Not Thousands, Just a Few Won't See Practice

Oregon's Chip Kelly said his team is anxious to get back to playing football, and the team will have its chance starting next Tuesday when spring practice starts. Even though there are 15 practice sessions, fans will only have one opportunity to see the Ducks in action and that will be at the spring game on Saturday, April 28.

This the first year that the public (including media) will be closed out of spring practice and when asked why the sessions are closed, Chip Kelly indicated that his coaching staff analyzes everything it does and when the "pluses outweigh the minuses" then a course of action is taken. Kelly also point out that on any given practice session there were only fifteen to twenty bystanders.

"(It's) not like we told thousands that you couldn't go to practice," Kelly emphasized in explaining why the public isn't allowed into the practice sessions.

Kelly also indicated that all positions are wide open to competition including the quarterback. With Darron Thomas moving onto the NFL, four players will compete for the starting role. Sophomore Bryan Bennett would seem to have the upper hand in the competition as he has seen playing time and started last year in Oregon's big win over Colorado. Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota will make his case this spring. While neutral observers have not had a good chance to watch Mariota in action, he is known as a big, strong, gifted athlete. True freshman Jake Rodrigues and walk on Dustin Haines will also have a shot according to Kelly but the headman made it clear no decision will be made on the starter until the week before the the Arkansas State game on September 1, 2012.

Another significant piece of information relayed by Kelly was that two incoming freshmen, tight end Evan Baylis and defensive lineman Arik Armstead will join Rodriguez as three new scholarship players from the 2012 recruiting class to participate in spring workouts.

"The three will catch up to us," Kelly said of the three newcomers' learning curve at spring workouts. "I was impress with all three when we recruited them."

Kelly indicated the new football season started just as soon as the Ducks returned home after beating Wisconsin,45-38 in the 2012 Rose Bowl. While he and his team were happy about the great memories they created last year, that it is "time to see what the 2012 Oregon Ducks look like."

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