Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 When combined, speed, agility and strength are factors the football team worked on all through the winter. Rob Moseley highlights the players who made the biggest gains.

 ESPN will be bringing out the big guns and trying some new production techniques when they cover the Spring Game today and air it on ESPN2.

Brent Musburger and Urban Meyer will be in the press box, calling the game for ESPN2, in Musburger's second career Spring Game assignment. ESPN also will be trying some new production wrinkles to make Autzen more TV-friendly.

John Hunt notes that the two teams seem to be evenly divided.

The teams appear to be divided evenly, and you'll note that Darron Thomas and LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk are all on one squad; the other squad has defensive playmakers such as Dion Jordan, Michael Clay, Bo Lokombo and Troy Hill. (Oh, and Colt Lyerla is on Thomas' team.)

Of course, each offensive unit will be trying to move the ball and score some points, but personally, I believe the stronger defensive unit will "win the day."


Friday, April 29, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Robert Husseman reports that Darron Thomas has improved his leadership and communication skills this spring.

"Me and him have to talk to each other quite a bit," said Karrington Armstrong, the sophomore center with the first-team offense. 

"He talks to me after practices on certain snaps (and) how he likes (the ball snapped to him).
"He just doesn't accept anything but your best, and that's what you need in a quarterback." and eDuck have the complete breakdown of the Spring Game tomorrow including; Fan Fest activities, parking, admission requirements and game regulations.

 The NFL draft got underway yesterday and as predicted no Ducks were chosen in the first round. Things could change today as the 2nd and 3rd rounds will be held with the final rounds being held on Saturday.

 Aaron Fentress has feature stories on Casey Matthews, Brandon Bair and Jeff Maehl. Rumor has it the New England Patriots, with three picks in the second round,  have their eye on Jeff Maehl.

Ted Miller has a brief primer for the Oregon Spring Game.

The Ducks lost five starters from the defensive front seven, but this one may be more a reload rather than rebuild. This is due in large part to the experience of the so-called new guys, most of whom saw significant action last fall. 

Ends Dion Jordan and Brandon Hanna -- returning starter Terrell Turner sat out with a leg injury -- and tackles Ricky Heimuli, Taylor Hart and Wade Keliikipi all played well. At linebacker, Kiko Alonso takes over in the middle for Casey Matthews, while Michael Clay, Josh Kaddu and Boseko Lokomobo capably man the outside spots. More depth is provided by Dewitt Stuckey and Derrick Malone.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 John Hunt, Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have your Wednesday practice report.

John: The Oregon Ducks wrapped up the final Moshofsky Center practice of the spring on Wednesday, really the final practice of spring drills, as Saturday’s Spring Game will be just that – a game.

“Yeah, it’s a full game,’’ coach Chip Kelly said. “We’re kicking off, punting. It’s a full go.’’

Rob: Cliff Harris had an interception in 3-on-2 that was negated when Kelly called pass interference. James Scales intercepted Bryan Bennett during 7-on-7, and Kenjon Barner had a long breakaway run in 11-on-11.

Other than that a lot of the top moments were from the usual suspects, guys like LaMichael James and David Paulson, though this was another practice where I came away thinking Colt Lyerla and Issac Dixon showed some things that indicate they could help the team as role players in the fall. And despite that interception, I thought Bennett generally threw the ball pretty well.

Chris: Maybe the biggest news coming out of Wednesday's practice was the return of previously suspended walk-on quarterback, Dustin Haines. Haines, who was suspended indefinitely nearly two weeks ago.

"Yep, he's returned," Kelly stated. "We'll handle his punishment internally, we know the situation and we'll take care of it from there." 

 George Schroeder believes the O-Line will be the unit to watch at the Spring Game on Saturday and the key to how successful the regular season will be.

But pay special attention to Karrington Armstrong, Hroniss Grasu and the other guys on the offensive line. See how they perform. Then hope they get better this summer, and that significant growing pains aren’t necessary.

When next fall’s push comes to shove, they’ll be the difference.

John Hunt notes that Cliff Harris has been getting practice time at the safety position this spring.

Secondary coach John Neal said Harris has grown so much “between the ears’’ that he has experimented at times this spring with playing Harris at free safety.

"A guy like Cliff is such a natural football player – anywhere you put him, he’s a good player. I’ve been playing him a little bit at free safety just to get him comfortable there, just in case something goes wrong."


Coach Osborne on Cliff Harris - Video

Special teams coach Tom Osborne gives Cliff Harris credit for the maturity he shows on and off the field. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Aliotti and Kelly after 4-27 practice - Video

Nick Aliotti and Chip Kelly talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL. I also included the video from Comcast with Jillian Kay. The segments from Nick and Chip will be repeats but it does include brief moments with Carson York and Hroniss Grasu.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Robert Husseman notes that a few walk-ons have made the most of their spring seasons.

Oregon has 29 walk-ons on its highly regarded football team. This spring, they have turned heads with their individual efforts and climbed the depth chart.

And, it may be said, they have stolen the show from the scholarship players.

 Help in on the way for Darron Thomas as four highly regarded receivers will be joining the team this fall.

The four are Devon Blackmon, Rashaan Vaughn, Tacoi Sumler and B.J. Kelley. All come highly rated, but can any of them realistically be expected to help right away?

Possibly, according to receivers coach Scott Frost.

 Even with the four receivers coming this fall, one Oregon coach reminds us that it takes a year of practice to learn the playbook.

 Rob Moseley reports that former Notre Dame and NFL star, Todd Lyght, will be joing the Oregon staff as an intern.

 Phil Knight sat down with Oprah Winfrey yesterday for a rare interview.

 LaMichael James has been putting in extra time working on his receiving skills this spring.

Imagine that Darron Thomas, Dion Jordan and Cliff Harris just walked into your 5th grade classroom, you can just picture the excitement and smiles on their faces. It happened last month for one lucky class.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley, Chris Courtney and John Hunt have your Monday practice report.

Rob: This was a competition day between the two teams, and Darron Thomas' team beat Bryan Bennett's, 78-70. That was thanks in no small part to a late touchdown by James, capping a phenomenal sequence for him late in the day. (Rob also lists the rosters for each squad in the Spring Game.)

Chris: Unlike many of the previous practices this spring, the offense had a relatively impressive and mistake-free morning as both Thomas and Bennett threw the ball with effectiveness in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. 

The connection between Bennett and junior wide receiver Justin Hoffman was particularly potent, as the two hooked up for big plays on a number of different occasions during team drills Monday. Along with Hoffman, sophomore wide receiver Blake Cantu and tight ends David Paulson and Colt Lyerla also had standout performances in the passing game. 

John: One sideline erupted when safety Avery Patterson cracked James, who rarely gives a defender a shot in the open field. Moments later, it was James with the payback, crushing Patterson on a touchdown run.

 ESPN's College Football Live team has compiled their preseason top 25 list and has Oregon at #3 and LSU at #4.

 Ted Miller takes a closer look at the top returning passers in the Pac-12 and has Darron Thomas at #3.

 Adam Jude reports on the progress of TE Curtis White who has been plagued by a spate of nagging injuries.

 John Hunt notes that the Oregon offense is looking for some momentum heading into the final week of spring practice.


Sights and sounds from practice - CK after practice - Video

• Sights and sounds from yesterday's practice and Chip Kelly talks about coaching continuity, work still to do and honoring the troops. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Jordan, Asper, Gildon and CK on supporting the troops -Video

• Dion Jordan, Mark Asper, Chip Kelly and Anthony Gildon talk about the spring game and supporting the troops. Video courtesy of Comcast Sports Northwest.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Dale Newton thinks the 2011 defensive unit could be the best the Ducks have ever produced.

This is a whole new era for the Oregon defense.  If they continue to work the way they have this spring, they may change the identity of UO as the soft little school with the fancy offense.

They'll still be exciting and explosive, but they'll have the character to dominate opponents physically.  The shootouts, flame outs, nightmarish beatdowns and defensive collapses are a thing of the past.

 Rob Moseley names five guys whp have helped themselves on defnese this spring. His list includes,; Dion Jordan, Kiko Alonso, Troy Hill, Derrick Malone and Avery Patterson.

 Could the talented Oregon tight ends be difference makers this year? Dale Newton thinks they could.

The Ducks looked poised to do more in power sets this fall with tight ends David Paulson, Williams and Colt Lyerla all having solid springs.

These three are athletic enough to be on the field at the same time.  They'll make Oregon's offense even tougher to defend, especially in the red zone.  Third and five, third and eight don't look as difficult when a team has so many weapons, particularly big receivers with sure hands.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Here is a look back at the highlights from the 2010 Spring Game on a slow news day. This year will be the same format as the coaches have already chosen the players for each side in a mock draft that was held last week. The rosters for each side have not been announced at this time.

Should be a fun day next Saturday, just hope we have a nice day weather wise.

Rob Moseley lists 5 players who have helped themselves on offense this spring. The list includes; Karrington Armstrong, Ramsen Golpashin, Nick Cole, Colt Lyerla and Lache Seastrunk.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley, John Hunt, and Chris Courtney have your Friday practice report.

Rob: The highlight of the day was probably another session of the full-contact 3-on-3 hitting drill, with three blockers taking on three defenders in a tight, line-of-scrimmage setup, and a running back attempting to get past them. 

There were a few notable collisions up front, but for me the star of the show was LaMichael James. Early on he set up a block and cut the other direction to "score." Later he spun off a pileup that developed in front of him for another score, and moments after that he flattened lineman Axel McQuaw on the way to a third score. Finally, Colt Lyerla sealed off an end with a block and James slipped by him for yet another conversion. It was impressive in that James found so many different ways to negotiate the drill.

John: On Friday, there was a crispness to the offense, which made relatively few mistakes as spring drills wind down - Monday's practice will be the only real one remaining, as the Ducks will hold a pad-free workout Wednesday before Saturday's Spring Game.

Chris: Quarterbacks Darron Thomas and Bryan Bennett were more judicious with the ball this morning, despite the fact that many of the Oregon receivers still appear to suffer from a case of the drops. 

One drop in particular by sophomore wide receiver Nick Cole during 7-on-7 drills resulted in an interception by redshirt freshman Erick Dargan, who put an exclamation point on his already tremendous week of practice.

 Nike has introduced a camo jersey just in time for the Spring Game.

 Bob Rickert gives his impression of who has stood out in the first four weeks of spring practice.

 George Schroeder thinks that Kiko Alonso's redemption is worth celebrating. Good read.

Darron Thomas promises some "smash-mouth" football this year.

"We have to out-physical every team,'' Thomas said. "Most teams think we’re going to come out and run around and do these trick plays and run wide. We’re just going to hit teams in the mouth, beat ‘em and have ‘em say, “Wow, I don’t know what they did – it was beautiful.’’


CK, DT, LMJ, Huff, Boyett & Barner after 4/22 practice - Videos

• Chip Kelly, Darron Thomas, Josh Huff, John Boyett and Kenjon Barner talk about Friday's practice and how the team has progressed through the first four weeks of spring practice. Video courtesy of KVAL and Comcast Sports Northwest.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley shares his feature story that appeared in yesterday's R-G, on the scrimmage held Wednesday and if you click on the "slideshow" tab he has some photos to share.

 John Hunt takes another look at the dominant Oregon defense and provides some links to other interesting sports news from around the country.

 Duck Territory explains Oregon's new recruiting philosophy.

 O Heroes will be hosting their first annual student athlete talent show on May 8 from 4:30-7 pm at the McDonald Theater in downtown Eugene. Participants haven't been announced yet but you can bet the football team will be represented and it's all for a good cause.

 Athlon Sports asks if the Ducks can repeat as Pac-10/12 champions but Nathan Rush takes it one step farther.

The real question is whether the Nike Ducks will win the BCS national title this season — and what highlighter color will the championship gear be? 

Phil Knight’s favorite team plays LSU at Jerry Jones’ house to kick off the season on Sept. 3. If LaMichael James, Darron Thomas and the rest of Chip Kelly’s crew can outrun the Bayou Bengals on the $1 billion big screen in Big D, then the Ducks will be on the fast track to No. 1 in the nation — with a favorable, home-heavy Pac-12 schedule.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley, Chris Courtney, Charles Fisher, and John Hunt have your Wednesday scrimmage report.

Rob: Ricky Heimuli made two straight stops at the goal line at one point as the offense failed to score on three chances from the 2-yard line. The third try was a pass to Justin Hoffman, but Clay met him at the goal line and kept him out of the end zone, the biggest play on what again was a big scrimmage for Clay

ChrisLache Seastrunk and Daryle Hawkins did next to nothing when it came to moving the ball on the ground. Hawkins particularly struggled, fumbling twice, with one of the fumbles being returned for an 80-yard touchdown by redshirt freshman cornerback, Troy Hill. 

Charles: My feathered friends—this defense is hungry, it’s fast, it’s confident as it is obvious they know what they’re doing. This does not look like a defense replacing six starters; it looks like a veteran group that is replacing one or two starters, if that. 

John: "I've never seen anything like that, and hopefully, here, we won't again,'' offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. "Today can't happen. A Pop Warner team can't practice like that.''

 Ted Miller lists the Pac-12's top returning tacklers and thinks Kiko Alonso will the top list for Oregon at the end of the season.

 Jon Wilner has some additional thoughts on the pending Pac-12 TV negotiations.

John Hunt takes a closer look at LB Kiko Alonso.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly says Alonso is 100 percent recovered from that knee injury and that he is "running around, doing some good things.''

That's what Alonso does - he runs around, does some good things and, occasionally, some not-so-good things. He has to show he's matured - not to the Matthews level - but enough to convince the coaches they can put Alonso in the middle of the defense and breathe relatively easily.


Chip Kelly after 4-20 scrimmage - Video

• Chip Kelly talks with reporters after the scrimmage yesterday and didn't sound very happy with the offense. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley has a nice piece on Ramsen Golpashin, a fifth year senior walk-on guard.

Golpashin has endeared himself to his coaches and teammates with his work ethic and knowledge of Oregon’s offense. If he can hold on to the right guard job through the summer and into the 2011 season, he might get a chance to endear himself to fans, too, overcoming the long odds all walk-ons face when they play major college football.

 It seems that Chip Kelly's mantra, "win the day," is catching on back East.

 Dale Newton says that we can learn from Spring Games of the past and I seem to recall seeing the two videos he has embedded in the article.

What the game does do is give the young players the opportunity to run around in a game-like environment and show a little of what they can do. It motivates the team for off season workouts, and gets the fans a little more familiar with the new faces.Astute fans will be looking beyond the box score and the big offensive plays to see how the lines are meshing.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 John Hunt, Rob Moseley, and Chris Courtney have your Monday practice report.

John: Receiver Josh Huff looked like he could get on the field, as he was catching balls and trotting around apparently pain-free. Receivers coach Scott Frost said caution could win out in terms of getting Huff back playing in the Spring Game on April 30.

"He looks like he could play now,'' Frost said, "but I don't think it's a big hurry.''

Rob: Michael Clay had a couple nice plays in coverage during 7-on-7, diving to break up one attempt and streaking downfield to blanket David Paulson on another. 

The Ducks did their 3-on-3 blocking drill again, with Karrington Armstrong and Taylor Hart waging a couple interesting battles, and James looking very sharp setting up his blocks. Wade Keliikipi did a nice job at one point of shedding a Hroniss Grasu block and bringing down a back. Dungy had the catch of the day on a deep ball, sprawling out to bring it in, and Will Murphy adjusted well to an underthrown Bennett pass to make a reception. Ayele Forde trucked Brian Jackson in a red-zone scenario.

Chris: The hit of the day came courtesy of senior cornerback Anthony Gildon who blasted junior running back Kenjon Barner on a screen pass during redzone drills. 

Though Barner took some time on the turf to collect himself after the hit, he got up under his own power and walked woozily to join the team after practice was whistled over. 

 George Schroeder shares a feature story from the R-G as he looks at the camaraderie of the Oregon coaching staff.

 A.J. Jacobson has a Q&A with LB Michael Clay.

 Walk-on QB Dustin Haines was suspended after being arrested over the weekend for resisting arrest.

 Kenny Ocker details the unsung hero of the Oregon football program, equipment manager Kenny Farr.

 The Pac-10 conference has hired former NFL executive Jim Steeg to plan and execute the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship game.

 Freshman CB Troy Hill is opening some eyes at practice.

 John Hunt says Eddie Pleasant is working hard to drive away the bad memories of losing the title game.

“It’s the second year in row we lost a BCS game, and it hurts,’’ he said. “It’s a salty taste in our mouth, and there’s nothing we can do about it other than come out every day and work hard. We were at the top of the top of the pedestal, and we lost on a nationally televised game.

“It hurts right now, but we’re out here working hard to fix that problem.’’


Monday, April 18, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley notes that Oregon's secondary positions seem nailed down by returning veterans, but there are a group of youngsters making a lot of noise.

Redshirt freshman Terrance Mitchell sometimes looks like the most well-rounded cornerback on the roster while holding down a spot with the second-string defense, and on Friday he was joined on that unit by redshirt freshman Troy Hill, who turned a strong showing Wednesday into a bigger role.

Also in the mix for a spot on the two-deep is veteran junior Scott Grady, and a third redshirt freshman, Dior Mathis, is continuing to develop.

The depth at cornerback has allowed position coach John Neal to experiment with Avery Patterson, a backup corner in 2010, at safety this spring.

Dale Newton and "The Duck Stops Here" have a new home and a couple of new stories to celebrate their move to the new site.

First up Dale believes that "relationships matter" and then he quotes George Bernard Shaw when he posts: "Some men dream things that never were, and ask "Why not?"

The coaches at the University of Oregon are masters of teaching, motivation and instilling confidence. By September 3rd this team will know exactly what is expected of them. Every slide-step, every mesh, every zone blitz will be perfectly explained and repeated a thousand times. The players will be shown how to become explosively athletic in Jim Radcliffe's weight room, and they'll be taught how to unleash that explosiveness when the opponent grows tired and loses their will.


Monday Reruns - Civil War Highlights 2010 - Video

Duck Fan Perspective - The Civil War 2010 from Fowlplay2010 on Vimeo.

 As we look back at the 2010 conference games, courtesy of Fowlplay2010's "fan perspective" videos,  we get up to the final conference game of the season, the Civil War. The perfect end to a perfect season, beating the beavs in potato salad stadium 37-20.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Matt Hinton at Rival's Dr. Saturday website takes an early look at the Ducks and tries to predict how they will do in 2011.

At this point, there are no further questions about Chip Kelly's system or whether he has the talent on hand to gun it into the national elite. His brand of the up-tempo zone-read/spread option attack has generated consistent success with three very different players at quarterback.

With second-year blazer Lache Seastrunk shedding his redshirt and diminutive true freshmen De'Anthony Thomas and Tacoi Sumler joining track teammates LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner in the fall, the backfield will look even more like a day-glo electron cloud. Darron Thomas can run a little bit, too.

 Dale Newton has been impressed with the play of redshirt freshman WR Eric Dungy and thinks the Ducks might be wise to consider moving Eddie Pleasant to linebacker instead of safety.

Rob Moseley shares a feature story on Cliff Harris that appeared in yesterday's edition of the R-G.

“I love the game,” Harris said. “And I’m a winner. I don’t like to lose. The drive to win, that’s what it is. ...

“At the end of the day, you work for your season, but you want the big game. That’s what you strive for, and we feel like we came up a little bit short. That means a little more work we’ve got to put in.”

Finally, Harris is willing to do it.

“There’s been a great maturity on his part,” [Nick] Aliotti said. “If he continues to do that, he’s really going to help himself in a lot of ways.”

And he’s going to cause even more nightmares for opponents in the fall.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have your Friday practice report.

Rob: At this point, the offense has a few sure things in Thomas, James, Barner and Paulson, and some guys up front who look steady in Darrion Weems, Ryan Clanton, Karrington Armstrong, Ramsen Golpashin, Nick Cody and Mark Asper. 

But the receiving corps as a whole was underwhelming again today, with the exception of Eric Dungy, and depth on the line remains a question mark. On defense, depth at linebacker remains a concern, but the Ducks look stacked on the line and in the secondary.

Chris:  Chip Kelly also mentioned that he's been encouraged with the new leadership role junior cornerback Cliff Harris has assumed. The mercurial Harris has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, but Kelly insists that his electrifying corner has grown leaps and bounds from a maturity standpoint. 

"Cliff has matured a lot," Kelly admitted. "He'll be in his third year and he's played a lot of football during his first two years here. Cliff's starting to take over that leadership role that Talmadge left...I've been really happy with Cliff throughout the winter and what I've seen so far this spring." 

 Perhaps the best news out of the Friday practice was the return of Josh Huff sans a knee brace. Huff called the injury "just a strain."

 John Hunt talks about Cliff Harris' emergence as a leader and role model. unveils the new T-shirt for the spring game and it is now available online.

 Phil Knight will be in Chicago next Friday and will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. The air date of the interview has not been determined.

 College football will have some new rules this fall and perhaps the biggest change will be the new taunting rule.

Previously, the 15-yard penalty was assessed on the extra point attempt, 2-point conversion attempt or the ensuing kickoff. Penalties called after the player crosses the goal line still will be assessed on those plays, but live-ball fouls will be assessed at the spot of the foul and eliminate the score.


Chip Kelly, Cliff Harris, Brandon Hanna after 4/15 practice - Video

Chip Kelly, Cliff Harris and Brandon Hanna talk with reporters after yesterday's practice. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• John Hunt describes Taylor Hart as a big part of the Oregon defense.

If there is a defensive MVP this spring, it could be defensive end Brandon Hanna (or linebacker Michael Clay). Then there is the freakish quickness, speed, power and length of Dion Jordan and the emergence of Ricky Heimuli, the poor man's Haloti Ngata.

The guy we're leaving out is the one who drew the most raves after Wednesday's scrimmage, defensive tackle Taylor Hart.

"He plays really well, real fast and real hard,'' Clay said of Hart, his roommate.

Mark Asper, the other returning starter on the offensive line, said he was shocked Wednesday when Hart beat him soundly on one move.

"He dropped me on my face, and I thought, 'I thought that was Taylor Hart I was blocking,' '' said the 325-pound Asper.

Ted Miller looks at the returning 1,000 yard rushers and there are no surprises at who is number one on his list.

1. LaMichael James, Oregon: James was a Heisman Trophy finalist, a unanimous All-American and was the Doak Walker Award winner as the nation's top running back. He also has a fine singing voice and cooks a mean batch of oatmeal cookies. Rushed for 1,731 yards and 21 TDs in 2010. Only thing that might cramp his numbers is a backfield that is crowded with talent. Two 1,000-yards rushers in 2011? 

• Robert Husseman at the Daily Emerald wonders who will replace the production of Jeff Maehl and D.J. Davis.

The Register Guard has a nice collection of photos from the scrimmage on Wednesday.

• Matt Hayes at the Sporting News says Cliff "Kash" Harris talks a good game and then backs it up. 

Be sure to read the complete story to learn who Harris tries to emulate. Here is the last couple of lines from the story.

In this age of players saying the right thing and avoiding bulletin board material, Cliff Harris is a walking, talking billboard.

"We're not just making it back to the national championship game," Harris said. "As far as I'm concerned, we're making it back and winning it."

We hear you, Kash.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley and Charles Fisher (aka FishDuck) have your Wednesday scrimmage report.

Rob: Dropped passes, penalties, turnovers and bad snaps were all more prevalent today than at any other time this month.

There was very little on which the offense could hang its hat, although [Lache] Seastrunk made something out of nothing a few times when his protection broke down. Rather than a lot of dancing, he'd make a couple of cuts and then get upfield, which is what he needs to do more often in those situations.

Charles: This defense looked fast and confident, whether it was filling a run-gap responsibility or knowing when to blitz. 

The young-guns at corner have me intrigued, as Mitchell, Patterson, Mathis, and now Troy Hill take turns showing exceptional talent. I was impressed with some of Hill’s plays and was trying to recall who he reminded me of; Rob Moseley felt Hill had a “Walter Thurmond look” and I think he nailed it.

• Jon Wilner surveys the landscape of recent TV deals and how they might impact Pac-12 negotiations.

• Andy Mac reports that ABC will televise the Oregon vs LSU matchup on Sept. 3 at 5pm local time.

The matchup of what are expected to be preseason top 10 teams is one of the most anticipated non-conference games of the 2011 college football season. Oregon finished as the No. 3 team in the country last season while LSU was No. 8.

UO’s only other confirmed game time at this point is the Thursday, Oct. 6 home contest vs. Cal at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN.


Chip Kelly & John Hunt post scrimmage - Video

• Chip Kelly talks with reporters after the scrimmage yesterday and then John Hunt gives his impressions. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


Becoming a Duck - Video

A fun little behind the scenes look at a video the  U of O is shooting to release to prospective students. Video courtesy of the Daily Emerald.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley wonders if Lavasier Tuinei could be the favorite target for Darron Thomas this year.

Darron Thomas, Oregon’s second-year starting quarterback, said he’s already looking at Tuinei as a potential go-to wideout in the fall. But that’s a distinction that must be earned each and every practice.

“We need him to come out every day and be consistent, come out and show the guys what it takes,” Thomas said. “That’s one thing we’re working on with him — every play just making the effort, showing the younger guys.”

 Cliff Harris has been named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list along with 42 other players given annually to the top defensive player in college football.

 George Schroeder wonders if Washington St. and Arizona St. are being copycats as they unveiled new uniforms yesterday.

 John Hunt looks at secondary coach John Neal's recruiting style and DT's possible targets this year.

 Dale Newton thinks 2011 will be a good year but bets 2012 will be even better.

 John Canzano provides the audio to his radio interview he had yesterday with Chip Kelly.

Last but not least is Takimoto's tongue in cheek post from yesterday; "I Find Your Quack of Faith Disturbing," and likens Chip Kelly to a Sith Lord. Fun stuff.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have your Monday practice update.

Rob: Tight ends mostly had a field day this morning running pass routes against linebackers. Brandon Williams got deep over the middle against both Kiko Alonso and Dewitt Stuckey, and David Paulson made a similar play during the same drill. In 7-on-7, Paulson had a couple of nice catches against Josh Kaddu.

Though the passing game was generally strong, Darron Thomas at one point overthrew a receiver, and Cliff Harris made the interception.

Chris: Chip Kelly also recognized senior cornerback Anthony Gildon as a new leader in the secondary by virtue of his experience in the defensive backfield along with Eddie Pleasant and John Boyett. 

"I've been really happy with what Anthony's been doing this spring," Kelly stated. "He had a really good finish last year too. It's a maturation process and that's a really neat thing to see." 

 John Hunt goes into a little more detail regarding Josh Huff's injury and then provides updates on what is happening in the LSU camp.

 Rob Moseley notes that Chip Kelly has announced the 2011 squad leaders.

Ken Goe expects to see a lot more two tight end sets this year with David Paulson and Brandon Williams.

Two-tight end sets give Oregon lots of options. The Ducks can split one wide, play both tight, line them up side by side to create an unbalanced formation, or put one in the backfield to use as a blocking back on running plays or a pass protector on pass plays. 

"We're doing some more seven-man protections, using the tight end, than we have in the past," tight ends coach Tom Osborne said. "When most team use two tight ends, it's usually a heavy diet of run." 

With the Ducks, it won't be that simple.


Osborne, White, Heimuli and CK Interviews - Video

TE coach Tom Osbourne talks about his group of players and likes what he sees and then redshirt freshman TE Curtis White talks about his progress. DT Ricky Heimuli is happy with his decision to be back with the Ducks and then Chip Kelly talks about practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Dale Newton provides our link for today as he looks ahead to the LSU game where he notices the countdown has begun as they played their Spring Game and have an eye on the future game against Oregon.

The passion of Southern football is unsettling, realizing in a moment you've entered a battlefield, and time is frozen.  The only change is that the badge of courage is a different color.  The years haven't made much headway.


Monday Reruns - Arizona vs Oregon Highlights 2010 - Video

Duck Fan Perspective - Oregon vs Arizona 2010 from Fowlplay2010 on Vimeo.

As we look back at the 2010 conference games, courtesy of Fowlplay2010's "fan perspective" videos,  we get up to #8 on the list against Arizona. Watching Stoops crying on the sidelines is just a bonus to a dominant Oregon victory, 48-29.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• LB coach Don Pellum talks about the progress in replacing Casey Matthews and Spencer Paysinger and then Boseko Lokombo talks about his progress in spring practice. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Rob Moseley notes that Terrell Turner says his leg injury looks worse than it actually is and he'll be back sooner rather than later.

• Gary Brown at College Sports Matchups predicts the Pac-12 conference standings and has Oregon taking the crown.

• Dale Newton asks; "If you were Duck Czar for a day, who would you have cast in bronze for a statue outside Autzen Stadium?"

Think I would probably go with Joey Harrington, Dan Fouts and Ahmad Rashad (not counting anyone still playing.)


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ken Goe, Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have your Friday practice reports.

Ken : Josh Huff, Oregon's deep-threat receiver, suffered what appeared to be an injury to his left knee midway through practice Friday as he attempted to adjust to a long, Darron Thomas pass in the Moshofsky Center.

There was no contact on the play.

Here's hoping Huff isn't seriously injured and makes a quick recovery.

Rob: The second week of spring drills for the Oregon football team concluded with a competition day this morning, won by the defense to wrap up a strong week of practice for the guys on that side of the ball. 

The score went back-and-forth most of the practice (frankly, I got the impression it might have been massaged a little so the defense could be rewarded for strong showings Monday and Wednesday) and the defense pulled it out with some key stops in the last 11-on-11 session of the practice. In particular, I thought Josh Kaddu and Dion Jordan were standouts all week as the defense made up for losing last week's competition day. I presume the defense will wear black jerseys for the Ducks' next practice as a reward for the victory.

Chris: Junior running back LaMichael James provided a handful of offensive sparks this morning with two runs during 11-on-11 team drills that were eerily reminiscent of memorable touchdown runs last season. 

His first highlight reel run came as James rushed off tackle left before reversing field briefly then cutting back left, catching the defense out of position for a big gain and evoking memories of his 72-yard touchdown run at Tennessee. James' second run virtually mirrored his 76-yard touchdown scamper vs. Stanford, as James burst through the line and outran a pursuing Cliff Harris en route to a "touchdown." 

 Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has an idea of taking our conference global after the TV negotiations have concluded and he has experience doing just that.

Dale Newton believes Kenjon Barner needs to blossom as a receiver and then looks at the top stories two weeks into spring practice.


Chip Kelly after practice 4-8 - Video

Chip Kelly talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Classic Chip at the end of the interview. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Friday, April 08, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Ken Goe notes that Oregon is tinkering with the defense and drop end position.

Inside linebacker Michael Clay likes the way Josh Kaddu and Boseko Lokombo have taken to drop end.

"They're both tall, lanky, tough guys, and they know how to play their SAM position," Clay said.  "I think they'll be able to play the 'Kenny Rowe position,' the drop end. I think we might see that later into spring ball and fall camp."

 Jason Vondersmith says the Ducks are bigger, stronger and faster.

The fast and flashy Oregon Ducks are working on instituting some power blocking into their game during spring football practices, fully aware that Auburn pushed them around for most of the BCS National Championship Game.

 Matt Hinson says the Oregon QB, Darron Thomas, has a steady hand on the throttle.

Thomas isn't the most imposing athlete in terms of his size, speed or arm, and may not be bound for NFL riches, but there's nothing he didn't do well enough last year to keep the Ducks from averaging more yards and more points than any other offense in America.

 Rob Moseley reports that the newcomers are taking on multiple roles.

Four players joined the team this offseason, and each is making his presence known already. Junior college transfer Jared Ebert is playing defensive tackle with the second-string defense, and tight end Colt Lyerla and defensive back Issac Dixon are filling a number of special teams roles. Linebacker Tyson Coleman, another true freshman, also has the body type to help out in the kicking game for the Ducks.


Colt Lyerla trying to find his way - Video

• It's always hard to be the new kid on the block and it's no different for Colt Lyerla who has only been on campus a little more than a week. Those around him seem impressed with what they have seen to this point. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.


WR Justin Hoffman Interview - Video

Former Churchill prep star Justin Hoffman talks with reporters after the Wednesday practice. Seems like a real nice kid. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
 Rob Moseley, Ken Goe and Chris Courtney have your Wednesday practice update.

Rob: "I thought our defense has responded really well, on Monday and today," UO coach Chip Kelly said. "The offense needs to come to play Friday."

The first-string defense in particular had a strong practice, as Darron Thomas and the No. 1 offense didn't establish much momentum during the second half of the morning... The No. 2 offense led by Bryan Bennett had much more sustained success, but the day ended with an overtime drill, and neither offense was able to get into the end zone.

Ken: Linebacker Kiko Alonso had the hit of the day, when he leveled tight end Brandon Williams from the blind side.

Williams couldn't get to his feet immediately, and didn't return to practice.

"We're full speed," Kelly said, shrugging off a question. "It was a clean shot. It was one-on-one. People can get taken down one-on-one. I just don't want people diving and leaving their feet, but that wasn't a bad shot at all. That stuff happens in this game."

Chris: Tipped passes at the line of scrimmage, stingy run defense, and hard-hitting play marked the defense's performance inside the Moshofsky Center this morning.

The one offensive player who did enjoy success against the defense Wednesday was junior running back Kenjon Barner. Barner, who has seen time lined up at a myriad of positions this spring. His slashing runs and effectiveness catching the ball out of the backfield and turning it in to significant gains highlighted the offense's day. 

 Ted Miller and ESPN have a spring game viewing guide. ESPN will be broadcasting many games from around the country including the Ducks on April 30 and Stanford's this Saturday.

 Ken Goe calls LB's Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay, "impact guys."

“The thing that this group brings, their strength, is their energy,” (LB coach Don) Pellum said. “They run around. What I’m really excited about with these guys, they make a lot of plays. We tally tackles per day, and these guys get to the ball.”


Duck receivers have big shoes to fill - Video

Who will the go to receivers be this year for the Ducks? KVAL looks at the likely candidates to fill the shoes of departed seniors, Jeff Maehl and D.J. Davis.


Chip Kelly Interview after 4-6 practice - Video

• Chip Kelly talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of Molly Blue and the Oregonian.