Oregon Fall Camp: Day 4

Donning the sleak matte black helmets that arrived on the scene towards the end of the 2008 season, the Ducks had a spirited fourth day of practice that included a little bit of everything, including a minor intra-squad donnybrook.

1. For the second consecutive day, both competitors for the Ducks' starting quarterback position had a very solid day of practice. Nate Costa and Darron Thomas split snaps evenly this afternoon, just as they have during the three previous days, with neither player beginning to separate himself from the fold. Costa once again improved upon his decision making and accuracy and showed great touch on a number intermediate and deep passes. His throw down the sideline to redshirt freshman wide receiver Nick Cole was one highlight during the Ducks' first 7-on-7 session of the day. Costa also performed well in 11-on-11 team drills. Though he did have a pass at the line of scrimmage tipped and intercepted by defensive end Kenny Rowe, Costa responded well, finding running back LaMichael James and wide receiver Jeff Maehl for big gains through the air.

Though he didn't have the kind of practice had on Wednesday, Thomas still had a fine day running the offense when given the opportunity. Despite mishandling the football on a couple of occasions, Thomas was quite useful getting the ball to his receivers on short and intermediate routes. His favorite receiver today was tight end Malachi Lewis, who has stood out thus far four days in to fall camp.

"We've got some competition (at tight end)," said Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, "We got David (Paulson), Brandon Williams, and we got Curtis (White) and I think Mal is answering the bell right now...we'll see if he can continue to do that."

2. In addition to the strong play of Lewis, true freshman wide receiever Josh Huff steadily continues to make a serious play for considerable playing time this upcoming season. The Houston, Tex. native had another terrific day today making plays out of the slot where he demonstrates sound fundamentals and tremendous hands to go along with his blazing speed and athleticism.

"The one thing about Josh is that he kind of doesn't act like a freshman," said Kelly after practice,

"Josh is a real even-keeled kid and he's picked things up. It'll be exciting when we get to some competition days and some scrimmages to see what he can do, but he definitely has a physical skill-set that's been impressive so far."

Notes: Up until today, players did a good job of tempering their emotions and preventing themselves from reacting with physical outbursts. Sophomore offensive lineman Carson York and senior defensive end Kenny Rowe ended that all this afternoon after the two got in a heated shoving match and had to separate by teammates...After practice today, Kelly, while pleased with his team's overall effort today, expressed that his backs and receivers need to improve their ball security. "We're getting stripped more than anything," remarked Kelly, "The quarterbacks are doing a better job, but we've got too many drops at the receiver spot right now and we're not carrying the ball really well."

Oregon Official Injury Report DT Zac Clark (back), LB Michael Clay (leg), DB Erick Dargan (knee, ankle), OL Hroniss Grasu (shoulder), OL Darrion Weems (back), TE Curtis White (shoulder)

*Clay, Grasu, and White all wore red non-contact jerseys today but were dressed for drills. Dargan and Clark were dressed in normal team-issue practice gear. Also, Kelly told members of the media that he expect Weems back in another "day or two".


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