Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley leads off with a preview of the defensive backs and the special teams.

Defensive backs: Along with running back, this is the position where Oregon has the best pairing of talent and depth entering the spring. Cliff Harris and  John Boyett are top-flight Pac-12 players at their positions, and Eddie Pleasant figures to make strides after moving from linebacker to safety a year ago and starting last season.

The Ducks must replace graduated senior Talmadge Jackson III, and can turn to a guy in Anthony Gildon who has made eight career starts.

The Ducks will feel good entering the summer if: Gildon or one of the young guys cements himself as a starter, giving the Ducks a set rotation entering fall camp.

Special Teams: The Ducks are in outstanding position from a special teams perspective entering 2011. Placekicker Rob Beard, punter Jackson Rice and snappers Drew Howell and Jeff Palmer all return, along with a host of talented returners.

The Ducks will feel good entering the summer if: The kickers emerge healthy, having improved both the consistency and accuracy of their kicks.

 John Hunt previews the defensive line.

Taylor Hart and Wade Keliikipi were both second on the depth chart, behind Brandon Bair and Zac Clark, last season, and they figure to move right up to the No. 1 unit. At the other end, it could be the lanky but very strong Dion Jordan, who it could be Brandon Hanna.

 Ted Miller looks at the Pac-12's three-headed monsters, which he defines as elite combinations of quarterback, running back and receiver. He has Oregon at number two behind Stanford.

Oregon - QB Darron Thomas, RB LaMichael James, WR Lavasier Tuinei

The skinny: James is the best RB in the country. Thomas is one of the nation's best QBs. Tuinei is a big target who caught 36 passes last year. You could flip the Cardinal and Ducks here and probably not get much argument from neutral observers. (Neutral observers, Ducks fans).

Dale Newton has an interview with DT Jared Ebert and takes a close look at the defensive line


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