."

Rob: The most compelling part of the day was right at the end, in a couple of game-management tests for the two. Each threw a touchdown pass, Thomas hitting Brandon Williams for six in a red-zone situation, and Costa dumping off a ball that Kenjon Barner took to the house. Earlier, Thomas had a beautiful deep ball to Jeff Maehl. Each also had an interception that probably wasn’t his fault; Thomas had a pass slip through the hands of Dontae Wiliams and go right to Brian Jackson, while Costa was picked off by Michael Clay, though I have a suspicion a running back broke off a route on that one. Those late touchdowns were the exception during the second half of practice, which was dominated almost entirely by the defense.

Ken Goe notes that Kenjon Barner is back to full strength and looks very good.

“Kenjon is a special, special player,” UO coach Chip Kelly said. “We felt before the season ever started we have two great, great running backs.”

"He can do so many things. He’s a versatile kid. To move him to receiver, put him in the slot, is no big deal for him. Put him in the backfield, move him around, kick returns, punt returns – our challenge as a staff is to find out how many different places we can put Kenjon to get him the football.”

Rob Moseley shares a feature story that appeared in the R-G yesterday about the abundance of options at the tight end position.

Oregon tight ends coach Tom Osborne has a good problem to have in determining a backup for the probable starter, junior David Paulson. JC transfer Brandon Williams, senior Malachi Lewis and newcomer, freshman Curtis White. How is going to step up their game?

Two weeks from tomorrow is opening day versus New Mexico. Don't have tickets yet? No worries, has a special offer for you.

The University of Oregon and Bi-Mart have collaborated to offer a $20 discount on remaining reserved seats for the Ducks’ Sept. 4 football season opener vs. New Mexico in Autzen Stadium.

Coupons are expected to be available Friday in any one of the seven Bi-Mart stores in Eugene and Springfield that will offer a discount from the on-line purchase of a regularly-priced $41 ticket.

Kickoff for the Ducks’ season opener will be 12:30 p.m.

Instructions on how to take advantage of the offer are printed on the coupons, which can be redeemed by accessing the athletics department’s official website,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Left Cornerback Duel - Video

KVAL sports reporter Dirk Weishaar talks with secondary coach John Neal about the competition between Cliff Harris, Scott Grady and Anthony Gildon.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley provide the details of yesterday afternoons practice. Here is a sample from each.

From Chris: Redshirt freshman linebacker Boseko Lokombo  had another huge day this afternoon as he was seemingly in on every big play during 11-on-11 team drills. Lokombo, who is battling for a starting position at SAM linebacker with Josh Kaddu, had maybe the hit of the fall thus far when he decleated sophomore walk-on running back Anthony Blake on a pass play over the middle.

From Rob: I thought Costa was very accurate tonight, which isn’t to say he was mistake-free. Darron Thomas threw an early interception to John Boyett, which isn’t to say he was bad this afternoon. Entering fall camp I was of the impression Costa was the leader, over the weekend I felt Thomas had an edge, and after the last two days I’m back to thinking Costa takes the first snap against New Mexico. Which is really to say, I have no idea.

Ken Goe notes that LaMichael James returned to practice yesterday.

“Initially, I didn’t know what was going on, but it turns out I just hyper-extended it,” he said. “It’s still kind of tight. But I know if I sit out of practice, then I’m not getting any better. I need to get out there and practice.”

Even though the knee wasn’t completely 100 percent, James said he was happy to be on the field.

Ken Goe also spoke to Chip Kelly about the QB's and the coach would like to see more consistency but in the end, maybe it doesn't matter.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Morning Practice Updates

• Right on cue, both Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have filed reports from this mornings practice.

From Rob: Nate Costa spent a lot of time with the ones, but Darron Thomas got a lot of work too. “They’re doing good things and they’re doing bad things,” UO coach Chip Kelly said. “We need more consistency out of both of them.”

From Chris: Sophomore running back LaMichael James  returned to practice today and participated about as much as a player wearing a red non-contact could participate. He was seen fielding punts and running with the first-team offense during 7-on-7's, showing no apparent ill effects from the knee tweak he suffered during practice this past Saturday.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley report on the activities from yesterdays scrimmage.

Chris' thoughts: The defensive front seven had maybe their best day of the spring as they wreaked havoc against Oregon's offensive line for much of the day. Senior defensive tackle Brandon Bair, sophomore defensive end Dion Jordan, and junior Josh Kaddu, were just a few of the guys who were able to get penetration and "sack" or hurry the quarterback on Tuesday.

Rob's thoughts: The play of the day, or at least the one that drew applause from the large crowd at practice, was a one-handed catch by Lavasier Tuinei of a Thomas pass.

John Hunt thinks that Darron Thomas had the more "efficient" day.

Ted Miller looks at the true freshmen in the Pac-10 and declared some were ready to play.

DT Ricky Heimuli, K Alejandro Maldonado: The 320-pound Heimuli offers a big body in the middle of the D-line. Maldonado is in the thick of the race to start at kicker. (The two touted frosh RBs could get into the mix, but No. 3 is deeper than we want to go).

Miller also noted that Casey Matthews has made in onto the Butkus Award watch list as the best linebacker in the country.

Ken Goe calls Josh Kaddu and Boseko Lokombo are double trouble for opposing offenses.

Lokombo, 6-3, 223, doesn’t have Kaddu’s heft or knowledge of the system. But he has the kind of athletic ability that demands playing time.

“The first four or five days of camp, he picked off a ball every day,” [linebacker coach Don] Pellum said. “And he got his hands on a lot of them. His athleticism is something we really need in this defense.”

Pellum called Kaddu “tremendously agile and really explosive. Josh can pass rush and he can cover. He can do both. He’s very cerebral.”

Eddie Pleasant after scrimmage yesterday - Video

• Eddie Pleasant talks with the media after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Jeff Maehl Interview - Video

• Jeff Maehl talks with the media after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Costa and Thomas after scrimmage yesterday - Video

• Nate Costa and Darron Thomas talk with the media after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


LaMichael James after scrimmage yesterday - Video

• LaMichael James talks with the media after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Chip Kelly on first scrimmage - Video

Coach Kelly talks with the media after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney covered both practices yesterday and according to Courtney, Thomas looked very sharp in the afternoon session. Here are a couple of quotes.

Moseley morning and afternoon: Lache Seastrunk got a lot of action too and busted off a couple of nice runs using his speed and agility. “He’s gotten better every day, and today was his best day,” Kelly said. “Hopefully he can continue to build off of that.”

Courtney morning and afternoon:  Today was one of Darron Thomas' finer days...Thomas' poise and field awareness was on full display, as he targeted wide receiver Jeff Maehl, Lavasier Tuinei, and Blake Cantu  with great effectiveness. His ability running the ball was impressive as well; showing great decision making ability and quickness employing the Ducks' vaunted spread option attack.

John Hunt liked what he saw with Lache Seastrunk yesterday as LMJ and Kenjon Barner took it easy while they recuperate from injuries.

During that afternoon session, Seastrunk showed that, when he knows the play and he trusts his blocking, he can indeed outrun people.

“He has the physical skills to play – he just has to understand what we’re doing and how we call things,’’ Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “He’s gotten better every day, and today was his best day.’’

Hunt also discusses the QB race in this post, saying that both Costa and Thomas look better this week. announced that Fan Day will be August 28th. The 2010-11 Spirit T-shirt slogan at 11:00am in front of the Moshofsky Center Duck Store followed by the doors opening to the Mo Center where there will be numerous activities for the kids.

Rivals has Oregon at #4 in their preseason poll.

Oregon appears to have the components to post a double-digit victory total for the third consecutive season and for the fourth time in six seasons. If everything works out right, the Ducks could challenge for the national title.

Nothing like a good dose of optimism to get your Tuesday morning going.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Two-a-days resume today and everybody has an opinion on who the QB should be. Rob Moseley and Chris Pietsch spoke with fans at practice recently, just click here and then click the "video" tab to watch their choices.

George Schroeder has an indepth feature article on the new AD, Rob Mullens, and shares the print story here.

Not to be outdone, Rob Moseley posted his recap of week one in this article that appeared in yesterdays R-G.

It was nice to see LeGarrette Blount score a touchdown for the Titans Saturday as he tries to make the team. Aaron Fentress submitted this story that documents the RB's efforts.


David Paulson Interview - Video

• TE David Paulson speaks with reporters after the last practice. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Yesterday afternoon saw the second practice of the day and the final practice of the week. Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley cover the action. Practice resumes Monday and here is a thought from each.

Chris Courtney: After showing steady improvement over the past few days, both Nate Costa and Darron Thomas  had some difficulty establishing consistency today as the defense came through with a sterling effort to close out the first week of fall camp.

Rob Moseley: LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner both made hard yards during an 11-on-11 session midway through the day. James had ice on his knee after practice, after getting his foot caught in the turf late in the day. “I feel OK, I feel OK,” James said. He was hoping he just got a scare. “I feel good,” he said. “We’ll just wait and see.”

John Hunt provides some extra details on how James tweaked his knee.

Rob Moseley reminds the fans attending practice to not "cross the line" when they share details using social media.

Former AD Mike Bellotti and the current AD Rob Mullens stop by practice.

Rob Moseley shares a feature story that appeared in the R-G yesterday on linemen sophomore Carson York and redshirt freshman Wade Keliikipi.


Chip Kelly Interview - Video

• Coach Kelly talks with reporters after the final practice of the week yesterday afternoon. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Morning Practice Updates

Go Ducks!
Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney continue their excellent coverage of the practice sessions. Today marked the first of the two-a-days and here is a little sample of each article.

Moseley: Darron Thomas may have a slight lead (over Costa) in their battle to this point. Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said Thomas has fewer turnovers and a better completion percentage through the first week, though he stressed that it’s still basically an even competition between the two.

Courtney: Nate Costa and Darron Thomas traded interceptions to redshirt defensive back Brian Jackson and senior defensive end Kenny Rowe, respectively. "It's all overblown," said Kelly after practice, "Everyone is going to have to throw through alleys and throw through lanes, because when Brandon Bair sticks his arms up, there's no one taller than Brandon Bair."

The defense won the day yesterday and chose to let the offense wear the black jerseys today because of the heat. It was such a difficult call on the final play of practice yesterday to determine a winner that some outside help was used. Read about it in this Moseley story.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The fifth day of practice and we have reports from Rob Moseley, John Hunt and Chris Courtney. Here are some thoughts from each reporter.

Moseley: The defense led 119-118 entering the final play, a pass breakup that Chip Kelly said would require replay review to properly score. I continue to be impressed with the improved consistency in the hands of Malachi Lewis. Jeff Maehl had an otherwise very solid day, while Eddie Pleasant was all over the place on defense.

Hunt: It was far from perfect, but the offense found a groove – Costa and Darron Thomas were, for the most part, effective and efficient – and the defense played with speed and energy. “I love the spirit,’’ Kelly said. “We still made mistakes, which I think is understandable for Day 5, but I think the energy and the effort out of those guys was outstanding.’’

Courtney: If there was one guy who had a slight edge over the other this afternoon, the nod would likely go to Costa, who played turnover free football in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills while also displaying deft downfield passing. During one particular 11-on-11 session, Costa rolled to the right and delivered a nice deep ball to senior wide receiver D.J. Davis for a big gain. The very next play, Costa found sophomore running back LaMichael James on a dumpoff, which James promptly took the distance for what would have been a score.

Adam Jude shares a feature story on the place kicker competition.

Rob Beard will have to sit out the season opener against New Mexico while serving a one-game suspension for his role in an offseason fight, leaving the uprights open for freshmen Alejandro Maldonado and Eric Solis, a walk-on, to elevate their chances of winning the job permanently.

“They’re all going to compete,” special teams coordinator Tom Osborne said.

Solis is a smooth, dead-on kicker from close range, Osborne said. Maldonado, meanwhile, is “strong-legged” like Beard, the coach said. An added bonus, Maldonado is also versatile — he’s working on placekicking, punting and kickoffs during camp, and Osborne said he could be used in all three areas.

Ken Goe talked with Coach Kelly about the QB depth chart.

"It's just how it falls," Kelly said. "We literally have not had one meeting about who is playing where. Each position coach is kind of rotating. ... We're just trying to get guys as many as reps as we can. There has been no depth chart talk. We don't have to do that. We're getting about 140 reps per practice. There are enough to go around."


Costa and Thomas on the Competition - Video

Oregon Ducks quarterbacks: Nate Costa and Darron Thomas

Nate Costa and Darron Thomas talk with Molly Blue about the QB competition. Video courtesy of Molly and the Oregonian.


Boseko Lokombo and Josh Kaddu Interview - Video

• LB's Boseko Lokombo and Josh Kaddu talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Coach Kelly after practice yesterday.

• Coach Kelly talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
One of the stars for Thursday's practice was true freshman WR Josh Huff according to Chris Courtney.

"The one thing about Josh is that he kind of doesn't act like a freshman," said Kelly after practice,

"Josh is a real even-keeled kid and he's picked things up. It'll be exciting when we get to some competition days and some scrimmages to see what he can do, but he definitely has a physical skill-set that's been impressive so far."

Andy Mac noted that Kenny Rowe won the day on defense.

Rowe was seemingly everywhere, especially during the final 11-on-11 period, when he had an interception off a tipped ball and broke up a pass on the very next play.

Rob Moseley also reported that Chip Kelly handed out four scholarships this week.

Chad Peppars was awarded a scholarship by Kelly on Monday, along with defensive back Brian Butterfield (for the second straight year), center Max Forer and receiver Justin Hoffman.

Ted Miller ran a series of Pac-10 preseason position reviews and now that they're done has compiled the totals per team. The Ducks finished second on his list just 1 point behind the other Pac-10 school in Oregon.

Ken Goe has a nice feature piece on Oregon's go-to guy, WR Jeff Maehl.

"He really took a step forward toward the end of last season," UO receivers coach Scott Frost said. "I think it was just a light that flipped on. Around that Arizona game, you could see it in practice and in the games. He took a step forward from being one of our good players to a guy you could count on to be open any time you run a route."  

As spindly as he still looks, Maehl added 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason.

"He's gotten mentally smarter too, and he's running great routes," Frost said.

Maehl could be set up this year for a monster season, if the UO passing game picks up where it left off.

And according to the Heisman Pundit, Maehl is the most underrated player in the Pac-10.

He always seems to be open and he makes a lot of tough catches.  Caught 53 balls for 696 yards and six touchdowns last year.  Should be a security blanket for Oregon’s new quarterback this season.


OL Coach Steve Greatwood Interview - Video

• O-Line coach Steve Greatwood talks with Jerry Allen after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.


Chip Kelly Interview - Video

Coach Kelly talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of GoDucks.TV.