Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said that he was satisfied with the way his team responded Tuesday, after hitting the ground running, literally, on Monday. The afternoon practice was the second overall practice for the Ducks this fall, with Kelly stating that much of the initial week of fall camp will be used to acclamate players, particularly the newcomers, to Oregon's preferred pace and playbook.
"A lot of guys are getting a lot of reps, which is good," said Kelly after practice. "It's just our second day of insertion, so we're trying to get all of our offense in. It'll take about five days to get our offense and defense in and then we'll start reviewing (everything)."
Many of the standout performers from Monday's practice stood out again on Tuesday. Most notably, true freshmen De'Anthony Thomas and Colt Lyerla had impact outings at running back and tight end, respectively. Thomas, once again, had his way with a defense that appeared to struggle with his uncanny speed and vision. Arguably, his most impressive play came on a reception in the flat from true freshman quarterback, Marcus Mariota; a play that showcased Thomas' staggering explosiveness down the sideline as he jetted past defenders. Though his day was cut a tad short due to an apparent leg injury that left him walking a bit gingerly towards the end of practice, Thomas continues to makes waves early on.
Lyerla was similarly captivating with his effort in day two, revealing himself as a preferred target for quarterback Bryan Bennett during his work with the second team offense. On a number of occasions, Lyerla made leaping and diving catches in defender-saturated areas, proving to be a matchup nightmare against many of the linebackers and defensive backs he went up against.
Predictably, Kelly didn't heap praise upon his highly touted freshmen, instead, he offered explanation for why it may have appeared that certain players stood out from others.
"With the skill positions," said Kelly, "there may be some more routes in, where as yesterday, there weren't a lot of routes in for the flanker (for instance). Maybe you didn't see him much (the day before), but then all the sudden he caught eight balls today.
Sophomore defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli was limited once again this afternoon with an apparent lower leg injury. He was seen wearing his helmet and a red non-contact jersey at the beginning of the day, but participated in few drills with the team as the day wore on. After practice, Kelly said that he had no concerns with Heimuli's overall health moving forward...Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu got the first crack at center on day two, though Kelly said that shouldn't be an indication of how the depth chart has sorted itself out thus far. "I have never once said, 'Wood, tell me who's in with the first group'...we said that for the first five days, there's no reason to have a (depth chart) discussion"...Junior running back LaMichael James saw little time in practice Tuesday as Kelly stated James had an excused absence due to academic obligations.
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
Notes From Fall Camp: Day 2
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