by Rob Moseley
Oregon kicked off the second week of preseason camp this morning with the first of two practices today.
Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Situations: Another morning heavy on positional drills and play installation, as the first session Saturday was. Special teams did some coverage drills, and there were field goals to close it out.
Highlights: The day concluded with an 11-on-11 situation, and the offense trying to drive the ball for a score. The first unit managed to get on the board with an Alejandro Maldonado field goal, but the defense got the better of it when the twos and threes were out there.
The day ended with the field-goal kickers getting a shot from 47 yards out, and the entire team and staff huddled closely around them as a distraction. In this case it was advantage, crowd, as Matt Wogan, Hayden Crook and Maldonado were unable to connect. This was just the second day of work for kickers with the full team, rather than off on their own, and there will no doubt be many more chances for them to try to deliver.
Most entertaining period: Getting the chance now to watch Marcus Mariota not just on Saturdays but each day in practice is something I won't take for granted. During seven-on-seven this morning, he was as locked-in as you can be. Three completions to Eric Dungy, another to Daryle Hawkins, and a rifled screen that was deftly hauled in by Thomas Tyner, who spent a series of the drill with the ones. There was also a nifty short pass to De'Anthony Thomas who made for the sideline and then, just as Ifo Ekpre-Olomu arrived to make the "tackle," deftly cut back and was off to the races.
After the series with Tyner, Mariota took a minute on the sideline to put his arm around the freshman's shoulders and talk through a couple things. It was a subtle example of what a leader Mariota is. After each series by a unit in seven-on-seven, they're supposed to run off the field, touch the sideline and then join the rest of the offense in the middle of the field, behind the play. Most guys run off on their own, quickly touch the sideline and then head back. Mariota is first off the field, but then waits at the sideline to greet each of the other offensive guys before returning to the field. A small detail, but worth noting I thought.
Other observations: Tight end John Mundt is starting to remind me of Dungy in that, while I don't have near the technical knowledge or insight to say how well he's doing in other facets, man, can he catch the ball. Another nice grab today during seven-on-seven, in traffic and despite the pass being rifled at him. … Freshman quarterback Damion Hobbs reminds me, in terms of body type, of former NFL quarterback David Garrard. … Dior Mathis anticipated a throw for a pretty interception during seven-on-seven.
Up next: The Ducks will be back outside for another practice this afternoon.
BASKETBALL - M
BASKETBALL - W
GOLF - M
GOLF - W
TENNIS - M
TENNIS - W
TRACK & FIELD
Mon, Dec 30
Football 3:45 PM
Valero Alamo Bowl
San Antonio, Texas