Today was the first day the Ducks spent in shells and even with the added weight, the Ducks maintained their typical practice format, with the exception they were finally able to make contact. For the newcomers, this is the first opportunity to show what they can do outside the typical two hand touch mentality.
“I was really pleased with how guys responded to putting on pads. For the most part we are still installing and getting used to practice,” said offensive coordinator Scott Frost.
It is typical this early in the season for the defense to be what can seem like light years ahead of the offense in regards to execution and play in head to head situations. A major reason for this at Oregon is the offense spends roughly twice the time implanting their plan and schemes as the defense does.
“We’re actually going to install for about ten or twelve days. Right now it’s coming at [the offense] faster than it will in a game week, we have a lot more limited game plan during a game week than they have to learn right now. We’re throwing them in the deep end,” said Frost.
Deep end or no, there are many who feel that the Ducks may take a step back on offense this year, despite having Marcus Mariota behind center. With the absence of high production players like Josh Huff, De’Anthony Thomas and Bralon Addison it seems they have a fair case. One of the people who do not subscribe to that line of thinking is Frost.
“It certainly helps when you have a quarterback who has played two years and is that caliber of player. We also have 5 returning starters on the offensive line which limits a lot of mistakes. I’d say we’re closer to where [the defense] is then where we usually are.”
With Addison down, his impact is not only felt on the offensive side of the ball. Not only will he not be running routes but also his position as a punt returner is up for grabs. Fortunately for Oregon, the cupboard is not bare as far as speed goes, and there are several players who could step up, Johnathan Loyd included. According to Frost, Loyd has progressed very well mentally from the spring practice to now in regard to his mental approach to the game. That being said, the former point guard’s speed could be causing problems for special teams coordinators across the conference on the grid iron the same way it did on the hardwood.
Another receiver garnering praise from the OC was Dwayne Stanford. Frost stated that he has elite hands and “catches everything.” He will certainly be in the mix for playing time once the Ducks put the pads on and hit someone wearing different colors at the end of the month.
Frost: "We're throwing them in the deep end"
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