Ducks Don New Uniforms

Eugene -- The Oregon Ducks started its sixth day of fall practice with a twist -- a new practice jersey! Reporters, sitting approximately 150 yards from the practice field spotted the offense dressed in new yellow practice jerseys with green numerals. The Ducks are completing the first week of fall practice and will hit the field again this afternoon for the second session.

As has been the story all week long, spectators were seated in the soccer stands while the football team labors away on the Pape practice fields. While it means that binoculars are necessary to get a clear look at what is going on, the Oregon coaching staff ran the team through fundamental drills for the one hour and a half hour morning session.

Yesterday, Chip Kelly told reporters that he wasn't at all concerned yet with a depth chart. In fact he and his staff hadn't yet even begun to discuss who is first, second or third string. Right now they are focused on running as many repetitions as possible. That could mean that a new-comer like DeAnthony Thomas, would be lining up alongside last year's starting quarterback Darron Thomas, but that doesn't necessarily mean who will be the starters.

For sure, Thomas looks like a solid lock for the starting quarterback position. After all, he is clearly the team leader. He led the Ducks in summer workouts and all of his teammates point to Thomas as their leader. On the fall practice field Thomas has shown he's the boss in his throws, runs and overall posture.

The other Thomas, DeAnthony may not nose out the 2010 Doak Walker Award winner and All-American, LaMichael James as the starter, but the more those observers in the soccer stands see of No. 17, the more excited they get. DeAnthony Thomas might just be the fastest Duck on the field. He makes lightning fast cuts and has the foot speed to out run defenders.

James, who missed parts of the first week's practice sessions because of an excused absence to finish summer classes, looks like he is on track to be the most dominating running back in college football again. James, weighing in at 195 pounds, looks more mature and stronger, which should be bad news for the 12 opponents on Oregon's calender. Kenjon Barner, James' running mate last year, looks like he too could be the same potent force he was in 2010. So where does that leave DeAnthony Thomas, particularly in view of two other running backs, Lache Seastrunk and Tra Carson? Good question, because it would be hard to imagine that any of the Oregon running backs would not being able to start on any other Pac-12 team.

Darron Thomas, along with redshirt freshman Bryan Bennett and true freshman Marcus Mariota, have a very talented group of receivers to throw to. While there was concern headed into this camp that the Ducks would have to scramble to replace Jeffery Maehl, now with the Houston Texans, and Drew Davis, Oregon's receiving corps seems to be very healthy with the addition of JC transfer Rahsaan Vaughn, true freshmen Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler. Add in redshirt freshmen Keanon Lowe and Eric Dungy, sophomores Blake Cantu, Nick Cole and Daryle Hawkins, plus junior Will Murphy and senior Justin Hoffman, the Ducks have plenty of options in the passing game. Oh yeah, the tight ends, senior David Paulson, redshirt freshman Curtis White and freshman sensation Colt Lyerla are pretty good too.

Not much can be said yet for the offensive line, other than they look very tall, but Coach Steve Greatwood has them going through the drills behind the medic's shed on the practice field, obstructing the view from those of us in the soccer bleachers.

Perhaps when the pads come on and full contact starts, we'll have a chance to give more reviews on the offensive line as well as the defense's progress.

Until then though, we'll just have to keep looking out for new practice uniform combinations.


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