Oregon head Chip Kelly admitted his team was "excited" for Saturday's spring game, after the Ducks concluded the actual practice portion of spring drills Wednesday inside Autzen Stadium. Donning pads, playing with officials, and stepping foot inside Autzen with a live crowd on hand are all things Kelly says contribute to the anticipation for Saturday's conclusion of spring practices.
"We treat it just like it's a game," said Kelly, who backed off from his comments earlier in the week that Saturday's spring game was "just another practice."
"We'll do the same pre-game warmup that we normally do with guys out on the field," Kelly continued. "It's the last time they [the players] will get to compete with each other from a football standpoint until we get back for fall camp...It's going to be a little bit of a different atmosphere I think."
As far as what Kelly likes most about the spring game, the fourth year head coach said that his favorite aspect of the event is the way the team has come together to pay tribute to our nation's armed forces while also doing it's part by giving back to the community.
"I like what we do," said Kelly. "The game is obviously a tribute to the military and the police personnel in (Eugene). In light of what happened last year -- just about a year ago at this time -- with Officer [Chris] Kilcullen, to honor those people that make the ultimate sacrifice for us so we can live our lives the way we do, I think our kids understand that.
"It puts things in perspective and the fact our fans can contribute, in what seems like a small way -- I think we raised 67,000 pounds of food for Food For Lane County -- that's another way we can give back in a positive manner."
Lastly, with spring drills now approximately over, Kelly was asked to reflect on the past few weeks and discuss whether he's received any answers to some of the roster questions that have followed his team throughout April. According to Kelly, the goal this spring was to never seek answers to questions, but instead to work towards improving each and everyday; echoing the overarching goal stated by Kelly at the beginning of spring drills.
"We weren't looking for answers, we were just looking for improvement," Kelly stated. "We don't have a game until September 1 and we're not even at May 1 yet, so there's a lot of time between now and then.
"I'm happy with what our effort has been like, how we've really practiced consistently, but there's still some positions where we don't have a lot of veterans coming back and those will be big question marks, but that will go through until we get in to preseason camp in August."
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
Notes From Spring Practice: Day 14
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