Football Practice Report: Aug. 8


Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Shells

Four days into preseason camp for the Oregon football team, and the evaluation process is only just beginning for offensive coordinator and QB coach Kenny Dillingham.

The Ducks have a new starting quarterback to identify. They have transfers to compete with the returning talent at receiver and running back. There are some young offensive linemen looking to push the veteran group that returns up front. When the Ducks left the practice field Monday, there were four days of film to evaluate, countless reps that will help make decisions in those competitions.

But the meat of that process is still to come as preseason camp continues.

“We haven’t even had full pads yet,” Dillingham pointed out. “We haven’t played football yet.”

The first full week of camp began Monday. Three weeks from then, it will be game week for Oregon’s season opener. Between now and then, there’s much to be sorted out.

And when exactly any of it happens is up to the players involved.

“It’s going to take what it takes,” Dillingham said Monday, when asked about how the team’s two preseason scrimmages will impact the QB competition. “And whatever that is, it is. There’s no magic number to it.”

There are nuances to coach over the next month; Dillingham said both Bo Nix spirit Ty Thompson have worked on a more compact release in their throwing motion, while Jay Butterfield’s focus has been footwork. There’s new verbiage for the vets on the offensive line to learn.

But in some ways, there’s a simple way for players to stand out. Take the running backs, and what Dillingham is looking for from them.

“It’s about yards per carry,” he said. “And it’s about explosive plays.”

There’s a great line from the movie “Bull Durham” about how baseball is a simple game: “You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball.” Of course, there are endless details to refine too. And football is no different – ​​the depths of technical knowledge are immense.

But also, it’s a simple game: You move the ball. You try to score the ball. On defense, you try to prevent all of that. As the preseason camp progresses for Oregon, those are the goals. In some ways, it’s a simple game.

Chase Quota Practice

Notable: Both sides of the ball could claim a win during a red-zone period late in practice. Camden Lewis got the offense on the board by making a 34-yard field goal to cap one drive, while Jackson LaDuke pressured the QB into an incompletion and also had a tackle for loss on another possession. Between LaDuke, Noah Sewell, Jeffrey Bassa, Justin Flowey, Keith Brown, etc., it’s really fun to watch that inside linebacker group compete. …

One thing we hear a lot from the Ducks is the practical concept of “iron sharpens iron.” That dynamic plays itself out all the time in practice, with guys seeking each other out to test themselves, one example being receiver Chase Cota and defensive back Christian Gonzalez. … As the Ducks transitioned into their “team run” 11-on-11 period in the middle of practice Monday, music came blaring over the PA system. The song: “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill. (Yes, I had to ask somebody what it was). Suddenly, Dan Lanning‘s voice also came over the PA: “Turn it up! Team run is different!” The head coach was setting the stage for an intense period of work, and the Ducks obliged.

Jalil Tucker Isaah Crocker Practice

Quotable:

Senior receiver Caleb Chapman
On making a nice first impression since joining the team for preseason camp

“As an older guy, they expect you to set an example, go out there and make plays in fall camp. Going out there practicing and bonding as a team is going to make us better. Our team chemistry is going to make us better; when we have each other’s backs, we’ll be a much better team.”

Sophomore tight end Patrick Herbert
On returning to practice after a year lost to injury

“I feel good. Body feels good. Mentally, I’m there. It’s been nice having Cam McCormcik there with me; he’s been through it a few times, so he’s kind of led me through the process.”

Sophomore lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson
On contributing both ways over the past year

“I love football, and I’ll play wherever’s needed. Just do whatever’s best for the team. If you need me on one side, I’ll play. If you need me on the other side, I’ll play.”

Post-practice interviews:

Offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham

Senior receiver Caleb Chapman

Sophomore tight end Patrick Herbert

Sophomore lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson

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