Saturday, March 31, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com shares his 36th weekly Vlog and talks about the following topics:
Oregon spring football update (0:29), UO spring sports update (1:46), FishDuck.com update (5:17), Random tweet of the week (7:05)...
• Rob Moseley continues his positional reviews before spring practice with a look at special teams. Rob notes that punter Jackson Rice will be the punter (a given) but wonders about the wild cards.
The big question here is the status of kicker Rob Beard, who battled quad problems all of last season, surrendering the placekicking job to Alejandro Maldonado. Beard did return late in the season to assume kickoff duties. Beard has the bigger leg of the two, and more experience, so the assumption is that if he's healthy Beard will take over all placekicking duties again.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:14 AM
Friday, March 30, 2012
• What do we have here, looks like ATQ is going to take a stab at posting vlogs, video analysis and other video tidbits pertaining to Duck football. Sounds vaguely familiar (snicker)... anyway, good luck with that Takimoto.
• Rob Moseley previews the secondary as we get ready for spring practice next week.
Whenever John Boyett is on the field in 2012, the Ducks will boast one of the best safeties in the country. He led the team in tackles last season with 108, including a gritty 17-tackle Rose Bowl performance in which he knocked himself silly making his final stop of the night, in the game's waning moments.
• Aaron Fentress previews the O-line heading into spring practice.
Expected healthy competition should lead to the development of another quality offensive line. On the surface, veterans Everett Benyard, Ryan Clanton and Jake Fisher appear to have the inside track to replace Asper and Weems. Oregon signed just one offensive line recruit in February; junior college transfer Kyle Long out of Saddleback College....Long reportedly has the athleticism and skills to start right away.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:49 AM
Thursday, March 29, 2012
"Everything’s wide open, doesn’t matter what position you play on our team," Kelly said. "It’s always been that way, since day one, and it’ll always be that way. Our program’s founded on competition, so we don’t go in saying who’s what at every position. Besides quarterback, we play a rotation, so are they going to get into the rotation? At quarterback we like to settle on one guy; everywhere I’ve been it’s always ended up being one guy. So everything’s wide open."
• Jared Sawyer @FishDuck.com has a Q&A with former Oregon cheerleader Courtney Eckhart.
• Aaron Fentress previews the wide receivers heading into spring practice.
The intrigue is in a host of young receivers. Devon Blackmon and Tacoi Sumler have speed to burn. They redshirted last year along with classmate, B.J. Kelley, a top-notch track performer.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:35 AM
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
• Ted Miller explains his reasoning behind selecting Lavasier Tuinei as being the player who Oregon will miss most (biggest shoes to fill.) Lot of Duck fans evidently had objections to his choice, me included.
• Rob Moseley previews the linebackers heading into spring practice.
The big question on the two-deep probably involves the backup to Boseko Lokombo. Keloni Kamalani is a walk-on who has made a lot of plays on special teams in his career, but doesn't have a ton of defensive experience. Tyson Coleman and Carlyle Garrick are big-time athletes, but they faced a steep learning curve at the position. Sophomore Derrick Malone played SAM as a redshirt in 2010 before moving to WILL last season, and he could no doubt shift back outside if necessary. Or, there's Rahim Cassell, among the most impressive of Oregon's 2011 redshirts, according to coaches. Cassell could fill in at any of the three spots, and will be one to watch in 2012.
• Aaron Fentress previews the running backs where he believes depth is an issue.
• Mark Flores @FishDuck.com posted his weekly recruiting update.
• The Heisman Pundit takes look at 12 players who could explode in 2012. You'll find Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas on their list.
Thomas is obviously an interesting case since he is such an all-around dynamo. Last year, he had just 140 touches, with 39 of them coming in the return game...we are probably talking about the most exciting player in the country and a legit Heisman candidate.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:37 AM
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
• Charles Fisher @ FishDuck.com looks at three of his favorite no-huddle plays from last year that lead to touchdowns in this FishDuck Minute.
• Rob Moseley previews the defensive line heading into spring practice. While Rob states, we know about all the returning players, but what about the wild cards?
This is a big month upcoming for sophomore Tony Washington, because there's an open spot at strong-side end and he's the most experienced guy there, despite having his redshirt freshman season marred by an elbow injury. That said, it won't be easy for Washington to win Terrell Turner's old job. Not only could a tackle move outside, but there are other young players in the mix, and also a new face in freshman Arik Armstead. The big-time recruit will arrive in Eugene late this week and enroll for spring classes, allowing him to participate in April's 15 practices. Given his measurables and the Ducks' needs, Armstead seems like a perfect fit for the strong-side role.
• Ted Miller believes the biggest shoes to fill from players who left early or graduated will be WR Lavasier Tuinei. Here is Ted's reasoning (not that I agree, and frankly I think that will be DT.)
While De'Anthony Thomas was the Ducks' most dynamic receiver in 2011, Tuinei was the team leader in receptions with 48 and touchdowns with 10. And we all saw what he did in the Rose Bowl: eight receptions for 158 yards with two touchdowns. Oregon has plenty of holes to fill: quarterback, tailback, rover, defensive end and two spots on the offensive line. But in most cases you can say who will step in, or at least you can talk about how good the folks are competing at that position. You can't say that about who will replace Tuinei.
• Aaron Fentress has three new articles that include these topics; closed practices, the QB competition and the impact Arik Armstead might make.
Little reason exists to believe Bryan Bennett won’t improve and an improved Bennett should lock down the starting job. Still, don’t count out Mariota, a three-star recruit in 2011. Marcus Mariota is a smooth customer with gliding speed and has a definitive pocket presence.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:07 AM
Monday, March 26, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com talks Oregon athletics during his 35th Vlog. Topics include the following:
Snow (0:35), Basketball (0:53), Oregon spring sports update (1:14), FishDuck.com update (5:32), Random Tweet of the Week (8:50), Music recommendation of the week: (9:02)...
Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Inspired by an idea from one of my sons, Chuck (aka QuackAttack.) Always a good time when you poke a little fun at your in-sate rival, the lowly beav trash. Enjoy the beatdown.
Posted by Mike Wines at 9:36 AM
Yes, the Ducks have overcome personnel issues before on offense and continued on without a hitch. But perhaps never so many questions at so many positions, all at once.
Does anybody out there fear this could be a season in which the Oregon offense finally experiences some sustained struggles under Chip Kelly? Is this the season the Ducks actually don't threaten to lead the nation in scoring or rushing yards? Or is everybody convinced it will be business as usual?
• I'll have another quick LMJ video later today inspired by an idea from QuackAttack.
• Aaron Fentress says the looming battle over the kicking position offers intrigue to spring practice.
The big question for UO is at placekicker where Beard and Maldonado will start phase one of their competition. Beard owned the job until a leg injury in the season opener against LSU sidelined him for several weeks. He returned later in the season to resume kickoff duties but was not reinserted as the primary placekicker. That honor went to Maldonado, who made 7 of 12 attempts.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:37 AM
Saturday, March 24, 2012
• LaMichael will never be forgotten by Duck fans and will hold Oregon records for years to come. Enjoy some of his signature TD's as chosen by my son Dave (aka DDubbs.) Obviously, not everyone will agree, these kind of lists are very subjective, but Dave did a great job with his reasoning behind each choice. Thanks for your help Dave.
Posted by Mike Wines at 9:25 AM
Sophomore center Hroniss Grasu enters a spring in which he'll need to be a leader for the Oregon offensive line both through his play and vocally. With senior guard Carson York out following knee surgery to repair an injury suffered in the Rose Bowl, Grasu figures to have new faces at both guard positions in April.
He benefited last year from the veterans (York and Mark Asper) on either side of him, but that luxury is gone, requiring another step in Grasu's maturity into a veteran. The only other guy who provides much in the way of experience is senior Nick Cody, who stepped into the starting lineup and solidified it early last season. Cody is an earnest, vocal guy, a great makeup for potential leadership. And he can play a little, too, as he more than showed last fall.
• Josh Huff plead not guilty to DUII and two other charges yesterday in Eugene Municipal Court.
• Rana L. Cash of The Sporting News looks at five players who are vying to make an impact as true freshman. Among them is Arik Armstead.
Arik Armstead, at 6-8 and 290 pounds, was the most coveted defensive line prospect in the nation. He committed to USC, then, like De’Anthony Thomas last year, switched to Oregon. The Ducks can only hope—and practically bet—that Armstead will have as much of an impact as Thomas did in 2011 as a true freshman. He could be the ideal replacement for Terrell Turner.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:31 AM
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wisely recruited by Oregon, Dietrich Moore immediately began to make his presence felt as a true freshman. Midway through the 1996 season, Oregon put him in to assist the struggling Rich Stubler defense, desperate to find a way to shore up the gaps in the “edge defense” scheme that Coach Stubler had brought with him from the CFL.
• Ted Miller looks at the most intriguing players in the Pac-12 this spring and these comments about Oregon.
Oregon: WRs Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler
All three are redshirt freshmen. All three were touted recruits. At least one needs to step up at a position that is questionable for the Ducks.
• Incoming JC transfer OL Kyle Long keeps motivated to "win the day" with a little help from his Dad, former NFL Hall of Fame DE Howie Long.
• The Business of College Sports looks at the highest net income college athletic departments where you will find Oregon in the #8 spot with $16.4 million. Sure glad they needed to raise season ticket prices. (side note brought to by attention by Craig Pintens at the UofO)
• Rob Moseley continues his spring previews with a look at the tight end position.
Rated a five-star recruit in some circles a year ago, Colt Lyerla combines freakish athleticism with a powerful physique. He had his issues stepping into the rotation as a true freshman last season, pressed into action by season-ending injuries to Brandon Williams and Curtis White.
But when Lyerla wasn't grappling with the playbook, he was making the most of his opportunities. He averaged 21 yards on his seven receptions in 2011, and scored touchdowns on five of them. Based on those averages, Lyerla's production over a full season as the starter would be ... well, he won't hit those averages again, but they illustrate his big-play potential. Lyerla gives the Ducks more athleticism than the guy he replaces, David Paulson. Now he needs to step up in the areas of consistency and leadership like Paulson did.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:52 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com goes one-on-one with Jeromy King from the SportsBrewery. They discuss University of Oregon sports, specifically the football spring game and how the Ducks are suddenly competitive in every single sport. Always entertaining.
• Ted Miller talks with Oregon safety John Boyett about the Ducks' defense, winning a Rose Bowl and the quarterback competition.
• Ted also has a separate article about Boyett and talks in depth about the upcoming season.
A soon-to-be four-year starter for the Ducks, the 5-foot-10, 202-pound senior from Napa, Calif., is child of a football family, and he's obsessed with the game, whether that's about conditioning or watching film or playing with an intensity that easily endures the filtering presentation of a TV camera.
• Chris Charbonnier @FishDuck.com has posted the conclusion to his Pac-12 recruiting talent series.
• Rob Moseley continues his spring preview with a look at the wide receiver position.
Optimists will see promise at this position for Oregon because of all the athletic talent on hand. Pessimists will rue the lack of experience. What will reality hold? That may be determined in large part by the development over the next nine months of the Ducks' redshirt freshman class of Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Some of this makes perfect sense. Kelly has to be No. 1: He's won three consecutive Pac-12 titles. End of argument.
• Rob Moseley reports that Oregon and Michigan State will meet for a home-and-home serires in 2014-15.
Yes, Oregon's 2012 nonconference slate is pretty uninspiring from a fan's point of view, I'm aware. But the Ducks will host Tennessee in 2013, and have recently agreed to meet Michigan State of the Big Ten in the two seasons after that.
• Mark Flores @FishDuck.com takes a look at all the latest recruiting news.
• Ducks fell to the Huskies last night in the NIT 90-86,
• Rob Mosley also previews the running backs heading into spring practice. We all no that Kenjon Barner will be the main option but how about DAT?
The single most exciting element to watch for Oregon football in 2012 is, just how will the Ducks use sophomore De'Anthony Thomas? He excelled as a true freshman playing the "tazer" hybrid receiver-runner role; will Chip Kelly and company devise even more different ways to get him the ball this fall? Or, given the light numbers at running back, will Thomas get more touches there, allowing him to pile up yards on the ground, but also putting a slightly built player at more risk for punishing hits? Regardless, it's going to be fun to watch.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:40 AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
• Ted Miller talks with Michael Clay about the Ducks defense, the quarterback competition and feeling good over winning a Rose Bowl.
• Jerry Palm at CBS Sports provides his BCS Bowl projections and figures Oregon will be back in the Rose Bowl against Michigan.
• Recent ticket price increases got you a little frustrated? Join the club. Just remember your favorite team doesn't give a damn about you. Supply and demand will get you every time whether you are a Chargers fan or a Duck fan.
• Rob Moseley starts his spring previews with a look at the quarterback competition.
The Ducks will feel good entering the summer if: Bennett and Mariota keep pushing each other all month, setting the stage for healthy competition entering the fall from which a solid starter will emerge.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:36 AM
Monday, March 19, 2012
• FishDuck (aka Charles Fisher) explains the importance of a speedy, pulling center that can block in numerous ways.
• Jim Maloney @ FishDuck.com opens the history book and looks at several former dual sport (football-track) Oregon athletes.
• Rob Moseley notes that Dior Mathis and B.J. Kelley had a good day at the track yesterday and has some video links of their performances.
• The march to Madison Square Gardens continues as the Ducks beat Iowa yesterday 108-97 in the NIT. Next for Oregon will be the dawgs on Tuesday.
• FishDuck.com has a new segment called the coaches corner. Their first guest is Coach Tony Demeo who explains the importance of goal setting during the off season.
• Dale Newton is looking forward to the start of a new season and watching a new group mold themselves into a finely tuned machine.
A new group has to identify their leaders and their goals, and prove their willingness to sacrifice and stay on target in five long months for a season that will only happen once in their lives.
We watch, and our heart soars with them, pursuing hope like an arrow to the target of excellence. It's spring football, and despite March Madness and Opening Day and the blooming of the azaleas, it might be the most compelling sports story west of the Rockies.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:02 AM
Sunday, March 18, 2012
• This time of year no news is good news when it comes to the football team. What better time to look back at one of the most successful years of a future Duck legend, true freshman De'Anthony Thomas.
• In other sports, the baseball team avoided the sweep by beating the Dawgs 3-2 in 13 innings yesterday in Seattle. The acrobatics and tumbling team swept their matches and remain unbeaten (6-0) in a quad meet in Rome,, Georgia yesterday. The men's golf team is in third place at the Bandon Dunes Championship behind the stellar play of freshman Rak Cho. Cho shot the second-lowest score of the tourney with his three-under 68, and his two-round score (72-68-140) was only two strokes shy of leader Chris Williams of Washington (71-67-138).
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:20 AM
Saturday, March 17, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com talks Oregon athletics in his weekly Vlog and has the following topics:
NIT round 1 (0:31), Dick Harter (1:05), Oregon spring sports update (2:09), FishDuck.com update (6:05), Random Tweet of the Week (9:29), Music recommendation of the week: (9:42)...
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:28 AM
• Ted Miller talks with Oregon center Hroniss Grasu about about starting as a freshman, the quarterback competition, and high expectations in 2012.
• Pete Roussel at CoachingSearch.com notes that Oregon is the only team in the country that has not had any coaching turnover since 2009.
Today, former Georgetown assistant Luke Thompson officially joins Rich Ellerson's staff at Army, which means Chip Kelly's staff at Oregon will be the only staff in the country that has remained completely intact since start of the 2009 season. All nine full-time assistant coaches that began the 2009 season with Kelly remain on the staff in coaching positions.
Think about that. There are over 120 major college football programs and only one will have the same nine coaches for four consecutive seasons.
• Kevin Gemmell and Ted Miller wonder who is more likely to grab a Heisman this year from the Pac-12. Matt Markley or De'Anthony Thomas. Miller likes DAT's chances.
The Heisman Trophy is attracted to flashiness. And winners. And not necessarily to preseason favorites.
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year De'Anthony Thomas had 595 rushing yards and 605 receiving yards.
That's why, even though USC QB Matt Barkley heads into the 2012 season as everyone's Heisman front-runner -- from the Pac-12 and nationally -- I'm tapping Oregon's do-everything offensive weapon De'Anthony Thomas as the conference's player most likely to be grinning in New York with that iconic bronze statue.
Thomas? He's a human highlight reel who does his best work with little help from others. Give him a crack, and he goes yard. Heck, he not only has a cool nickname -- "The Black Mamba" -- but it was given to him by Snoop Dogg. That's a story that invites interest. Then folks will see the are-you-kidding me plays, like the two TD runs that covered 155 yards in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. Thomas' speed is so special it makes fast defenders look like they are knee-deep in sand.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:23 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012
• Jared Sawyer @FishDuck.com talks with former Oregon player Anthony Newman about his playing days and what he is doing now.
• Jim Williams' says his "Spiritual Calling," is the Duck Store in this video by the ODE.
• Ted Miller talks with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota about the challenge facing him competing with Bryan Bennett for the starting QB job for the Ducks.
• Rob Moseley has a nice story on some surprises LMJ had for Willamette High School on Wednesday.
James appeared Wednesday at a Willamette High assembly at which he signed autographs, answered questions from students and announced a donation to the school of $5,000 in athletic training equipment from SKLZ, for whom James is an endorser.
• Oregon back to the Rose Bowl again? At least one projection says so.
• Best defense in the Pac-12? Oregon was leading this poll when I checked.
• Nate Barrett at the ODE shot some nice photos of the action at the Moshofsky Center yesterday
• Robby Boydstun notes Oregon's Pro Day gives former Ducks last shot at improvements.
Ten seniors including Mark Asper, Anthony Gildon, Terrell Turner and David Paulson were joined by early draft entrants LaMichael James, Darron Thomas and former Duck Cliff Harris to participate in drills in front of dozens of pro scouts.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com has another fabulous one-on-one interview with former Oregon offensive lineman Keith Gunther (73-77.) Always enjoy these, Kurt does a great job.
• I don't know about you, but I don't need 68 reasons to know why college football is better than college basketball but Matt Hayes lists his reasons. I liked #11 personally (click on it...)
• Dan & Ty at the Solid Verbal talk with Bruce Feldman from CBS Sports about the Pac-12 including the Oregon quarterback battle (9:30.)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
USC, Stanford and Oregon dominated. Makes sense: All three were top-10 teams, and no other Pac-12 squads were ranked.
• Lucas Clark is looking forward to spring football practice which starts in a couple of weeks.
• Mark Flores @FishDuck.com has another extensive recruiting update.
• Oregon beat LSU by 20 last night and will host Iowa on Sunday in round two of the NIT.
• Jeffrey Martin reports Vegas likes the Ducks' odds for winning the National Championship next year.
On its futures board, Caesar's has the Ducks as 10-to-1 favorites to win the national championship, the same odds given to Arkansas and Georgia. Todd Fuhrman said he regards all three as second-tier contenders, a cut below LSU, Alabama and USC, which is the current favorite at 9-to-2.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
You can call him Donald, The Duck, Ducky, Puddles, or even Duck Diggler…just don’t imitate his trademark post-score pushup celebration or call him a Husky, them’s fightin’ words! Whichever name you prefer, what can never be questioned is that there is not another mascot across the country more beloved than the Purveyor of Pushups, the Deacon of Dance himself, The Oregon Duck.
• Ted Miller reports that the Pac-12 powers to be are now on board for a new college football playoff system.
Pac-12 presidents and CEOs, in Los Angeles for the conference basketball tournament this past weekend, "agreed in principle Saturday to try to end college football's Bowl Championship Series, proposing its replacement with a playoff system that would allow only conference winners to play for college football's national title," according to Craig Harris of the Arizona Daily Republic.
• GoDucks.com has some sad news this morning. Former basketball coach Dick Harter passed away at the age of 81.
• Aaron Fentress reminds us that the baseball team showed very well against national competition this past weekend.
If the Ducks (12-3), who remained at No. 17 in Baseball America's Top 25, demonstrated anything over the weekend its that they have pitching to burn. Over four games, three against 2011 NCAA playoff teams, Oregon surrendered just five runs. Sunday's four-hit shutout performance by Brando Tessar during a 4-0 win over Connecticut further demonstrated Oregon's pitching depth.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:17 AM
Monday, March 12, 2012
The Ducks received a No. 3 seed in the 75th edition of the National Invitational Tournament, which features 32 teams from around the country. Oregon will play No. 6 seed LSU (18-14) Tuesday at Matt Knight Arena with tipoff set for 6:30. The game will be televised on ESPN.
• Preston Hiefield and Patrick Malee report Ducks sophomore right-hander Brando Tessar tossed a complete-game shutout, striking out six while giving up just four hits in a 4-0 win over Connecticut at PK Park last night.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:54 AM
Sunday, March 11, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com talks Oregon athletics his weekly Vlog segment. Here is his agenda:
Pac-12 Tournament (0:31), Oregon spring sports update (4:41), FishDuck.com update (7:45), Random Tweet of the Week (11:54), Music recommendation of the week: (12:08)...
• Lavasier Tuineni says he is ready to "shock" some folks when they watch him compete at Oregon's Pro Day next week.
Tuinei isn’t wasting any time; he has been in California since the Rose Bowl, first participating in the NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Game and then working out with his trainer to get in the best shape possible.
“I’m going to shock a lot of coaches on my Pro Day and once that time comes, I’m going to be ready,” he said.
Posted by Mike Wines at 8:25 AM
Saturday, March 10, 2012
• Senior OL Nick Cody is one of the producers of this video where they take a closer look at Chip Kelly's familiar mantra, "Win the Day," and what exactly that means.
• Ted Miller lists the Pac-12 teams that have returning production on defense. Here is who he includes for Oregon.
Tackles: John Boyett (108)
Sacks: Dion Jordan (7.5)
Interceptions: No (Eddie Pleasant)
Reaction: Replacing Pleasant is one of the big competitions this spring. Second-leading tackler -- and budding All Pac-12 pick -- Michael Clay is also back.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:38 AM
Friday, March 09, 2012
• Ted Miller continues his Pac-12 top 25 countdown where you will find LaMichael James in the number three slot.
James is the greatest player in Oregon history, and one of the greatest running backs in Pac-12 history. A two-time consensus All-American, he finished his career with 5,082 yards rushing and 53 rushing TDs, totals which both rank second in conference history. He ranked second in the FBS in all-purpose yards per game (181.30), and 11th in scoring average (10.0). He produced 26 games of 100-plus, and seven of 200-plus rushing yards.
What most folks don't seem to realize is that James in 2011 was probably better than James in 2010, when he was a Heisman finalist and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back. He averaged more yards per carry -- 7.3 vs. 5.9 -- than he did in 2010, and did so with a rebuilt offensive line. So why is he No. 3? The distinction ultimately came down to this: Outstanding years by quarterbacks eclipse outstanding years by running backs.
• College Football News has Oregon newcomer OT Kyle Long as one of their top 25 Juco transfers.
The son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long—and brother of St. Louis Ram Chris Long—has taken the curvaceous route to Eugene. Since leaving high school in Virginia, the middle of Howie’s kids has been drafted by the Chicago White Sox, signed by Florida State to play football and apprenticed at Saddleback (Calif.) Junior College. He’s tall, powerful and very athletic, a natural fit to protect the pocket from the tackle spot. He has a year of eligibility remaining, and will do no worse than provide depth and veteran leadership to an Oregon line losing a pair of starters.
• George Schroeder writing for SI.com has a burning question about Oregon.
Either Bryan Bennett or Marcus Mariota will win the quarterback spot formerly held by Darron Thomas. While his decision to jump early for the draft was iffy, there's no questioning the void Thomas left behind. Both Bennett and Mariota are more athletic than Thomas, but his poise and confidence were important keys to Oregon's success the last two seasons. LaMichael James is gone, too, leaving a huge hole -- but the Ducks have veteran talent at running back. De'Anthony Thomas' Rose Bowl performance -- two carries, 155 yards, two touchdowns -- suggests an emerging star. Kenjon Barner can scoot, too, though the news that backup Tra Carson intends to transfer thins the Ducks' depth at the position. Ultimately, the biggest question was answered in late January. Yes, it turns out, Chip Kelly decided to return after ever so briefly agreeing to become Tampa Bay's coach. With Kelly's track record, the spring will be a nice time to see how the Ducks plug-and-play the next generation of stars.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:41 AM
Thursday, March 08, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com goes one-on-one with co-writer Josh White as they discuss how Josh managed to join the FishDuck team, his interest in current sports with a focus on basketball and baseball, and the Oregon athletics renaissance.
• Aaron Fentress talks about LMJ and how his four years at Oregon was a piece of cake compared to the NFL combine.
"That was probably the most mentally and physically tiring thing I've ever had to endure in my life," he said this week while back in Eugene. "There's nothing that anybody or any kind of workout can do to prepare you for what you're going to endure mentally."
• David Melo @FishDuck.com has a Q&A with former Oregon safety Michael Fletcher.
• Chris Charbonnier @FishDuck.com countdowns the final three spots in his Pac-12 recruiting talent story.
• David Melo @FishDuck.com has a Q&A with former Oregon safety Michael Fletcher.
• Chris Charbonnier @FishDuck.com countdowns the final three spots in his Pac-12 recruiting talent story.
• GoDucks.com honors Hero of the Week Boseko Lokombo who is a part of the O Heroes program.
Each week O Heroes sits down with one of our student-athletes to get to know more about them on and off of the field. This week we feature Boseko Lokombo, a 5'11" junior linebacker on the Oregon football team. His dedication in academics, athletics and philanthropy make him a triple threat.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
From the SI article: Armstead had quite the wild recruiting ride. The five-star defensive end -- who is actually rated higher as an offensive tackle, but will exclusively play defense in college -- committed to USC in June 2010, de-committed from the Trojans in the fall of 2011 and looked like he was headed to Cal until assistant Tosh Lupoi moved to Washington in January. That's when Ducks coach Chip Kelly moved in, impressing Armstead enough to get him to sign and enroll early at Oregon. Rivals' No. 61 player should make an impact both on the field and on the court in Eugene: The 6-foot-8, 280 pound Armstead will also play basketball for the Ducks.
• Rob Moseley has a poll asking what player we think will get the most receptions in 2012. At the time I voted the overwhelming favorite was De'Anthony Thomas with Rashaan Vaughn a distant second.
• Jeffrey Martin reports that offensive lineman Carson York is building his digital brand and has a Twitter transcript of a conversation they recently had.
• Mark Flores @FishDuck.com has another thorough recruiting update and wonders if Thomas Tyner might be inline to pick up some playing time with the suspected transfer of Tra Carson.
• Dale Newton ponders the proverbially glass and suggests it's technically always full.
The penalty phase of the Josh Huff story hasn't been announced, and may not be. Like a lot of things on a team dictated and controlled by a singular vision, we'll know when we know. We'll know when Rob Moseley and Aaron Fentress tell us, and when they ask the question they may or may not get a useful answer. It's part of the schtick. The walls around the program are the not only the price of success but part of the reason for it. It's a clarity of purpose and a fierceness that sets it apart. Things are different at Oregon than they've ever been. We can be nostalgic for the old days and open practices, but the results are a whole new era of excellence. Often Chip Kelly's bulldog intensity and clipped answers are a code for one thing: "you want to win? This is how we do it. My way. No explanations. Limited access. We'll let you know. Or maybe we won't."
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
"While we have no specific timetable on the inquiry, we remain in close communication with the NCAA as the process advances cooperatively through each stage," UO athletic director Rob Mullens wrote in an e-mail to athletic program supporters the same day. "Currently, pursuant to the NCAA's process, we are in constructive discussions with the NCAA on their draft of their proposed findings."
In doing so, the university's goal is to avoid receiving a Notice of Allegations and instead resolve the case through summary disposition.
• How about some positive news you might ask?...how about the baseball team...with its latest sweep of Long Beach State the Ducks moved up one spot to #17 and Devoe Joseph on the basketball team made the first team All Pac-12 squad.
Monday, March 05, 2012
• Keeerrrttt1 @FishDuck.com talks all things Oregon in episode 32 of his weekly Vlog. Here is his agenda for this show:
FishDuck website upgrades (0:28), Oregon spring sports update (0:48), Football Issues (3:45), FishDuck.com update (6:34), Random Tweet of the Week (9:13), Music recommendation of the week (9:25)...
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:55 AM
• Wouldn't it be nice if we could get through a spring with no bad news is the theme in Dale Newton's latest article at The Duck Stops Here.
Two news updates on Saturday made yesterday's column a lie or a jinx. The Eugene Register-Guard's Rob Moseley blogged running back Tra Carson is transferring (confirmed by a team source), and in another story Jack Moran of the Guard reported that wide receiver/slot back/running back Josh Huff was arrested for DUII and driving without a license.
In football and well as life, we've all known or been the guy who can't get out of his own way. We squander talent. We make dumb decisions or fail to take care of the basics. Insurance and a driver's license are part of the basics. I've been that guy. Josh Huff doesn't want to wake up at 27, his body no longer chiseled, his uniform eight designs old, wondering what became of the promise and cocksure certainty he had at 20. Don't do it Josh. Don't let bitterness or inattention rule your head. Let someone like James Harris or Gary Campbell counsel you, take your punishment like a man, and recommit to using your talent and harvest its brilliant potential. Don't do that to yourself or your family. The Oregon family wants to love you; all they ask is effort and a reasonable attention to the basics. We've all screwed up. It's what you do next that matters.
• Brian @ FishDuck.com believes icons don't need name tags and takes a closer look at the chrome helmet the Ducks wore at the Rose Bowl.
The wings on the helmets could come to represent that mythological dream world: entry alongside the Notre Dames and Alabamas of the world, where no name or even letter of identification is necessary.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
• Before we get to the bad news, how about this dunk by Olu Ashaolu as the Ducks crushed Utah 94-48 yesterday. The baseball team kept their winning streak alive by beating Long Beach State in 13 innings, 3-2.
• You had to know someone on the football team was going to seek a transfer during this time of the year or get busted for doing something they shouldn't be doing. Both happened yesterday. RB Tra Carson is looking to transfer according to a report by Rob Moseley. Jack Moran reports that Oregon WR Josh Huff was cited for DUII early Saturday morning.
• Hang onto your wallets, season ticket prices at Autzen are going up between 13% to 45% depending on where you sit. The endzones got hit with the biggest increase. Ouch.
Posted by Mike Wines at 6:55 AM
Saturday, March 03, 2012
The Eugene chapter of Habitat for Humanity is $500 richer because of Oregon's Rose Bowl victory.
That's because Eugene mayor Kitty Piercy prevailed in her bet with Madison mayor Paul Soglin when the Ducks beat Wisconsin 45-38.
In a departure from the usual wagers of local products, the two mayors bet $500 to be used for tools for the Habitat for Humanity organization in the prevailing city. They agreed to raise the money privately and that no city funds would be involved.
• Four Oregon football players in the O Heroes program visited Riverbend Elementary School in Springfield recently to denounce bullying.
Boseko Lokombo (Jr. -LB), Derrick Malone (So.-LB), Jamaal Burrell (Jr.-OL) and Bryan Bennett (RFr.-QB) took the time from their Friday afternoon to share their insights and experiences with regards to bullying and answered Q&A from students about how to deal with bullies and what motivates and inspires them to be true to themselves even in the face of ridicule.
• Rob Moseley reports former Oregon player Dewitt Stuckey has raised over $4k for his scholarship foundation.
Stuckey raised $3,560 by auctioning off three of his game-used UO football jerseys on eBay, and received another $600 or so in direct donations over the last week. The scholarship fund will benefit youth in Stuckey's hometown of Stockton, Calif., who hope to play football in college but don't earn an athletic scholarship and otherwise lack the means.
Posted by Mike Wines at 5:47 AM
Friday, March 02, 2012
• Ted Miller talks about Oregon's spring priorities. (about time Miller turned on the "share" feature on his videos)...
• Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay rework their rankings now that the combine is over and like LMJ's performance.
He'll want to brand himself as a Darren Sproles-type, and he has the measurables to do that. The 4.45 40 is actually an important number for James, who needs the "explosive" credentials at his size (194 pounds). Second-round grade for me.
Thursday, March 01, 2012
• Bruce Feldman talks about the looming QB competition between Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota.
Bennett, who completed 54 percent of his passes with a 6-0 TD-INT ratio and ran for 200 yards in a few games at midseason, is the favorite, but don't write off the 6-4 Mariota, a late-bloomer as a recruit, who has generated a lot of buzz among his teammates. He's seen as a guy who'll look to throw more than Bennett, we're told. This should be a legit BCS title contender if Bennett and/or Mariota are as advertised.
• In a totally un-scientific poll at OregonLive.com, the majority of fans guess the NCAA will hand down a very light penalty to Oregon over recruiting violations. (74% when I checked last)
• Chris Charbonnier @FishDuck.com continues his ranking of Pac-12 recruiting talent with the six through four spots.
• Rob Moseley wraps up the NFL combine results among the former Oregon players. Not surprisingly, LaMichael had the best performance.
In what surely comes as no surprise to Oregon fans or Pac-12 defensive players who saw first-hand LaMichael James’ record-setting UO career the past three years, James proved to be among the quickest and most explosive running backs at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, which concluded Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Posted by Mike Wines at 4:43 AM