Tuesday, January 31, 2012
It means Cal, UW and USC didn't get him.
If the young man from Sacramento applies himself on the practice field and in the weight room and classroom, he can become a great, dominating college football player.
• ESPN's Craig Haubert (via Ted Miller) believes Armstead would help the Ducks on the O-line.
He's a good fit for their offensive scheme with his combination of size and athletic skills. He can quickly come off the ball low and hard, knock defenders back and, at times, dominate them in the run game.
• Ty and Dan @The Solid Verbal talk recruiting news which includes the surprise Oregon signing of Arik Armstead.
• Under the can't win them all category, Aaron Fentress reports Armstead's good friend, safety Shaq Thompson has given his verbal commitment to Washington.
• Ty and Dan @The Solid Verbal talk recruiting news which includes the surprise Oregon signing of Arik Armstead.
• Under the can't win them all category, Aaron Fentress reports Armstead's good friend, safety Shaq Thompson has given his verbal commitment to Washington.
• Dale Newton believes Oregon can finish strong in recruiting if the land a few key players. Here are two from his list:
Bralon Addison and Chance Allen: The two swift, athletic wide receivers visited Oregon this week and are childhood friends, playing at rival schools a few miles from each other in Missouri City, Texas. Both originally committed to other schools but came away impressed by their Oregon visit.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:33 AM
Monday, January 30, 2012
Aaron Fentress compares Armstead to Haloti Ngata.
Ted Miller wonders if Armstead's good friend, (five star safety) Shaq Thompson will choose Oregon to join his buddy.
• Aaron Fentress has a mini-profile on Oregon commit QB Jake Rodrigues.
The 2012 recruit committed to Oregon in May, graduated from high school in December and enrolled at UO this month, making him eligible to join the team this spring.
So while Bennett, who appeared in several games last fall, and Mariota, a highly-touted and viable challenger, are the front-runners, Rodrigues could very well find himself in the mix in the near future.
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com wonders if the "Nike-U" nicknake should be changed to "X's & O's University?
The University of Oregon has long been a place of tremendous individual talents, even when the team performances were not noteworthy. From the College/NFL Hall of Famers that once graced the Oregon sidelines (14 in total) to the long lineage of recognizable coaches that at one time did the same, Oregon always has and continues to be a place of both tremendous long-term loyalty while developing some of the greatest football minds.
Really good story by Kurt, read the rest here.
Posted by Mike Wines at 7:12 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com shares his 27th vlog and discusses the following topics:
Chip Kelly rumors (0:37), Basketball update (4:50), FishDuck.com update (6:00), Don't contact recruits (8:56), Random Tweet of the Week (10:42), Music Recommendation of the Week: CHARLES BRADLEY (10:54)
Duck fans should be excited because: Grandview coach John Schultz said the Ducks are getting a tremendous athlete who loves contact and just so happens to catch the ball very well.
“He’s one of the best players we’ve had come through Grandville High School,” he said.
• Steve Maher @FishDuck.com looks back at the lessons learned from the "Kelly-not Saga."
• Aaron Fentress believes the Ducks find that recruiting offensive linemen on the national level a real challenge.
Although over the years the Ducks have reeled in big fish from across the country at other positions, none has been of the 300-pound variety that does the heavy lifting in any offense. For that reason, Oregon hasn't made a hard push to seek linemen beyond the West.
• Dale Newton assesses Oregon's immediate needs in recruiting. Here are just a couple of Dale's thoughts:
As the signings come in and the glowing reviews of the classes are posted, it's important to remember that the impact and proof of a given class comes in two or three years. Only a handful of players will contribute immediately. Most are not physically or psychologically ready for an immediate leap to big-time college football.
Looking at the 2012 Ducks, however, there are a few clear opportunities for freshman and redshirt freshman to make an immediate contribution and compete for early playing time.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:28 AM
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Oregon again was the conference's top offense in total offense, scoring and rushing.
• George Schroeder calls OC Mark Helfrich a coach on the rise.
Helfrich is overshadowed as offensive coordinator in a system that’s widely and correctly seen as Kelly’s creation. Kelly calls the plays, sure. But when the coaches say it’s a collaboration, it is. The offense is constantly evolving, and Helfrich’s input has been a significant part of Oregon’s success.
All of which is to say: Helfrich has the tools. He’ll be a very good head coach someday.
• ESPN's KC Joiner predicts Kenjon Barner will be a breakout running back in 2012.
• Ken Goe reports Darron Thomas got the phone call he was waiting for, an invite to the NFL combine.
• Dale Newton will be running special recruiting coverage for 96 straight hours, a sort of and one stop shop for Oregon recruiting news.
• Aaron Fentress has another mini-preview, this time it's Oregon commit 6'5" WR Dwayne Stanford.
As a tall receiver, Stanford said he paid a lot of attention to 6-5 UO wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei.
“I can bring something similar to L.T.,” he said. “I want to bring something like that maybe with a little bit more speed. Really the best of both worlds, big receiver with the speed of a little guy.”
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:16 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012
Duck fans should be excited because: Fans who have fallen in love with the play of 6-7, 240-pound UO defensive end Dion Jordan – meet his clone.
Buckner will be the next tall defensive end to roam Autzen Stadium and his high school coach, Kale Ane said he believes his star lineman has a bright future.
• Steve Tannen, local sports talk radio host, talked with Chip Kelly about Kelly's decision to stay at Oregon instead of taking the head coaching job at Tampa Bay. Very interesting interview.
• Not that anyone is surprised but Rob Moseley notes that LaMichael James was officially invited to the NFL combine.
• Aaron Fentress wonders if Oregon will land another big fish recruit like they did last year with Colt Lyerla and DAT.
• Dale Newton (part one and part two) and Adam Jude had a chance to have a little Q&A session with former Oregon CB Cliff Harris as he prepares for a chance to join the NFL combine. Here is the last paragraph from Dale's part two:
He's always thrived under pressure, even when he created it for himself. Cliff Harris has a tremendous heart for the game of football. Hopefully, he is learning what he needs to reclaim his remarkable talent and the rare opportunity to succeed on its biggest stage. Less than .6 of 1% of college players make it in the league. Now out of his own way, Oregon's former #13 has as good a shot as anyone.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
For six hours, it looked like Chip Kelly was going to become coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers... Would he try to use the same hyper-accelerated, run-based “blur” offense that regularly obliterates the Pac-12?
I have no idea. If forced to guess, however, I would argue "probably." ...So, in closing, if Tampa Bay had lured Kelly into their clutches, the Bucs would have won three Super Bowls before 2020.
• Adam Jude says Chip Kelly is up in the air again but this time he's on a recruiting trip.
• Ted Miller looks at recruiting needs for Oregon.
TE: His name is David Paulson, but he's gone. Colt Lyerla was a productive backup -- at least in terms of finding the end zone -- but after him things are uncertain. Tight end is one of the most underrated positions in the Ducks offense, so having more than one Kelly trusts is significant.
• John Canzano has an audio Q&A with the R-G's George Schroeder.
• Dale Newton believes there is a key reason the Ducks could be better in 2012.
• David Melo @FishDuck.com opens the history book and looks back at Danny O'Neil who made the most of his second chance in 1994-95.
• Aaron Fentress has mini-preview for Oregon RB commit Byron Marshall.
Duck fans should be excited because: Forgive Marshall if next fall the freshman is often seen smiling from ear to ear as he gets his first tastes of the Ducks’ spread-option offense.
Moving from the Wing-T offense at Valley Christian to UO coach Chip Kelly’s spread-option could be compared to trading in a 10-speed bicycle for a space shuttle.
“It’s a really good system for me.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:46 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
• ESPN shares their video of Oregon RB Kenjon Barner talking with College Football Live about what's next for the Oregon offense and his thoughts on Chip Kelly deciding to stay at Oregon instead of heading for the NFL.
• Adam Jude reports that Chip Kelly's heart is with Oregon and several U of O fraternity brothers couldn't be happier.
• George Schroeder wonders if Oregon's power brokers will forgive and forget Chip's flirtation with the NFL.
In the short term, there shouldn’t be much fallout from Kelly’s almost-exit. It might even be a P.R. positive.
• Lindsay Schnell also believes the near exit of CK won't hurt the Ducks' recruiting efforts in the immediate future.
• Jon Wilner projects the Pac-12 standings for 2012 and you'll find Oregon at the top of the North division.
1. Oregon: The Ducks would have been the overwhelming favorite with Darron Thomas. Instead, they’re merely the substantial favorite with promising sophomore Bryan Bennett under center. They have plenty of playmakers (Kenjon Barner, DAT, etc.), a quality offensive line and a defense that returns several key players, including safety John Boyett. Oh, and the Ducks get Stanford and Washington at home.
• Aaron Fentress has a mini-preview of Oregon commit safety Oshay Dunmore.
Duck fans should be excited because: Dunmore could have had an impact at Oregon as a receiver, running back, H-back, defensive back or linebacker. "I'm ready to do whatever if they let me play both ways," he said. "If I had my way, I'd want to."
Chances are, Dunmore will have to settle on one position and it appears to be in the defensive backfield. He said UO defensive backs John Neal has penciled him in as a free safety, and if that happens, he would become one of the taller players to play the position at Oregon in recent memory.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
• Todd McShay filed this video report on ESPN yesterday regarding Chip Kelly's decision to stay at Oregon.
• OregonLive.com scoured Twitter for interesting comments from current and former Oregon players on CK's roller coaster decision.
• Aaron Fentress has a mini-profile on Oregon commit LB Brett Bafaro.
As the best athlete on his high school football team, Bafaro played both linebacker and running back out of necessity to help his team win.
• Jared Sawyer @FishDuck.com talks with former Oregon RB Dino Philyaw about the 1995 Rose Bowl.
• Adam Jude notes the report from the U of O on the official statement from Chip Kelly.
“I am flattered by the interest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization. I enjoyed meeting with the Glazer family and General Manager Mark Dominik but after numerous discussions, I concluded that I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon.”
• Dale Newton has a superb article on the challenges of being a head coach in the NFL and the decision Chip made to stay in Eugene.
The wisdom to be satisfied right where you are is one of the hardest things to learn in life. These are the good old days, for most of us. There's a lot to be said for blooming where you're planted. It's a wonderful thing to have talent, drive and ambition, and Kelly has all three. He says he stayed because he has unfinished business at Oregon, and that's true. There are enough big, amazing dreams to be achieved right here to make this the best possible time and place. Chip Kelly doesn't need the NFL to become a great football coach. He already is.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:44 AM
Monday, January 23, 2012
The latest, Chip Kelly had a change of heart and will be staying at Oregon according to Adam Jude at the Register Guard that has a post time of 12:16am today and confirmed this morning at 5:23am by Ted Miller and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following is from Adam's story.
University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly told a highly placed UO source late Sunday night that he has reversed course and decided to turn down an offer from the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The source told The Register-Guard earlier Sunday night that Kelly had reached an agreement to become Tampa Bay’s head coach. “It’s done,” the source said.
Just before midnight, Kelly changed his mind, telling the source: “I’m staying.”
Kelly told one assistant coach Sunday night that he had been offered the Tampa Bay job, but Kelly told him he wasn’t certain what he would do.
An athletic department spokesman said earlier Sunday that Kelly’s status at the UO had not changed.
That was way too close for comfort, now we'll wait and see what the fallout is from all of this. We would have survived a change of coaches but would it be a coach who had the same style and offensive genius, probably not.
I could put more links up from other sources but they all say the same thing and refer to this same article, the only one that matters today. Chip is staying.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 and FishDuck were invited to be guests on the audio podcast The Three Point Stance where they talk about their website and Duck football. Kurt also has his own audio podcast with former Oregon receiver Patrick Johnson as they talk about his career, past and present.
• Recruiting news is big this time of year and Steve Maher @FishDuck.com and Dale Newton @The Duck Stops Here look at the latest happenings.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:56 AM
Saturday, January 21, 2012
• Here you go Duck fans, part two of my defense and specials team highlights for 2011 including the Rose Bowl. If you missed part one click right here. Enjoy!
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:59 AM
• A little something from GoDucksdotcom. Love the field view action they capture and it's always fun to look back at the Rose Bowl victory. Rumor has it this video will be played during half-time at the UCLA basketball game today when they honor the football team.
• Keeerrrttt1 shares episode 26 of his Vlog and talks about Duck related news.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:51 AM
Among the top position players who contributed on the coverage and return teams were Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas, Daryle Hawkins, Rahsaan Vaughn, Keanon Lowe, Colt Lyerla, David Paulson, John Boyett, Avery Patterson, Josh Kaddu, Bo Lokombo, Brandon Hanna and Dion Jordan, among other. (and everyone comes back for 2012)
• Adam Jude takes a closer look at Bryan Bennett who would appear to be the front runner for the starting QB job.
He knows he must take several more steps forward before September to prove he’s capable of being more than a one-start wonder.
“Honestly, I’m worried about tonight. I’m worried about getting some work in tomorrow. That’s it,” Bennett said. “I’m not going to sit here and start thinking down the road and playing mind games with myself, because I don’t need to. I’m only worried about what I gotta do to get there.”
• Ted Miller has a Pac-12 offseason check list where Oregon is mentioned more than once.
• John Canzano has an audio Q&A with former Oregon TE Justin Peelle.
• Dale Newton has a 12-step program to Oregon back to the BCS championship game.
To win a national championship, a team has to remember there is only one way to win one: talent, opportunity, execution, and hard work. Talk never won nothin'.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:40 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012
John Boyett recovered from early knee problems to lead the Ducks and finished 50th nationally with 108 tackles. He now has 277 for his career, giving him a good shot at finishing in the top five all-time at Oregon for his career. Boyett had 17 stops in the Rose Bowl, and looked in the postgame locker room like a fighter who had gone 12 rounds, determined to be the last man standing.
• Dion Jordan makes Ted Miller's list of most improved Pac-12 players during the 2011 season.
Jordan went from single-game starter in 2010 to first-team All-Pac-12 as a junior in 2011. Jordan had 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2010, when he showed promise after converting from tight end. He lived up to that promise in 2011 with 13 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Jordan figures to be a leading candidate for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, particularly if he gets his skinny butt into the weight room and eats a lot of steak.
• John Canzano says Ducks gift packs make a statement in the NFL playoffs and has an audio Q&A with Spencer Paysinger.
• Dave Miller @NFPost.com says Oregon ranks 15th in 2012 team recruiting.
• Lots of stories on Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett and who will eventually get the starting QB job in 2012. Rob Moseley wonders if he is the perfect fit and talks with his high school coach. David Lieberman says Bryan Bennett isn't a lock at this point. And Dale Newton ponders who will actually win between the two.
• Ted Miller says Oregon knows how to "value drive."
Once the Ducks got a drive going, they rarely were stopped, and typically only when they stopped themselves. The Ducks had 65 non-garbage value drives and scored 53 touchdowns. They missed three field goals and had only two value drive turnovers. Precision efficiency at a blistering pace bodes well for another run to the top of these ratings next season.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
• Here you go Duck fans, all the best plays from David Paulson during the 2011 season up to and including the Rose Bowl. Enjoy.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:48 AM
Junior Michael Clay stepped up as the leader on defense last spring, and come fall he did so on the field as well.
• Ted Miller looks at the best Pac-12 "atmospheres" of the 2011 campaign and has Oregon in three of the six spots. Here is number one:
1. Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Wisconsin: Not much to say here. It's the Rose Bowl. All the other ESPN.com bloggers are doing lists, but they are playing for No. 2 because the Rose Bowl is the most righteous sports atmosphere in all the world. Other than the World Cup final.
• Mark Flores @FishDuck.com (new writer) covers the recruiting trail and looks at three wide-outs.
• Rob Moseley has a nice story on incoming high school recruit, QB Jake Rodrigues who figures to be in the mix now that DT has left.
• The U of O honored recently honored seven Academic All-Americans including OG Carson York.
• David Melo @FishDuck.com completes his 2002 Fiesta Bowl victory articles with part two and a Justin Phinisee interview.
• ESPN had to re-think their ranking of the 2008 class which had Oregon outside of the top 25 instead of their new position of second. Here's what they think now:
The foundation for the success that Oregon now enjoys was unmistakably set with this class. In 2008, the Ducks signed key players like running back LaMichael James, who developed into one of the premier backs in college football, and quarterback Darron Thomas. The class also featured some important contributors like Kenjon Barner and John Boyett.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:42 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• Josh Schlichter @FishDuck.com takes an indepth look (part one of two) at the masterful play calling of Chip Kelly against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
• Rob Moseley and Adam Jude look at the recent draft decisions of LMJ, DT, KB and Cliff Harris in this edition of The Postgame Brew.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:36 AM
This was the most criminally underrated unit for Oregon in 2011, despite the lack of representation from the O line on the all-conference team. Drop end Dion Jordan did garner all-conference honors, but the Ducks also got outstanding play from the other seven guys in the regular rotation.
• Matt Hayes of The Sporting News posted his top 25 preseason teams and has Oregon at #4.
Why they’re here: Until someone in the Pac-12 figures out how to stop Oregon’s spread option offense—and until coach Chip Kelly stops recruiting the fastest players in the game—the Ducks are the elite of the conference. A soft nonconference schedule helps, too (Arkansas State, Fresno State, Tennessee Tech).
• The Heisman Pundit has De'Anthony Thomas at #5 on their pre-spring 2012 Heisman watch list.
Thomas might’ve benefitted from the best postseason spring-board of this whole bunch, as he rushed for 155 yards on two carries against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Thomas has the ability to win the Heisman based on the excitement factor alone. Voters love multi-purpose athletes.
• Josh White @FishDuck.com has a nice story on John Boyett and the other great Duck safeties. Josh wonders where he will rank among the other greats when his career at Oregon has come to an end.
What makes him so good? Well, Boyett does a little of everything. He combines keen ball-hawking skills in pass coverage with the ability to also be the punishing enforcer over the middle, stop the run, and he can cut-tackle like a torpedo in the open field. With what he has accomplished to this point, in just about every way it can be measured, John Boyett is already among the best in Oregon history at his position. When it is all said and done, will he finish his career as THE best safety?
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:35 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Ducks need to replace two starters in Darrion Weems and Mark Asper, and because one plays on the left side and one on the right, the easy assumption is that Ryan Clanton and Jake Fisher will slide in with the ones and they won't miss a beat. But you know position coach Steve Greatwood will spend April mixing and matching various groups to get everybody on the same page, and see where they fit the best
• Dave Thomas at the National Football Post believes the Duck offense is in good hands even without Darron Thomas.
While Bryan Bennett has shown that he's most effective running the football, he has a big arm and will only get better as a passer with more first-team reps. And he'll improve going through his progressions with more experience. Because of their run-first offense, Bennett should be able to easily transition into a starting role. The key for him will be his ability to use his surrounding weapons to his advantage, something that he should be ready to do consistently by the time the Ducks open Pac-12 play.
• Patrick Malee thinks DT's sudden departure is a fitting end to an under-appreciated career.
• OregonLive.com reports that one of the early commits received a nice honor yesterday.
Newport senior and Oregon commit Oshay Dunmore has been named to the 2012 Parade All-America High School Football Team as an "all-purpose" player. Dunmore was a first team all-state selection as a defensive back and second-team all-state quarterback in 2011.
• Jared Sawyer @FishDuck.com tries his hand at picking the "way too early preseason top five" list and picks Oregon for the #2 slot.
• Dale Newton says we had one day to feel bad about DT leaving, now it's time to move on to another conference championship drive.
The drive to the 2012 National Championship, or the Rose Bowl or the North Division banner or a win over Arkansas State, starts now. It's starts with pass patterns in the Mo and a group commitment. It starts with positive talk and a healthy attitude, a commitment to getting to class on time and partying smart on Saturday nights, going out in twos and threes and having a safe ride home. It starts with a team that hangs together and articulates one message, develops a belief in one another.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:42 AM
Monday, January 16, 2012
Oregon coach Chip Kelly met with Darron Thomas on Saturday in a last-ditch effort to convince the quarterback to stay in school, the last of what were several attempts by the UO staff in recent days to keep Thomas in Eugene for the 2012 season, sources told The Register-Guard.
• Ted Miller adds his perspective to DT leaving for the NFL.
• Dale Newton is looking ahead to the next quarterback to lead the Ducks and compares to the leading candidates, Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota.
What the Ducks lose in experience they get back in talent. Thomas was considered an athlete when he first came on campus (LSU wanted him to play wide receiver) but was recruited at Oregon to play quarterback. The guys on the depth chart now were recruited quarterbacks who can pass but can also run extremely well. What we are beginning to see is the offense becoming even finer tuned for Kelly’s spread offense. The receivers next year are going to mostly be guys recruited by Kelly to play in his spread, the running backs are all really fast, and the quarterbacks are as deadly running as they are throwing. While Darron Thomas’ departure creates a lot of uncertainty, it sure just did make next season more anticipated and exciting.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:55 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2012
• Rob Moseley has a great article on the subject of the "most significant game in Oregon football history;" was it the recent Rose Bowl victory? Lots of great comments from readers and Rob's personal choice might surprise you. From my personal perspective on games I have attended, I liked his choice.
• Dale Newton writes, Kenjon Barner's commitment is like landing a six star running back.
Not only is he a proven commodity and a tremendous fit for the Oregon zone blocking system, Barner adds poise, maturity and leadership. Confident, focused and articulate, KB will fill a role like David Paulson and Terrell Turner did this year, likely to be a senior leader and the face of the program, a difference-making player with a program-defining attitude.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
The top storyline will be Colt Lyerla's effort to develop mastery of the entire playbook and step into Paulson's shoes. But who plays behind him? Curtis White was able to dress for a few Rose Bowl practices, though his participation appeared to be minimal. Will he be ready to go in April. Either way, it's also time to find out what the Ducks have on their hands with Christian French, a tall, lanky athlete built more like past tight ends Dion Jordan (now a UO defensive end) and Ed Dickson than Paulson or Lyerla.
• Rob Moseley confirms that Kenjon Barner will return for his senior season.
"This was a decision that wasn't easy for me," Barner said in a statement released by the athletic department. "But after talking things over with my family and coach Campbell, as well as praying about it, I have decided that I will return to Oregon for my senior year."
• Josh Kaddu, David Paulson and Lavasier Tuinei, have accepted invitations to play in postseason all-star games next week. Also noted is De'Anthony Thomas being named as a co-winner of the College Football Performance Awards Kickoff Returner.
• NCAA president Mark Emmert announced yesterday he would back a plan for a four team playoff system as long as the BCS committee didn't allow it to grow beyond the four teams.
• Ted Miller announced his 2011 Pac-12 All-Bowl team and you'll note there are a lot of familiar Duck players on his list.
• Dale Newton analyzes the recruiting process and determines that it's not always about the number of stars a player receives by the ranking services.
Athletes who conform, transform, and push themselves to excellence build a team. They want more David Paulsons and Terrell Turners at Oregon, leaders who take care of their business.
Friday, January 13, 2012
All eyes will be on B.J. Kelley, Tacoi Sumler and Devon Blackmon — the latter having recovered from midseason shoulder surgery — to see what kind of impact they can have on this group in 2012.
• Ted Miller in doing Pac-12 season grades for each team and yesterday was Oregon's turn and he gave them an "A."
Really, there was only one way the Ducks could have produced a better season, and that's finishing ranked No. 1. And, folks, I can't bring myself to give a team an A- when it wins the Rose Bowl and finishes ranked in the top five.
• Kevin Gemmell looks at the best and worst from the Pac-12 bowl season and has high marks for all the Ducks that are mentioned. He has numerous categories but here is just one of them.
Best bang for buck: Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas. Two carries, two touchdowns, 155 yards and a 77.5 yards-per-carry average.
• Going to be in Eugene on January 21st and you would like to see the football honored? Get your tickets to the UCLA vs Oregon men's basketball game, there will be a halftime ceremony.
• Cliff Harris has decided to give the NFL a shot according to multiple reports. Personally, I wish him the best of luck.
• The Oregonian has a recruiting update and notes Oregon recently gave four more offers.
• David Melo @ FishDuck.com has a Q&A with former Oregon CB Steve Smith about the 2002 Fiesta Bowl victory. Here is one of my favorites from the piece.
Q.) In your memory, what play sticks out the most?
A.) Maurice Morris!! That damn run!! That run was like ‘we could do anything.’ After my second pick. It was another moment in the game ‘here we go, we’re running.’
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:49 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012
• GoDucksdotcom was good enough to share this video with everyone and here is their description from the YouTube video:
The Oregon Football Program produces motivational pump-up videos which are viewed by the entire team prior to locker-room exit on game day. The Ducks watched this video before winning the 2012 Rose Bowl. A special thank you to Steve Pohl and Oregon Football for allowing this video to be shared with our fans on YouTube.
Debates will rage about the best player in Oregon history, in terms of talent, but from this perspective the best career ever put together for the Ducks — in terms of production — was compiled by LaMichael James, capped by a 2011 season in which he ran for a school-record 1,805 yards. James led the nation in average rushing yards per game for the second straight season, at 150.42.
• Michael Bishop of "Supwitchugirl" fame, has a great article on his first hand experience at the 2012 Rose Bowl where he noticed Cliff Harris a few rows in front of him.
Cliff made mistakes, but showing up to the Rose Bowl last Monday was not one.
• Ted Miller has a "what we learned" edition for the Pac-12 bowl showing.
Oregon, it turns out, can win the big one: Some folks might not want to admit this, but it's a load off the backs of the Pac-12 as well as Oregon that the Ducks broke through with a win over a very good Wisconsin team in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks, whether you like it or not, have been carrying the conference flag for three consecutive years...
• Dale Newton has a couple of recruiting profiles, one on Arik Armstead and the other on DeForest Buckner.
• Keeerrrttt1@ FishDuck.com has a fantastic look back at Oregon's facilities and wonders if it might be part of the UO's success. Kurt's story starts like this:
Ask anybody in the country today their impression of University of Oregon athletics, and three words will immediately be uttered: uniforms, Nike, facilities. Oregon’s facilities now are the envy of the country, even many pro teams don’t have the plush amenities that Oregon athletes appreciate today. It didn’t happen overnight though... click here for the full article, you won't be sorry...
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
• ESPN presents their top 10 plays of the bowl season where you will find (1:50) DAT's 91 yard run at #3.
• Ted Miller has Oregon at #1 in his final Pac-12 power rankings and you'll spot them at #2 behind USC for the preseason power rankings.
Chip Kelly and Oregon just can't win the big one. Oh, wait! They did. A thrilling Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin capped another great season in Eugene and left the Ducks, again, atop the Pac-12 at season's end. So, in the history of the program, which is the all-time best season: 2001, 2010 or 2011? Or should we hold off judgment on that until after the 2012 campaign?
• Rob Moseley is kicking off his season reviews with the QB position.
Overcoming a midseason knee injury, junior Darron Thomas quarterbacked the Ducks to a conference title and a BCS bowl berth for the second straight year, improving to 23-3 as Oregon's starter. He finished with a quarterback rating of 158.66, good for 11th nationally.
• Jon Wilner predicts the Ducks will be at #4 in the preseason rankings come this fall.
• Conflicting reports suggest that Chip Kelly may have been contacted by the Miami Dolphins. Pretty sure Chip the Skip is going anywhere soon (IMO.)
• Bob Rickert notes a couple of four star recruits will be visiting Oregon this weekend.
• Dale Newton believes now until the next kickoff are the hardest days to win.
This is the time of year that sets the tone for next season. Teams either recommit, implode, or merely fail to maintain the discipline and desire that brought them success. It's up to every new group of seniors to accept the role of leadership, to sacrifice and challenge each other.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:01 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
• Here you go Duck fans, all of the best plays from Darron Thomas during the 2011 season up to and including the Rose Bowl. Stay up to date with all the videos I upload to YouTube by subscribing today. Enjoy!
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:55 AM
• The final 2011 rankings are out after LSU lost last night to Alabama. You'll find Oregon at #4.
• David Lieberman looks at the 2011 season by the numbers. Here is just one of the numbers:
25:03 — average time of possession per game for the Ducks this year, last in the NCAA (120th). Despite its lack of ball control, Oregon finished third in the country in scoring offense (46.15 points per game) and fourth in total offense (515.23 yards per game).
• Patrick Malee posted several articles yesterday including the the 21 most important moments of the 2011 season; a game by game recap of the 2011 season; an article on the perspective of Oregon's run to the Rose Bowl; and finally, Chipisms of the 2011 season. Here is my favorite Chipism on his list:
On De’Anthony Thomas’ fumbles after the LSU game: “Our players play from a desire to excel — not a fear of failure. I’m not yanking a kid when he puts the ball on the ground. As I learned from Paul Westhead a long time ago, you may stop the bleeding, but you may kill the patient and that’s not going to happen here.”
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:43 AM
Monday, January 09, 2012
Oregon loses five starters from the Rose Bowl lineup, including record-setting junior running back LaMichael James to the NFL, and four starters on defense. But with so many experienced upperclassmen back, including quarterback Darron Thomas for his senior season, the 2012 campaign has long seemed Oregon’s next realistic chance at a national-title run, the way 2007 once was.
“We’ve taken the next step,” Asper said. “The program’s just going to keep taking off.”
• The R-G also has a position by position outlook for the football team in 2012.
• Jared Sawyer @ FishDuck.com takes a look back at LaMichael's record setting career.
• Brian Libby @ FishDuck.com looks at the 85 scholarship era and Oregon's rise to power. Brian's article starts like this:
In college football, the modern era is generally considered to have begun after World War II ended. But it was actually in 1994 that the game solidified around the NCAA’s 85-scholarship limit. Isn’t a game only relevant so long as there is a reasonably level playing field? And as Oregon fans know, it is precisely that year, ’94, in which the program was transformed.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:53 AM
Sunday, January 08, 2012
The Ducks will return a glut of talent, have a soft nonconference schedule and play in a conference undergoing major coaching turnover.
"We should be in the mix," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said.
• Jared Sawyeer @ FishDuck.com shares his thoughts on the 2011 season and the Rose Bowl win.
• Rob Moseley along with Adam Jude report the door is wide open for Kenjon Barner and other running backs now that LaMichael is gone. Of course, that's assuming he returns for his senior season and doesn't announce he is leaving for the NFL.
“I feel good with Kenjon Barner coming back,” Campbell said. “He can step right into LaMichael’s spot. He’s shown that he can handle the (workload), and he’s shown that he can overcome some minor (injuries).”
Posted by Mike Wines at 7:40 AM
Saturday, January 07, 2012
• Rob Moseley shares the LaMichael James press conference where he officially announces he will be going to the NFL. Rob also shares his feature article that is in the R-G today. [Personally, I understand his decision and wish him the best of luck at the next level. He will always remain a true Oregon legend.]
James announced a decision he’s been mulling for a year or more — the greatest career ever by an Oregon football player has come to an end, prematurely.
James, who holds UO records for rushing yards in a game, a single season and a career, intends to hire an agent and make himself available for April’s NFL draft. A player whose career was marked by record-setting performances, breath-taking runs but also painful injuries will now be earning a paycheck for taking all that punishment.
• Ken Goe talks about LMJ's decision and lists his accomplishments. Ken also shares a short statement from Chip Kelly.
Kelly said: “I’m 100 percent behind LaMichael. He is a very special person and certainly will be remembered as one of the very best players ever to wear a uniform at the University of Oregon. It has been a pleasure to coach him for the four seasons he has been here, and is comforting to know he will obtain his degree this spring. I could not have asked any more from him, and I am confident he will be a success at the next level.”
• Aaron Fentress notes Kenjon Barner, who is also considering entering the NFL draft, is undecided at this point but has to make a decision by January 15. On a bright note RB coach Gary Campbell gave his opinion.
Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell, on the road recruiting, said he expects Barner to return, stating that it would be in his best interest to play one season out of the shadows of LaMichael James.
• Dale Newton @ The Duck Stops Here and Josh White @ FishDuck.com both pay tribute to LaMichael.
• De'Anthony Thomas made it on a way too early list of 2012 Heisman hopefuls.
De'Anthony Thomas finally got to show off how dangerous a runner he is when he rushed for 155 yards on two plays in the Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin. Thomas has great burst of speed and ankle-breaking moves but he played sparingly due to team mates LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner getting most of the carries—he made up for the rushing yards in his kick return yardage (983 yards, two touchdowns). Thomas rushed for 595 yards on 55 carries for seven touchdowns and an astounding 10.8 yards per carry for the 2011 season.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:53 AM
Friday, January 06, 2012
• Here you go Duck fans, I am starting player highlights now that the season is over and my first one is for LaMichael James. Arguably, the greatest player Oregon has ever had (at least for now) on their football team. Enjoy and if you haven't subscribed to my YouTube channel then do it now so you will know when other player highlight videos are uploaded.
He said he’s most proud of how his young team came together throughout the season. Just 10 scholarship seniors – 14 all together - were on the 2011 roster.
“You didn’t know what they were going to be like,” he said. “You played a lot of kids that hadn’t played before…just to see how they grew as the season went along, how they became just key contributors was a big deal.”
• Can't get enough of the Rose Bowl victory? GoDucks.com and Amazon are both taking pre-orders for a complete game DVD copy of your own. I ordered mine today. Shipping in Late February.
• Ted Miller analyses the Pac-12 schedule for each team and finds Oregon with a "soft" schedule.
• NationalChamps.net has a way too early look at the top 25 pre-season rankings and has Oregon at #4 just behind USC at #3.
• Adam Jude reports in prospective recruits eyes the Rose Bowl victory just might have been a big plus for the Ducks.
“Our big thing in recruiting is making sure we find the right kids for Oregon,” said longtime assistant Don Pellum, named the nation’s top recruiting coordinator by two publications last year. “If a young man is looking for a big-city experience, that’s not who we are. We need to make sure we find the right kids who are going to flourish in our environment, and that’s a biggie.”
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:29 AM
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
“We were not going to be held down in this game,” [Darron] Thomas said. “I think there was a determination factor out of the offense.”
Perhaps that illustrated Thomas’ point that the Ducks were the better-prepared team, that their experience and focus and “emphasis” had paid off. Whatever the reason, when it came time to make plays with the game on the line, Oregon was of championship caliber Monday.
• Keeerrrttt1 @ FishDuck.com has a great story on his experiences at this years Rose Bowl. Kurt ends his article with this:
For years now Oregon fans have endured the same rhetorical taunt from Husky and Beaver fans, “when was the last time you guys won a Rose Bowl?” Well, I can’t wait for one of them to ask me that again, so I can proudly respond “2012 Rose Bowl champions, and I was there.”
• David Melo @ FishDuck.com concludes his multi-part series on the 2001 postseason.
• Ted Miller has some interesting Rose Bowl notes.
• The 2012 Pac-12 schedule was announced yesterday and Rob Moseley breaks down Oregon's schedule.
• Stephen Alexander reports the Rose Bowl victory was particularly meaningful for longtime coach Nick Aliotti.
“I started crying,” Aliotti says. “And at the same time my heart was smiling.”
• Jason Vondersmith reports even the players turn into spectators when De'Anthony Thomas has the ball.
Kenjon Barner heard coach Chip Kelly talking about a Thomas play that the Ducks had practiced all week leading up to the game.
“A couple of us whispered, ‘Yeah, this’ll be a touchdown.’ … It’s something that we went over time and time again in practice,” Barner said. “To get into a game and have it work is very rewarding.”
Added Barner, of his phenom teammate: “If it’s not fun to watch him as a spectator, I’m not sure what fun is to you.”
• Dale Newton states Chip Kelly has a "singular genius." Dale's post starts like this:
Chip Kelly doesn't coach doctors, and he's not going to find a cure for cancer or discover a new fuel cell technology. But he does have particular gift for coaching football, evidenced by a Rose Bowl Championship, three conference titles in his first three seasons, and a 34-6 record. That's 85% wins if you're scoring at home, far better than Bo, Woody, Bill Walsh or Amos Alonzo Stagg.
When Chip Kelly leads them out of the tunnel, he's leading a group that knows he believes in them. The confidence and preparation his teams exude has produced some scintillating results.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:01 PM
• Nick Aliotti, Darrion Weems, Justin Hoffman, and Rob Mullens talk with reporters after landing in Eugene yesterday. Video courtesy of KVAL.
• Oregonlive caught the action on the field shortly after the game ended.
• Rob Moseley has all of the R-G Rose Bowl stories that appeared in print yesterday.
• The Oregonian provides links to what the rest of the nation is saying about the historic win.
• Rob Moseley reports DE DeForest Buckner announced Tuesday that he intends to sign a letter of intent with Oregon next month.
Buckner, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound prep senior from Honolulu, is considered a four-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
• Ken Goe notes that a celebration of the Rose Bowl win might be in the works.
Oregon spokesman Dave Williford said there are no immediate plans for a Rose Bowl victory celebration in Eugene.
“We’ll do something, no doubt, once everybody is back in school,” Williford said.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:16 AM
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
• Here you go Duck fans, all of the highlights from one of the greatest games in Oregon history. Our 2012 Rose Bowl champions. I will be savoring this moment until the 2012 regular season starts. How sweet it is.
Posted by Mike Wines at 2:06 PM