Spring football 2017

The Oregon Ducks finished the third practice session of the spring workouts and today marked the first time this spring in which the Ducks wore pads and had limited contact. The day was about competition through various drills.

During a session with reporters Oregon Head Coach Willie Taggart said that the team is not where he wants it to be yet, but his team is "getting better every day." Taggart indicated the Ducks have to learn how to compete so that they can "practice at full speed without making mistakes."

While tackling was not a priority on Saturday, Taggart mentioned the coaches are continuing to observe and evaluate the team.

One of the players that the head coach mentioned was true freshman Thomas Graham, whom Taggart praised for the work the defensive back put in last week. Also catching the headman's eye was sophomore Malik Lovette who was switched from the defensive backfield last year to wide receiver this year. 

One other group that drew praises is a group some had some concerns about.

"I've been impressed by the O-line," admitted Taggart speaking of the Duck offensive line. "They're technically sound and know what to do."

Another true freshman that Taggart has been impressed with is Darrian McNeal, the true freshman from Seffner, Florida, who just arrived in Eugene last week. Taggart described McNeal as very "athletic." Another newcomer, quarterback Braxton Burmeister had a mention by the Head Coach as someone who is here "studying everyday and trying to get tough, he knows he's behind but he's here everyday." Taggart also said that Burmeister even goes into the film room by himself.

"You want film junkies," said Taggart said of his freshman quarterback Burmeister. "Guys who just love being in there."

In the future, spring workouts will fall earlier in the year. Taggart said that this year, April was fine because it allowed the new staff a bit more time to come together but when spring workouts occur in April it means the coaching staff may miss two weeks of recruiting.

Next week, the Saturday practice will be held at Jesuit High School in Portland to give the Portland area fans an opportunity to see the Ducks and meet the coaching staff. Start time for next Saturday is 2:30 p.m.


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