Meeting goals, working on others

The first measuring stick for the 2006 Oregon State football season has come and gone. With the season just a little over two weeks away recaps the top stories from fall camp including a look at each position.

Overall camp feel.

Head coach Mike Riley always runs an efficient camp as this fall’s sessions have displayed once again. Every player on the depth chart is receiving instruction and repetitions as the coaches evaluate their squads.

In return each player focuses on the task at hand and pays attention to their coach. There has been minute goofing around and, except for a couple of banal incidents, the players have exercised self control on the field.

If a player is not participating in a drill they are on the sidelines watching their teammates or talking with a peer or coach about improving their game. Many observers have called the practices business-like.

Despite the seriousness there is a great sense of camaraderie and respect between the players and coaches. Tight ends coach Jay Locey attributed much of his success at Linfield to team chemistry and Riley has taken note. So far, the team has gone bowling and to a movie. (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) Several other team building activities are scheduled this month.


Pre-fall goals and where the Beavers are at.

Form team identity.
Riley said - ""I’d really like to see this team focus on the fact of the team. We’ve really got to be a band together and not an individual, selfish group. That’s going to be huge for us. The identity is both tangible in a football, physical aspect that we have to develop, and a real toughness about that, and then a character that will keep this team together in hard times and really benefit us in the fourth quarter of games."

Now - As mentioned above, there is sense of team unity. Any time there is an interview with a player they mention their teammates and how they hang out outside of football and enjoy each other's company. As Riley mentions, this is a great sign for the future where they must come together to overcome a challenge.


Develop the receivers.
Riley said - "We’re going to start at wide receiver with Sammie Stroughter at X, Brandon Powers a the slot, and Anthony Wheat-Brown is going to play flanker where he played as a redshirt freshman when he first played – and he was productive there. These three guys give us a semblance of experience. Everybody will be practicing, and obviously that depth will be determined as we know more and as they play."

Now - Minus the suspensions the receiving group is right on track to be deep and talented. With Shane Morales and Chris Johnson's performance Saturday the coaches, players, and fans have plenty to be excited about.


Be a physical team.
Riley said - "Besides the tangible things, football-wise, we’ve got to be strong in the interior on both sides of the ball. The physical part of the game is going to be big for us. That identity has to be formed that we’re going to be a physical team, and we’re going to be able to run the ball. Then all those things that stem off of that – the play-action passes, the bootlegs and all that – are going to be good for us. We have to think in terms of that formation in that way, football-wise."

Now - This is an on-going project, but there are many players - Jeremy Perry, Yvenson Bernard, and Sabby Piscitelli just to name a few - that take pride in their work and are strong hygienically and mentally.


Develop the defensive line.
Riley said - "In the defensive line, there’s not a (former OSU All-American) Bill Swancutt there, but there are as many as eight guys who will play in games right now, and that’s a good thing, too. We’ll roll those guys in and they all have to give us everything they have. It would be nice between Joe Rudulph and Jeff Van Orsow and Joe Lemma and Victor Butler, those guys in there, that somebody develops as that guy who can make a play in the pass rush. That’s big for us, so that we don’t always have to blitz to get the pressure. That’s a big area and there are a lot of good, hard workers there and a great development, and that’s where that part of it is.

Now -Van Orsow has turned in some solid practices recently while Lemma has quietly been holding his own. The Rudulph suspension hurts as depth is a major issue, but perhaps there is added motivation for Dorian Smith and Victor Butler.


Get Canfield reps.
Riley said - "Our goal is to get Sean Canfield playing time, and not necessarily just at the end of games, but I don’t want to commit to too much until we get into camp and I feel he’s earned that right to do that. I think he’s made great headway in doing that, and I think that would be good for our team in case something happens this year, but also as we look down the road.

Now - Due to Moore's back Canfield has received the most reps out of any quarterback. The added repetitions in practice will only benefit his development and his decision making in game situations.



Receivers Marcel Love and Anthony Crosby were suspended indefinitely five days into camp for violating team rules. Before being suspended Love was trying to get academically qualified, but the outlook wasn't’t good. Riley called Love his best recruit this year.

Crosby earned praises from the coaches for his play with the scout team a year ago and lined up at flanker behind Anthony Wheat-Brown. Crosby’s suspension particularly hurts because OSU has had a hard time recruiting receivers from the prep ranks and Crosby was the most talented of the underclassmen.

Both receivers could return, although Love’s Division I collegiate career is probably over.

The most recent suspension is for an on-field issue with defensive end Joe Rudulph. As several newspapers highlighted last week Rudulph has problem controlling his temper. His temper got the best of him last week as he stormed off the field. Riley got sick of his attitude and promptly suspended the junior.


Inevitably there are going to be injuries and Oregon State has had their share. The good news is the starters have stayed relatively healthy. Quarterback Matt Moore tweaked his lower back on a routine play resulting in limited repetitions for a couple of days.

Moore looked fantastic during the scrimmage, but back injuries are pesky and if Moore gets hit the wrong way it could knock him out for the season. Running back Yvenson Bernard and tight end Joe Newton were held out of the scrimmage to protect them from injuries.

Here is rundown of the injuries so far.

  • CB Tim Clark hurt his hamstring and was on crutches, probably will miss most of August
  • DT Nayman Frank hyperextended his knee and is on crutches, expected to be back end of August
  • OG Zach Harris suffered a concussion, his status is day do day
  • DT Nicholas Pappa hurt his ankle and is on crutches
  • LB Eddie Stamm returned briefly before tweaking his knee again, his status is day to day
  • RB Dan Weis suffered a concussion, his status is day to day

More fall camp coverage.

Fall Camp Evaluation: Offense | Fall Camp Evaluation: Defense

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