Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

FishDuck and Keeerrrttt1 examine the Oregon Spring Game and talk about other happenings in Oregon athletics.

Patrick Malee focuses on the QB's in this article on the Spring Game.

The powerful first-impression trophy switched hands on Saturday, and both quarterbacks now enter individual summer workouts on opposing trajectories. Yet, in other ways, nothing has really changed — at least from the coaches’ viewpoint.

• Oregon moved into first place in the Pac-12 title race with a 7-1 victory over Cal on Sunday afternoon at PK Park to complete the sweep.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Oregon Spring Game Highlights

• All of the best offensive, defensive and special teams plays at the Spring Game yesterday. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you won't miss any of my future Oregon videos.


Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Tyson Coleman, Arik Armstead, Marcus Mariota, Bryan Bennett Evan Bayliss, Chip Kelly, Nick Aliotti and Mark Helfrich talk with reporters after the spring game yesterday. Video courtesy of the R-G and KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Tom Ward at KVAL wraps up the spring game.

• Everyone has a story on the spring game, our first glimpse at Marcus Mariota (who put on quite a show), the other redshirt freshmen and the true freshmen. Here are just a few of the many stories floating around Duck Nation:

Rob Moseley, Ken WoodySteve Summers, Chris Courtney, David Lieberman, Patrick Malee and Anne Peterson. Perhaps Chris Courtney's story sums up the general consensus, especially from Chip Kelly.

“I think Marcus had a really good day, but I think there’s some decisions he could make better,” said a coy Kelly, who reassured members of the media that no quarterback decision would be made until the Ducks’ season opener versus Arkansas State on September 1.

“I thought at times Bryan did some good things (too), but the tough thing when you split yourself in to teams, is sometimes I think you’re victimized by some drops or some protection things...I’m pleased with our quarterbacks. It’s not a position where I’m worried about whether it’s Bryan or Marcus next year.”

Steve Maher liked what he saw in Marcus Mariota.

Alex McDougall shares some great game spring game photos.

• A PK Park record crowd of 3,892 watched Oregon sophomore Aaron Payne drive in the game-winning run for the second day in a row as the 10th-ranked Ducks clinched the series with a 3-2 victory over California on Saturday afternoon.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Takimoto at Addicted to Quack gives you his prediction for the spring game today and breaks down what to keep an eye on.

Josh White believes there are seven things you need to watch for at the spring game.

Rob Moseley thinks the main story line today will be the quarterback battle.

“I would be shocked if it was make-or-break for either guy,” UO offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. “Just because they’ve been consistently on an uptick, and neither guy has separated himself.”

Stephen Alexander reports that Kenjon Barner is relishing his new role as the number one running back.

Patrick Malee catches up with Tacoi Sumler and gauges how he has progressed this spring.

LaMichael James was selected in the second round of the NFL draft yesterday by the San Francisco 49ers.

Aaron Jones returned last night after missing the last 8 games and sparked Oregon to a 4-1 win over Cal last night. Jones went 2-for-5 while driving in three runs.

Ted Miller has a Q&A with Nick Aliotti. Here is just one of the questions.

How about some other spring standouts. Who's impressed you? 

Nick Aliotti: [Defensive lineman] Taylor Hart, LB Michael Clay, CB Ifo [Ekpre-Olomu], safety Avery Patterson -- those guys have jumped out at me.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Tacoi Sumler shares his experiences as a red-shirt freshman, what he learned and his expectations this year. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley.

George Schroeder reports the BCS playoff system will look much different in 2014.

There's no clarity on exactly how the format will go, but beginning with the 2014 season (and a new TV contract), the BCS as we know it will radically change.

A four-team playoff is coming -- though goofily, BCS honchos refuse to call it such, referring to the idea as a "four-team event."

Position battles loom for Eddie Pleasant's old position.

Charles Fisher opens the history book and takes a look at the 2005 spring game where he got to be an official in charge of handling the down marker. Charles also has part three of his report on Chip Kelly's "coaching the spread" presentation.

Josh Schlichter calls Oregon baseball a triumphant return.

Aaron Fentress notes the competitive juices are flowing as the spring game is just around the corner.

Last year's spring game drew a school record 43,468, surpassing the 25,211 who attended in 2010. Oregon coach Chip Kelly said that last year's game raised about 67,000 pounds of food for the county food bank. UO's 2010 game raised 20,000 pounds of food.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Keeerrrttt1 goes one-on-one with former Oregon LB Blair Phillips. One of my favorite segments over at FD.

Carson York, Kenjon Barner and Brian Jackson talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL and Rob Moseley.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talks about the upcoming spring game and the last practice that was held yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have a few notes from the practice yesterday.

Rob: Nick Aliotti said that, for a certain percentage of guys, maybe 10 or 15, there's really not much to prove Saturday, and so they probably won't be asked to do a whole lot. There's much more interest in second- and third-string guys trying to prove they deserve a spot in the rotation, than on first-string guys who already have proved themselves on the field time and again.

Chris: Oregon head Chip Kelly admitted his team was “excited” for Saturday’s spring game, after the Ducks concluded the actual practice portion of spring drills Wednesday inside Autzen Stadium. Donning pads, playing with officials, and stepping foot inside Autzen with a live crowd on hand are all things Kelly says contribute to the anticipation for Saturday’s conclusion of spring practices.

Ted Miller thinks you shouldn't miss watching the spring game.

Mark Flores has his weekly recruiting update.

• Guess who is at #1 and #2 on the Athlon Sports ranking of Pac-12 running backs? If you guessed De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner you would be correct.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Jackson Rice is looking to improve on his outstanding 2011 season. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley and the R-G.

• Ronald Hill beleives that when it comes to Oregon's offense, third time is charm.

Oregon lost their Civil War game yesterday at PK Park 7-1.

• Adam Jude reports Dion Jordan, the “Praying Mantis,” going in search of bigger prey.

The Praying Mantis — quick, long-limbed and a master of deception — is devouring everything within his reach. Now, the 6-foot-7, 245-pound senior defender is getting greedy.

“I want to get my hands on the rock, man,” Jordan said, smiling. “It’s been awhile since I’ve scored a touchdown.”


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Koa Ka'ai (RS freshman-DE), Kenjon Barner, Tony Washington, Nick Aliotti, and Anthony Wallace talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL, MaxWilliams247 and Rob Moseley.

Josh Schlichter has this weeks FishDuck Minute where he breaks down the "deadly pass play."


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly answers reporters question surrounding the spring game after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley have some notes from the practice yesterday.

Chris: Over the weekend, the Oregon coaching staff conducted a “draft” to determine who the two sides would be come Saturday. While Kelly said that the spring rosters won’t be finalized and made available to the public until Wednesday, Kenjon Barner revealed that Bryan Bennett will be his quarterback, while quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De'Anthony Thomas will lead the opposing team.

Rob: There is one more practice, Wednesday, before Oregon plays its spring game on Saturday. Rosters have been determined after the coaches held a draft over the weekend, but Chip Kelly said today they won't be finalized and publicized until at least Wednesday, in case any last tweaks are needed due to injuries or the like.

• The Sporting News has named De'Anthony Thomas one of Sporting News' Top 25 players in college football. DAT came in at #14.

• The Ducks fell two spots to #10 in the latest Baseball America rankings after losing 2 of 3 the the Cougs.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Keeerrrttt1 posted his 39th weekly Vlog and talks about the following Oregon athletics topics:

Monumental events in Duck sports this week (0:33), Oregon relays (2:07), Acrobatics & Tumbling going for he championship (2:51), Spring football (3:20), Music Video Shoot (4:43), Update (5:26), Random Tweet of the Week (7:31), Music Recommendation of the Week: (7:43)...

Kurt also wonders what really draws recruits to Oregon in this article.

• My first trip to PK Park wasn't the win I was hoping for but it was a beautiful Oregon day and the Ducks never gave up. WSU ending up winning 10-6. Oregon hosts the beav trash Tuesday at 6pm.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• James Euscher (redshirt OL) talks with reporters after practice recently. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley.

Rob Beard is trying to get healthy while Alejandro Maldonado is working hard to increase his range in this story.

With senior Rob Beard recovered from the quadriceps issue that limited him last fall but now nursing a back problem, Maldonado has had ample opportunity to create those good habits in practice this spring. His development showed in Oregon’s first major scrimmage of April, in which he connected on a 50-yard kick.

“I’m staying healthy, working hard, doing extra stuff on my own,” Maldonado said. “My leg swing is faster. I feel good, more athletic, lighter.”

The baseball team lost to WSU yesterday 8-3 in a rare loss. Hopefully they clinch the series with a win today at noon. But how about that Yankee victory yesterday, amazing.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Ayele Forde, Kenny Bassett, Avery Patterson, and Mark Helfrich talk with reporters after practice this week. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley and MaxWilliams247.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talks with reporters as the third week of practice came to a close. Video courtesy of MaxWilliams247.

Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have some notes about the practice yesterday.

Rob: Kelly said De'Anthony Thomas' role within the offense should expand this season, no doubt a scary notion for opponents.

"We didn't give him everything last year," Kelly said. "It was, 'Hey, you don't have to worry about that, because we're not going to call it if you're in. But (now) he's got the whole package, both at wide receiver and running back."

Chris: When it comes to the competition Bennett and Mariota, Helfrich offered a grade of “incomplete” when asked to assess their respective performances thus far this spring, though he admitted he was “very happy” with the progress they’ve made.

Jeffrey Martin had a Q&A with Kenjon Barner.

• Rob Moseley notes the walk-on running backs are heading in the right direction, on and off the field.

Aaron Fentress reports the draft process for the spring game allows the coaches to have a little fun.

John Canzano talks (audio podcast) with Oregon pitcher Jordan Spencer about his no-hitter earlier in the week.

From, another solid start from Alex Keudell and a pair of extra-base hits from Kyle Garlick led the eighth-ranked Ducks to a 6-2 series-opening victory over Washington State on Friday night at PK Park.

The Ducks are in action again on Saturday, as Oregon plays game two of the three-game weekend series with the Cougars. Right hander Jake Reed  (4-2, 2.19) will take the mound for the Ducks, opposite southpaw Joe 
Pistorese (2-2, 2.78) for the Cougars.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Marcus Mariota, John BoyettRahsaan Vaughn, Keanon Lowe and Kenjon Barner talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly always tells it like it is and disputes a few of the numbers from the ESPN report after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Josh takes a look at the toughest matchups for the 2012 season and has some good cop - bad cop scenarios.

Charles Fisher has part two of his article on Chip Kelly's efficient use of practice time article.

Could be time to start thinking big when it comes to the baseball team.

The trick for UO will be to successfully navigate through the games it should be expected to win while at least holding its own against Arizona and OSU. Should Oregon accomplish these goals, it could maintain a high ranking in both the Top 25 and RPI, putting the Ducks in position to potentially host a regional tournament.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Keeerrrttt1 talks one-on-one with U of O graduate Dan Rubenstein who has a huge following as part of the Solid Verbal podcast team. Always good stuff.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• In what I consider to be a non-story, ESPN sent the Tiwtter-sphere on fire yesterday with their tell-all story about college football and smoking pot in which Oregon was prominently featured.

Let me see, college kids smoke pot, yes I know it's not legal but it happens everywhere, not just Oregon. I could link countless articles but they are all making something out of nothing. Enough said, it happens.

• Rob Moseley reports the second Oregon scrimmage got favorable reviews and it seems Daryle Hawkins and Doir Mathis stood out.

Receiver Daryle Hawkins drew mention from both Kelly and Helfrich for his play Tuesday, as did quarterbacks Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota. On defense, cornerback Dior Mathis’ leaping interception of a jump ball was one of the day’s highlights, players said.

• David Melo has a Q&A with former Oregon OL Darrion Weems.

Charles shares one of his scrimmage reports from 2005.

• Freshman left hander Jordan Spencer through a no-hitter last night against Portland as the #8 Ducks won 3-0. Spencer talks about his performance with KVAL in this video.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Jake Fisher, Kenjon Barner, Mark Helfrich and Chip Kelly talk with reporters after the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of MaxWilliams247 and Rob Moseley.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney share notes about the scrimmage yesterday. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley and the R-G.

Rob: "There were some highlight plays," UO coach Chip Kelly said. "I thought Daryle Hawkins had a nice day today. Marcus (Mariota) played pretty good. Bryan (Bennett) did a decent job in there. It just depends. You'll see a guy make a good play, but then you watch the film and you missed a couple things."

Chris: Oregon’s second scrimmage of the spring took place Tuesday, as head coach Chip Kelly said the Ducks got off 141 total team snaps this morning inside Autzen Stadium. According to Kelly, the high volume of snaps today was a lot, even for Oregon’s lofty standards. 

“Usually we’re in the 120 (range),” said Kelly.

• Jeffrey Martin notes Nick Aliotti is "cautious" about the defesive unit.

He’s going to worry, even when he admits there might not be much to worry about.

Nick Aliotti can’t help himself. The Oregon defensive coordinator likes what he has seen thus far from his unit, pleased with the effort and the knowledge his Ducks have exhibited. But it’s only April, when everyone often seems destined for stardom.

Ty and Dan of the Solid Verbal talk with former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti about the following topics:

His new perspective from the announcing booth, his penchant for spring football, dealing with character issues, hiring assistant coaches, and hitting a hole-in-one with cameras rolling.

Ted Miller reports there is one priority in a new playoff system, keeping the Rose Bowl.

Mark Flores has his weekly recruiting update.

Jeffrey Martin gets a brief national perspective of the baseball team with Baseball America's writer Kendall Rogers.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Kenjon Barner and Tony Washington talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL and Rob Moseley.

Charles Fisher breaks down the "universal formation" this week in the FishDuck Tutorial.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talk with reporters after practice yesterday on the progress of the early arrivals and Michael Clay among other topics. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have notes from practice yesterday.

Rob: The Ducks were in helmets only for the third time this spring, as mandated by NCAA rules. They'll hold their second situational scrimmage Tuesday, with officials on hand as was the case for a similar workout last week.

Chris: Maybe the biggest question mark of all is how well will the Ducks replace departed senior tight end, David Paulson. The position, as it currently stands, doesn’t lack raw, but largely unproven, talent. Colt Lyerla, Christian French and Evan Baylis have been competing for reps this spring as they wait for true freshman Pharaoh Brown to join the fray come August and the start of fall camp. Of all the tight ends expected to compete for legitimate playing time next season, Lyerla is the only one with game experience.

• Aaron Fentress reports the Ducks seek creative isolation with closed spring practices.

Whether closing practices actually creates a competitive advantage has been theorized but never proved either way. But for now, at least, closing practices appears to be the new norm at Oregon and while some team members say they don't notice either way, others enjoy the isolation.

"You feel comfortable just going out there executing, not worrying about distractions or the media being in there or the fans, or anything," UO running back Kenjon Barner said. "Just come in there and strictly focus on football."

Jerod Young takes a look at what history tells us about the Oregon baseball program.

Oregon senior right-hander Alex Keudell was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the second week in a row, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday. The Ducks also jumped up to #8 in the latest rankings and they beat Arkansas Pine Bluff last night 3-2.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Keeerrrtt1 has posted his 38th Vlog where he talks about the following Oregon athletic topics:

Oregon spring game (0:40), New national championship? (3:41), Oregon baseball (4:21) Track & Field update (5:30), Softball (6:39), Lacrosse (7:06), update (8:40), Random tweet of the week (11:40), Music Recommendation of the Week: (11:52)...

• Ronald Hill says these days the Oregon program is simply reloading, not rebuilding.

Adam Jude shares a feature story from the Sunday R-G that focuses on Kiko Alonso.

That was evident in Oregon’s Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, when Alonso, a backup linebacker, was named the defensive player of the game. He had five tackles, including 1 1/2 sacks, and his diving interception set up the Ducks’ go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter.

“People on the team knew he had that in him,” Michael Clay said. “For him to showcase that on the national stage, it made him a household name. Kiko’s sense of confidence just shot up from that.”

Alonso is now penciled in as Oregon’s starting middle linebacker entering his fifth year on campus.

“He could be a dominating football player,” UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Sophomore linebacker Derrick Malone Jr. talks with reporters yesterday about his progress during spring practice. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Steve Maher reminds us to "read between the lines" when watching all of the spring practice videos. Sometimes, what's not said, really does say a lot. Good read.

Rob Moseley takes a deeper look at the linebacker position and how Oregon keeps filling the holes when folks graduate.

Credit Don Pellum and coordinator Nick Aliotti for developing that bounty of talent. But also, Oregon’s heavy rotation of players on defense the last few years helped not just in the short term, keeping the Ducks fresh from play to play, but in the long term as well, providing substantial experience for backups who will start in the future.

• Another day, another win as the baseball team took down #6 Stanford yesterday.

Freshman Jake Reed pitched seven shutout innings, and Ryon Healy homered as No. 16 Oregon claimed the series win with a 5-0 shutout of No. 6 Stanford at Sunken Diamond on Saturday afternoon.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Junior linebacker Keloni Kamalani talks with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talks with reporters after the second week of practice concluded yesterday. Video courtesy of OregonSportsNet.

Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney have notes from practice yesterday.

Rob: A major question lingering about this team is its depth at the skill positions, where there's very little returning experience behind the returning starters, like Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff. Kelly said that remains an issue through eight spring practices.

Chris: The player grabbing the most spotlight in the defensive trenches is true freshman, Arik Armstead. Regarded as one of the nation’s top players coming out of high school in the class of 2012, Kelly says that Armstead is already beginning to make an impression on him.

George Schroeder wonders if Oregon has become a "plug-and-play" system.

Rob Moseley takes a closer looks at one of the position groups that lack much experience, the tight ends.

Aaron Fentress looks at the progress Arik Armstead is making.

The baseball team beat Stanford last night, 4-2, in ten innings.

Ted Miller believes Oregon's "most important" player (excluding QB's) is Kenjon Barner.

Barner is the clear choice for his own value and for what losing him would force the Ducks to do in order to adjust. Start with who Barner is: He's gained 1,836 yards rushing -- 6.1 yards per carry -- and scored 20 rushing TDs over the previous three seasons as LaMichael James' backup. He's also caught 34 passes for 335 yards with five scores and returned kicks and punts. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior has long been one of the best and most versatile running backs in the Pac-12, only he played behind one of the best RBs in conference history. This season is his chance to shine, so you'd expect him to be highly motivated to showcase his own skills.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

GoDucksdotcom and Bryan Bennett give you an insider access look at the Oregon locker room.

Chip Kelly, Marcus Mariota, Keanon Lowe, and Christian French talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of Molly Blue, OregonSportsNet and Rob Moseley.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Daryle Hawkins talks with reporters after practice yesterday and Rob Moseley has the associated article covering practice yesterday.

After practice, Nick Aliotti reviewed the defense. Not surprisingly, Dion Jordan and Taylor Hart have been standouts on the line, but Aliotti did say that Arik Armstead is making steady progress. One of his chief concerns in linebacker depth, and after following up with senior Michael Clay, it sounds like Oregon's second unit right now is Rodney Hardrick, Derrick Malone and Keloni Kamalani.

Chris Courtney also had notes on spring practice number seven.

All spring, Kelly has stated that the only thing he’s looking for -- out of any position -- is improvement from practice to practice. In assessing the quarterback battle, Kelly says he has seen just that.

“I think they really are starting to get a pretty good grasp of what we’re doing and understanding of where to go with the ball,” Kelly said Thursday. “If it’s 3rd and 6, why are you looking downfield when you can get a first down...I think they’re doing that now, where before, they were going through the progressions, but now really understanding of what we’re calling based on down and distance.”

• Over at, Josh White looks at seven of the most menacing "mallards" while Charles Fisher opens the history book and looks back at one of his scrimmage reports from the spring of 2005.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley and other reporters talk to Rashaan Vaughn about the Tuesday scrimmage, and how practice and the other players are fairing this spring.

Vaughn is battling for playing time with, among others, the Ducks’ hard-charging class of redshirt freshman receivers — Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler — and indeed has taken a backseat to those unproven but promising prospects in the minds of many outside the program. The same goes for Oregon’s other recent JC transfers, with senior offensive lineman Ryan Clanton somewhat overlooked in favor of four redshirt freshmen in the hype department, and defensive lineman Jared Ebert poised to break out following a redshirt season but overshadowed by incoming freshman Arik Armstead.

• Charles has the first of a three part series on Chip Kelly's "efficient use of practice time" as noted in a Nike coaches clinic last year.

• Josh looks at how Chip finally got the BCS title after three attempts and what might come in the future.

• Aaron Fentress looks at the competition to replace Eddie Pleasant.

• Jeffrey Martin notes that former Oregon QB Nate Costa would like to be your kid's football guru.

In Costa’s native California, personal football tutoring has become serious business. Costa, who lives in Eugene after a brief stint with the Springfield police department, sensed a void in Oregon.

Now, despite steady current work from Comcast Sports Net and some radio work, he’s ready to branch out to a field that hasn't quite exploded here.

“I think my knowledge is being wasted on TV and radio,” Costa said. “I can only say so much... It takes one on one, a hands-on approach.”


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

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


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley posed questions to senior LB Michael Clay after practice yesterday.

Chris Courtney and Rob Moseley have notes from spring practice #6.

Chris: According to Clay, this was the first instance in which the team participated in live tackling since the Rose Bowl, hence, the focus Tuesday was on being physical, getting back to fundamentals, wrapping one’s head around schemes and sets.

Rob: Special teams coordinator Tom Osborne said of today's scrimmage, "from a protection standpoint, we did probably as good as you could ever ask for the first time through."

Osborne said Alejandro Maldonado also looked good kicking the ball, including punts; Osborne said Maldonado was playing through an injury last season, and the implication is that Maldonado is now performing to a higher level because he's healthy. (Maldonado was originally recruited as both a punter and placekicker.)

• The future of the NFL? More like the Oregon offense according to this article at Smart Football.

The ATQ crew talks with Rob Moseley about spring practice (audio podcast.)

Aaron Fentress reports that Rahsaan Vaughn is striving to be the go to wide receiver.

Mark Flores posted his weekly recruiting update.

• In baseball action, the Ducks beat USF for the second time 4-1.

Adam Jude believes it is Kenjon Barner's time to shine.

Barner has been dynamic in several roles the past three seasons, even excelling as a spot starter when James was injured last season. UO coach Chip Kelly said recently that he expects Barner to be one of the best backs in the country next season, and Barner enters his senior season drawing some Heisman buzz.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Charles shows us a new play in the Oregon arsenal, the trap play, in the FishDuck Minute.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Devon Blackmon and Chip Kelly talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Devon talks about sitting out last season, his impressions of his classmates and trying to make an impact this year. Video courtesy of Rob Moseley and Molly Blue.

• Chris Courtney has notes from spring practice yesterday.

Monday ushered in the start of the second week of spring practice for the Ducks, as Oregon head coach Chip Kelly stated that his team looked sharp again, while also mentioning that his kickers received extensive work this morning. Senior Rob Beard and junior Alejandro Maldonado will compete once again for the job of starting placekicker after Maldonado served as Oregon’s primary kicker on extra points and field goals as Beard was hamstrung with a nagging injury last season. 

“We got some chances to kick,” said Kelly after practice Monday. “We had great effort protecting those guys and it was the first time we saw those guys kick. They all hit their shots down there in the redzone. You don’t get to do it too many times, but it was good to get some live kicking.”

Rob Moseley also had this comment from Chip Kelly regarding new kicking rules coming this fall.

Kelly said he'll review with the officials new rules in place for the 2012 season, notably those affecting kickoffs. In hopes of avoiding particularly violent collisions that can lead to major injury, kicks will be placed at the 35-yard line rather than the 30, a touchback will go out to the 25-yard line rather than the 20, and players on the kickoff team can only get a 5-yard head start before the kick.

Baseball fans will like the Pac-12 Player of the Week honors bestowed upon sophomore outfielder Brett Thomas (was named Pac-12 Player of the Week,) and senior right-hander Alex Keudell (was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for April 2-8.)... and they beat USF last night 4-2.


Monday, April 09, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Keeerrrttt1 has posted his 37th Vlog and has the following topics this week:

Oregon baseball (0:25), Oregon spring football (0:56), UO spring sports update (4:51), update (6:34), Random tweet of the week (9:38), Music Recommendation of the Week (9:51)...


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

TheSeanGshow has a compilation of some of the greatest play in Duck history. Very nice.

• Stephen Alexander talks about the experience and depth on the Duck defense.

“We just have a lot of guys who fly around and a lot of guys who come to work every day,” Nick Aliotti says. “Guys have that will to win on our defense.”

Keeerrrttt1 looks an an unprecedented era of success in Oregon athletics.

Rob Moseley shares his feature store on the quarterback competition from the Sunday R-G.

Some current and former student athletes took the time to say "thank you" to the financial contributors who make scholarships possible for them to participate in sports and receive a quality education.

• Aaron Fentress reports the spring drills hold the promise of a deep offensive line next season.

Returning veterans and a host of recent recruits have created a stacked offensive line. Up to 11 deep, all potentially capable of contributing next fall without much drop off between the starters and the backups.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Marcus Mariota, Bryan Bennett, Dion Jordan and Tom Osborne talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talks with reporters after the final day of practice this week. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Rob Moseley notes that the "stars" got to take it easy in practice yesterday.

I'd heard earlier in the week that John Boyett was being limited, at least at the start, to help him recover from injuries that nagged him last fall. Sounds like Josh Huff is getting the same treatment after playing through a stress fracture last season, as senior receiver Justin Hoffman said both he and Huff are working primarily as mentors to the young wideouts right now.

Steve Maher has some great examples of why you should be following Andy McNamara on Twitter.

Chris Courtney also had some notes from practice yesterday.

“We had too many drops today, but it’s been a good first four days and we’ll see how they can bounce back,” stated Kelly. “They’re starting to get in to a rhythm of how we’re doing things now and once that newness wears off -- you’re always fired up the first couple days of practice -- and once you get to practice six, seven, eight, nine; when you get to the finish line, is when you can really test yourself.” 


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas, Brian Jackson, Ryan Clanton, Nick Cody, and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of OregonSportsNet, KVAL, and the Register Guard.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly talks with reporters after the first day in pads. Video courtesy of KVAL.

Eugene native Curtis White hangs it up after two injury plagued seasons.

• Oregon baseball clinched their series with UCLA yesterday with a 8-3 victory. Final game set for today at noon in LA.

Rob Moseley and Chris Courtney talk about  the third day of practice.

Rob: Kelly said he was happy with the intensity of the helmets-only workouts Tuesday and Wednesday, but by the nature of the game, things ratcheted up a notch when pads went on today, he said.

Chris: Despite the fact DAT has added a bit more muscle to his frame since the end of last season and “continues to get better and better,” according Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell, Campbell himself admits he is unsure whether Thomas can provide a steady lift to the running game in Barner’s stead. 

“I don’t have any questions about his [Thomas’] durability right now because we haven’t hit him,” said Campbell, “but that’s yet to be seen. When he starts to take a few hits, he’s getting tired, that’s when you really see what a guy’s stamina is. 

“I think it’s going to be similar to how we used him last year,” Campbell said, as he projected the talented sophomore’s role next season. “With a few more carries involved.” 


Friday, April 06, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Carson York talks about his rehab after knee surgery and Mark Helfrich talks about the WR and QB competition. Video courtesy of KVAL.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

John Boyett gives you an all-access tour of Autzen Stadium from a players perspective to the suite of Phil Knight. Video courtesy of

Rob Moseley looks at how defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti guards against complacency with a veteran defensive group.

With seven Rose Bowl starters back on defense — a number that doesn’t include top reserves like Kiko Alonso and Bo Lokombo — Aliotti might be expected to feel a sense of calm as preparations for the 2012 season get under way this month. But his demeanor Tuesday wasn’t rooted in confidence; rather, it masked a search for complacency among his veterans, he said.

“Day one, I just wanted to watch to see where they were, and hope they understand that, although we’ve had great success, it’s a whole new deal,” Aliotti said. “It doesn’t matter.”

• Jeffrey Martin has a Q&A with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

John Canzano shares his audio podcast when he spoke with offesive lineman Carson York.

• Charles shares one of his early (2007) spring practice scrimmage reports as a fun way to look back at some early projections and thoughts of the various players.

Josh White opens the history book to 1998 and looks at the season Akili Smith had that year.

• Aaron Jones, Alex Keudell power No. 22 Oregon baseball past No. 5 UCLA in a 6-2 victory yesterday.

• The University of Oregon football program will conduct its annual women's football clinic on Thursday, April 19, from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Moshofsky Center, located adjacent to Autzen Stadium. Registration required.

• Stephen Alexander notes the similarities and differences between Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota.

“The difference between Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota, I don’t know,” Helfrich says. “As people, Bryan is a bit more immediately outgoing. Marcus is a very funny, very engaging, very smart, very charismatic guy. But he’s more of a naturally quiet guy. That would be some of the ways that they’re different. But, they’re pretty similar guys. They’re both really good guys, they work hard, they’re tough, they’re smart.”


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Keeerrrttt1 talks one-on-one with former Oregon CB Erik Edwards. I always enjoy these and Kurt does a great job.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Chip Kelly talks about leadership after the second day of practice. Video courtesy of OregonSportsNet.

Rob Moseley calls it a 50-50 race between Bennett and Mariota for the QB spot.

Mark Helfrich said, with the idea they’ll keep pushing each other all the way past the spring game April 28 and into the summer and fall.

“We just try to put those guys in as many different scenarios as we can, roll the ball out there, and let them determine who plays,” Helfrich said.

It's sink or swim for the new recruits on day two.

Arik Armstead, the most high-profile recruit in the Ducks’ 2012 class, joined tight end Evan Baylis and quarterback Jake Rodrigues as true freshmen who graduated high school early and enrolled at the UO in time to start spring practices.

“Jump in the deep end and start swimming, son,” UO coach Chip Kelly said.

• David Melo has a great Q&A with former Gang Green member, Mark Schmidt. Here is my favorite question and answer.

What victory would you classify as the biggest win of your career?

“As a team, the most memorable game was the 1994 Washington Game at Autzen Stadium, it really put Oregon on the map.  Here was a dominant team with Napoleon Kaufman as the key against the ‘Gang Green’ upstart defense – did people believe in it or not?  It was a huge momentum swing, not only in the Gang Green Defense, but I think in Oregon Athletics as a whole.  It was like, ‘Hey, we’ve arrived, we’re on the scene, and we’re for real.’  To see how our fans in a packed house reacted and how they believed and supported us; I think the fans had as much to brag about as we did on the field.  We were the ones who got all the glory and won it, but the fans and momentum they had in that sellout crowd played into a part of success for Oregon Football.”


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Duck Fan Perspective - Pac 12 Championship 2011 from Fowlplay2010 on Vimeo.

• Fowlplay 2010 has another one of his "fan perspective" videos ready for you as he looks back at the Pac-12 Championship game against UCLA.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Chip Kelly, Kenjon Barner, and John Boyett talk with reporters after practice yesterday. Video courtesy of OregonSportsNet, KVAL and the Register Guard.

• Aaron Fentress reports running back can now step into the spotlight.

"I think he's ready for that role of being the guy," UO running backs coach Gary Campbell said. "I think he wants that. Most guys of that caliber want that role. But it's, can you handle it? That's the thing."

• Rob Moseley has a few notes and photos from day one of practice plus the initial spring roster.

Mark Flores has his weekly recruiting update and focuses on incoming OL Kyle Long.

Ted Miller lists the top Pac-12 newcomers where you'll find Arik Armstead.

The true freshman arrives in Eugene this spring after one of the more closely watched recruiting sagas on the West Coast. While more than a few folks believe the 6-foot-8, 280 pounder is a prototypical left OFFENSIVE tackle, he's going to at least start off on defense at Oregon. He's athletic enough to play end, and could immediately be in the picture to replace the departed Terrell Turner.

• The Oregon football team is set to to go bowling in the 2nd annual Oregon Football Bowling Tournament on April 14th in memory of Officer Chris Kilcullen.

• John Canzano has an audio podcast with his special guest, former Oregon All-American Mel Renfro.

• Aaron Fentress says there are five questions facing the Ducks during spring practice. The biggest one on my list is number two on Aaron's.

Can the Ducks find new playmakers among the 15 wide receivers on the roster in order to take pressure away from the running game and create even more mismatches on the perimeter?


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Josh Schlichter analyzes the short pass utilized by several coaches in the Pac-12.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Oregon Baseball - ASU Series Intro from Fowlplay2010 on Vimeo.

• I know, it's not football, but still a pretty cool video celebrating a historic Oregon sweep of ASU this past weekend. Video courtesy of Foulplay2010.

Ted Miller looks at the QB competition and has some last minutes notes regarding Oregon before spring practice starts later today.

On the QB's: Three years ago, the Ducks starting QB was only of local, perhaps regional interest. After three consecutive conference titles, it's now a position of national import. The last three Ducks QBs have been in Rose Bowl and national title hunts.

The expectations aren't any lower in 2012, even with Thomas' surprising/not-so-surprising decision.

Aaron Fentress previews the return game as spring practice starts.

Oregon has no shortage of gifted candidates to return kicks and punts. The only real question is if De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner remain in that role with increased duties in the offense. Depth at running back could be a concern, so coach Chip Kelly could determine that exposing his top two backs to added punishment is not the best way to go. Then again, continuing to use Thomas' explosive speed and open-field moves might prove too seductive to resist. If LaMichael James can return punts, any starter can. Punt returner would appear to be up for grabs. Thomas and Barner returned a handful last year. Defensive backs Avery Patterson and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu could be candidates as well.


Monday, April 02, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Aaron Fentress previews the cornerbacks and linebackers heading into spring practice.

CB: The secondary was picked on a little last season by opposing teams, partly out of desperation to catchup and also because of the number of plays allotted due to Oregon's offense. Still, UO looks to tighten the screws in the secondary.

LB: The top three returners are obvious. Senior Michael Clay finished second on the team with 102 tackles last season. Middle linebacker Kiko Alonso received Rose Bowl defensive MVP honors. Boseko Lokombo has a penchant for big plays, delivering three touchdowns.

Charles Fisher explains the origins of the "FishDuck" name. Charles also shares the explanation of the Oregon spread offense by Chip Kelly that is readily available to the public.

Carson York is ahead of schedule as he recovers from knee surgery which is good news.

• Dale Newton beleives the 2012 version of the Ducks will be better than last year.

The Ducks start practice on Tuesday, and they'll have 15 sessions to make a down payment on greatness. With two very focused and talented young quarterbacks, a stout defense anchored by veteran leadership, and a wealth of talented newcomers itching to make a Momba-like impact in their first season, Chip Kelly's fourth squad is highly likely to have a memorable and amazing season, the kind that puts a spring in your step as you look forward to Game Day, a growl in your throat as you crack open the first cold beverage at the tailgate. This team can be very, very good.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• Steve Maher opens the history book and looks at how things have changed in football since the later 1800's.

So when the 2012 Ducks go over some new rules this spring — kickoffs are moving from the 30 to the 35-yard line and touchbacks from the 20 to the 25-yard line — keep in mind what all the players from the past 124 years have had to endure.

The baseball team won a double header yesterday against #14 ASU. Series finale today at noon at PK Park or on Comcast Sports Northwest.

• Jeffrey Martin reports that spring practice will start on Tuesday with the usual expectations.

More than anything, the next month is about reinforcing the method.

"Did we get better as a group? Did we learn something? It all starts with our approach," Kelly said. "The guys in our program right now understand what that approach needs to be. All of the older guys teaching the younger guys exactly what your mindset is when you step on the practice field -- are you trying to get by in practice or are you trying to improve in practice?

"I think we see how the Michael Clays, the Josh Huffs, the Kenjon Barners, guys like that practice, and it really rubs off on the younger guys."