Ducks work in the rain

Eugene, Ore. -- It rained on Tuesday afternoon in Eugene but the Oregon Ducks stayed outside working on drills and on the running game. On Monday, the Ducks were able to go inside of the Moshofsky Center due to lightning in the area, but on Tuesday the Ducks let the rain roll off their backs as they worked for about two and half hours in the sixth session of the 2006 spring workouts.

As the team works through the second week of practices a number of players were held out and a couple of things sticks out in the mind of Oregon's head coach Mike Bellotti as areas needing work. Communication in the running game and mounting a pass rush are the two things at this point in the spring that Bellotti notices needing improvement. The head coach believes his offensive linemen need to work on being aware of situations and letting everyone else know too.

"Our offensive tackles and inside wide receivers and tight ends need to communicate and be aware of who we are optioning and who we are blocking," observed Bellotti. "This is something we need to get better at."

The trio a talented running backs, Jonathan Stewart, Jeremiah Johnson and Terrell Jackson continued to work in various formations during the day while the coaches continued working with the line to communicate.

On the defensive side of the ball a more consistent pass rush is a point that the Duck coaching staff is emphasizing to their charges.

"I haven't noticed a tremendous pass rush yet," said Bellotti of an area needing improvement this spring. "We need to mount a four-man pass rush to stay efficient in our defense."

On Friday the Ducks will hold a 40-minute scrimmage and the results of the work on the pass rush should become apparent as clearly a challenge has been made by the coaching staff for the defensive line to pick up the pace.

Brady Leaf was held out of practice due to a sprained ankle and that meant the majority of throws during practice was made by Dennis Dixon, who continues to show good control on his passes. Third string quarterback Kyle Bennett also as involved in the drills.

Edward Dickson was also out of action because of a shoulder separation suffered Monday. Wide receiver Derrick Jones was in sweats because of a groin pull. Leaf, Dickson and Jones should be available on Friday for the scrimmage.

Two players that had been held out for the last few practices were back in action. Jackie Bates and Cameron Colvin have been out since last Thursday, but were back performing on Tuesday.

The scrimmage and practice on Friday will start around 4:15 p.m. and should last until around 7 p.m.

Notes:
Jaison Williams had a number of good catches after dropping 3-straight passes in drills.
Cameron Colvin had a breakaway catch and run.
Andiel Brown nearly broke a kickooff return for a touchdown, coming up about 15-yards short of a touchdown.

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