Coach's Corner: Fall Camp

Any football fan knows that a couple of the key ingredients to a successful football program are recruiting and coaching. While those two components are important it is the voluntary summer workouts that pay huge dividends during the season.

During the summer of the 2000 the majority of the football team stayed in Corvallis training day after day together. As we all know, the year 2000 was a very a good year for Beaver Nation. This summer head coach Mike Riley said that the team "had a tremendous effort during summer workouts" which, as Riley says, "shows a great commitment from this team."

Riley immediately addressed the quarterback position and Matt Moore being named the main man. Moore had a decent spring but Riley admitted that he needs a lot more repetitions to get game ready. Moore should be in good hands with the offensive line though as Riley believes that this year's unit will be better than the 2004 version.

"I truly believe we have a chance, even though we lost Doug Nienhuis and Matt Brock, to step forward in this area," Riley said.

Despite relaying the bad news that senior receiver Marcel Love will not be with the team due to academic issues, Riley remained upbeat about the unit calling it one of the stable parts of the team.

At running back the head coach likes the competition between Yvenson Bernard and Jimtavis Walker and expects big things from the two. He expects freshman Patrick Fuller to factor into the equation sooner rather than later.

Defensively he expects the line to be improved across the board.

"I don't know that anyone will be Bill Swancutt," Riley said. "but our line in total will be improved when you look across the board at other positions. We're looking to get that overall production from a lot of people."

Another stable part of the team is the linebackers. Unfortunately senior linebacker Chaz Scott may miss the start of fall camp due to academic work, but his teammates and coaches expect him to be on the field shortly.

Three of the four secondary positions are filled with the second cornerback position up for grabs. Junior college transfer Aaron Miller is expected to be in camp but Edorian McCullough is looking like a long shot.

One of the most exciting parts of the team is the special teams where Riley said "(they) made big improvement as the year went on." With kicker Alexis Serna and punter Sam Paulescu returning he expects the unit to get off to a fast start.

"We should grow out of what we did last year and in the spring, and we should hit the ground running," the Corvallis native said. "We've got two of the best specialists in the conference in Alexis Serna, our kicker, and I think that Sam Paulescu is the best punter in the conference."

There is a lot of work to do as the offense will run a seasons worth (800 +) of plays in just three weeks.  Hectic?  A little.  But consistent improvement is the key to success in August.


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