Welcome to our daily Oregon practice reports on Rob Moseley’s blog. Rob will take over as the primary writer of these updates on Friday, but until then, Andy McNamara provides his take on the workouts.
The 2013 Oregon Ducks took to their new practice digs for the first time as a full team Monday, marking the first of 21 sessions leading into game week preparations ahead of the Aug. 31 home opener vs. Nicholls.
In an effort to be consistent with these reports per Mr. Moseley’s suggestion, here are the particulars:
Venue: Outdoor practice fields.
Format: Helmets (no pads).
Highlights: Koa Ka'ai, who split time between tight end and the defensive line last season, made a nice, one-handed, over the shoulder catch early in the session during a routine passing drill. Also, from a receiving standpoint, Eric Dungy followed up a rare drop during a 3v2 drill (3 DBs vs. 2 WR/RBs) with an aggressive grab in traffic on his next rep. Despite the helmets-only practice, Dungy’s improved physicality was evident. Veteran defensive lineman Ricky Havili-Heimuli looks to be in excellent physical condition and appeared fresh while flying through a series of intensive position drills in the 90-degree heat.
Most entertaining period: Other periods were technically more entertaining, but I find the first period of the first practice is always interesting to watch. Just seeing how newcomers respond and perform compared to their veteran counterparts is a rare opportunity that comes but once a year.
Other observations: The first song of the season (if you didn’t already know, the Ducks practice to music) was Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines … Outside of a few new faces, the schedule, pace and drills remained basically identical to recent years … As previously reported, incoming freshman running back Thomas Tyner is indeed fast, but more impressive to me was how quick his feet are and his ability to accelerate into and out of cuts … Freshman offensive lineman Doug Brenner, the younger brother of UO four-sport student-athlete Liz Brenner, took some snaps at center … It was great to see the leadership of veteran receivers Josh Huff and Keanon Lowe, coaching up newcomers Chris Tewhill and Devon Allen. The WR unit is Oregon’s most experienced group on offense … The size and athleticism on Oregon’s defensive line is a sight to behold.
Up next: The Ducks continue their single-day practice schedule through Friday, before two-a-days begin on Saturday. Until tomorrow.