Bits and Pieces from Day 1

Eugene -- Monday, August 6th, was media's chance to have the team all to itself -- well mostly. Coaches and players patiently answered questions about the team and the upcoming season. Here are are few of the memorable responses.

The Ducks are seeking to fill the vacated quarterback position left by the Darron Thomas, who left Oregon to pursue a job in professional football. The two leading candidates for the signal caller position are sophomore Bryan Bennett and redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota. Much of the task of developing these two young quarterbacks fall on Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich.

"We're trying to get a product for Oregon football," said Helfrich of the quarterback competition between Bennett and Mariota. "It's not Bryan versus Marcus, you know, it's not Romney-Obama, it's let have the best product on the field."

Speaking of Darron Thomas, Head Coach Chip Kelly was asked if there is a future for Thomas in coaching?

"Would I entertain Darron being a graduate assistant or a coach at some point in time, I think he'd be an outstanding coach and graduate assistant if that's the path he wants to go," announced Kelly.

Now the question is, was that an invitation?

This team may not have a vocal, fiery leader like LaMichael James, but according to running backs coach Gary Campbell, it isn't necessary to have that kind of fiery leader to have good football players.

"I don't think you have to have that kind of a personality to have a good football player," remarked Campbell. "We had a lot of players that came along before LaMichael that didn't have that same kind of spirit. A lot of players have different attitudes towards the game. It all boils down to how they perform on the field, how productive they are.

When asked to clarify why Colt Lyerla was excused from Monday's practice, if it was an academic issue, Chip Kelly snapped back.

"I didn't say it was an academic issue, I said he's excused and should be here shortly," responded Kelly to the question.

A follow up question then asked Kelly if shortly meant by tomorrow.

"Shortly," responded Kelly.

Finally, it may have been Devon Blackmon who said it best about what it means to start fall camp. Blackmon was a highly rated, blue-chip wide receiver out of high school that spent the 2011 season in a redshirt. Now entering his redshirt freshman year, Blackmon is ready to go.

"I was very excited about it," said Blackmon over the start of fall camp. "A couple of nights I couldn't sleep because I was up thinking about it. I just can't wait to show the coaches and the other players what I can do."


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