Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 John Hunt says the Ducks have the loftiest of expectations heading into the start of Spring Practice today.

The Ducks have much work to do and, fortunately for them, there are many days to be won between now and Sept. 3, when they open the 2011 season in Arlington, Texas, against LSU.

With the opener five months away, and against a top-five team -- not to mention another tough game against Nevada and a Pac-12 opener against Arizona in Tucson -- the results of Oregon's offseason work will be quickly apparent.

 Rob Moseley previews the defensive backs and special teams.

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.

Beard and Rice should be expected to mature into elite players in the conference among kickers.

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.

 Ted Miller has the Pac-12's 3-headed monsters defined as the best threesomes from each of the three levels of defense: defensive line, linebacker and defensive back. He has Oregon in the four slot.

DE Terrell Turner, LB Josh Kaddu, CB Cliff Harris

The Skinny: Two solid returning starters and a second-team All-Pac-10 cornerback who figures to be a preseason All-American after earning second-team honors from the Associated Press and Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2010.

Miller also believes Oregon is very secure when it comes to their backup for the QB position, Bryan Bennett.

 Adam Jude reports that sophomore DB Marcus Davis is not returning to the football team.

 The Ducks lost the first game against Creighton last night, 84-76, in the best of three series for the CBI Title. The next game will be tomorrow night at Matthew Knight arena.

 Dale Newton wants the truth as he asks key questions heading into Spring Practice.


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