(PHOTO) Oregon Ducks defensive end Dion Jordan (96) lines up before a play against the Stanford Cardinal during the fourth quarter at Stanford Stadium. Oregon defeated Stanford 53-30. Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
"Two things, personnel, establishing two-deep, establishing starters as close as we can and guys learning scheme," explained Aliotti of the coaches' goals for spring ball. "Those are the two main goals."
Oregon's defense led the conference in sacks last season recording a total 45 of the total 94 tackles for loss. Dion Jordan is the retuning sack leader who dialed up 7.5 sacks last season. However, the Ducks need to find a replacement for Terrell Turner and his 5.5 sacks. Oregon has had success in the Chip Kelly area getting production the rush with players like Kenny Rowe, Jordan and Turner and this spring will have several new faces plus some players listed as defensive tackles moving to the edge.
One such player moving around the line is Taylor Hart. While listed as a defensive tackle on the official roster, in fact Hart can perform many of the tasks that is called for in the pass rush. Hart had a total of 44 tackles but including 2.5 sacks, but he also had two pass break ups and two pass deflections.
Tony Washington played in 10 games in the 2011 season recording 18 tackles (10 solos) including a sack plus getting credit for a pass break up and a deflection.
Jared Ebert, the redshirt junior who sat last year out after transferring to Oregon from Iowa Western Community College, is another player like Hart that can play on both the interior and on the edge of the defensive line.
Other redshirts that will getting lots of snaps this spring are Koa Ka'ai, David Kafovalu, Ryan McCandless and Sam Kamp.
The biggest new face in practice is incoming freshman Arik Armstead. Not only is he the tallest player on the team, he also has the distinction of being the first defensive lineman to wear a single digit jersey. Armstead will be No. 9 this season.
While Armstead was rated at the No.1 offensive tackles prospect last season by Scout, a look at the the 2011 mid-season highlight to get an idea of what Armstead is as a defensive end:
Spring Ball: Defensive Ends
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