Week 3 Wrap
Sunday, April 19, 10:30 p.m. PT
The Ducks finished up their third week of spring ball Saturday with a scrimmage in Autzen Stadium, leaving only six more official team practices between now and the start of fall camp. In between, the coaches will hit the recruiting trail and the players will be under the watchful eye of strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe.
Plenty of folks braved the sunshine to get a glimpse of Oregon's first scrimmage of the spring.
Some observations from last week, with an emphasis on the scrimmage...
- Eddie Pleasant was born to play SAM linebacker. The redshirt sophomore could certainly hold his own at a couple of other positions on the football field, but his ability to shed blocks and explode to the ball, or cover backs and tight ends in pass coverage was on display in the first scrimmage. He wasn't the leading tackler for the defense in the contest, but was in on or a beat away from nearly every stop.
- This defense, at least early on, is tenacious. A definition from Merriam-Webster: 1. not easily pulled apart, cohesive; tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance. 2. persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired. The way the entire unit swarms to the ball is really impressive, and the spots along the front four appear to be well manned despite the loss of three starters from last year.
- Darron Thomas has been sharp this spring, but Saturday was a bit rocky. To be fair, the Ducks had some snapping issues when first-string center Jordan Holmes wasn't on the field, and Thomas was forced to field more errant hikes than the two other quarterbacks. He threaded a ball into a tight spot, hitting Ed Dickson for a nice gain, but it looked like he was attempting the throw the ball too hard instead of trusting his regular motion, which has been Dixon-esque at times inside the Moshofsky center.
- Scott Grady might be a "Gamer." This isn't to say the redshirt freshman cornerback disappears in practice, but he seems to have developed a knack for getting noticed in scrimmages since his arrival from Tigard High School. Saturday, he put some sick moves on display, shaking a couple of would be tacklers on a punt return and hauled in the only interception of the day, returning it close to 60 yards before falling to the turf. It wasn't all helmet stickers for Grady, who also dropped a potential pick and had to smother a punt after muffing the catch, but the ball finds its way to No. 28 an awful lot.
- Aaron Pflugrad's first of two touchdowns Saturday was incredible. The true junior reached around his defender and pulled in Jeremiah Masoli's pass with one hand.
Busy day on tap tomorrow with some national media folks in town. The Ducks will go Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, all in the morning. After this weekend's perfect weather, there's a decent chance the squad can get back out on the grass practice fields. Friday's practice will feature a scrimmage and will be held in Autzen.
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