It has been astonishing over the past several years how the Ducks have been able to put defensive backs into the NFL. When Walter Thurmond III and Patrick Chung were patrolling the back field, they gave themselves the moniker, “D-Boyz.”
Since Chung and Thurmond went into the league, the Ducks have had several players end up playing football on Sunday including: Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward and Terrance Mitchell. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is being regarded as a top flight pro talent and is expected to declare for the draft after this season.
In that time, two things have remained constant: Coach John Neal and the “D-Boyz” nickname.
“We’re all together as one. We’re all D-Boyz. We all have the same goal. We are all going to try to make each other great. We’re all trying to be great and strive for the best. We are going to be the hardest workers out on the field, every time,” said Safety Reggie Daniels.
The competition between Daniels and Tyree Robinson has been fierce throughout camp. Even with the first depth chart released, it is still not clear who will be the starter when the Coyotes come in to town on Saturday. Currently, the depth chart states Tyree Robinson or Reggie Daniels.
“We’re both really rangy guys. We both go get the ball so that is going to be good for us. We can both cover a lot of ground. I think we are going to be good back there,” said Daniels.
While his name is first in the depth chart, it is still a bit of an unknown as to who will be with Erick Dargan in the back half. In speaking with Tyree Robinson, he reiterated what Daniels had said but spoke a little more about what he brings to the table.
“When the ball is in the air, it is easy for me to adjust to it and go get it at its highest point. That’s from playing receiver and playing basketball. Just being able to cover guys at me size, being big and being able to play the DB role,” said Robinson.
We will find out very soon when Don Essig announces the starters on Saturday who will be taking the first defensive snaps for the Ducks. With the competition that close, it is going to be a battle all season long to see who gets to play back there which only bodes well for the Oregon defensive backfield.
Competition unsettled at Free Safety
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