Oregon head coach Chip Kelly termed Thursday's practice as a "mental day", with added emphasis on scheme and gameplan and less focus on physical exertion. With the season opener versus New Mexico just days away, Kelly said that it can be difficult keeping his players focused on the here and now.
"It's hard," said Kelly of maintaing his team's focus, "That's the one thing we talked about in meetings last night and what I just talked about (after practice). When you're running around, it's full speed and it's easy. But it's really hard to focus and concentrate because you can let your mind wander...a play lasts four to six seconds and there's a little bit of time in between and then I gotta lock it back in for (another) four to six seconds, and that's what we're trying to accomplish on a day like this."
When asked if he's ready to play a real game, Kelly gave a coy response, saying that his team could use another day.
"We're on track," said Kelly, "We don't try to say that we don't have enough time...we've had a plan, we've had it for a while and we need another good day of practice tomorrow and we'll be ready for Saturday."
With regard to the limited number of injured players listed on the Ducks' official injury report, Kelly believes it is a testament to how dedicated and how hard his team has worked in the offseason to get in shape and prepare themselves for the upcoming year.
"It's really a tribute to how hard these guys have worked in the offseason," stated Kelly, "We've got everybody ready to go that's eligible to go and so we're excited about it. That's a huge thing. We stress to these guys that we want to play a lot of guys and you can't make the club if you're sitting in the tub, so you gotta get out there and practice and everybody is practicing."
Notes: Today was rather slow from an action standpoint, though my one main observation from this morning's practice was the lack of depth true freshman kicker Eric Solis got on his kickoffs. While it's difficult to say just how much this will carry over to Saturday's game, few of his kicks off the tee ever surpassed the 20 yard line. It could be interesting to see how much this factors in to starting field position for the Lobos on Saturday afternoon.
Oregon Official Injury Report:
OL Karrington Armstrong (ankle), OL Hroniss Grasu (shoulder), TE Curtis White (shoulder)
Kelly, Ducks Sharpen The Sword Thursday
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