by Andy McNamara
Venue: Moshofsky Center
Note: Rob Moseley is still en route from the Bay Area after covering yesterday's Oregon/NFL running back reunion.
This morning's workout was a typical game week Monday in every sense except that is was first to come after defeat for the 2013 Oregon Ducks and their first-year head coach Mark Helfrich. Did that have an effect on the general mood or productivity of the workout? Not based on what I took in.
The defense was businesslike, appearing to have "flushed" the Stanford game from their memory banks as was the directive at this morning's team meeting, and the offense competed with the pent up energy they likely had from hardly seeing the field last Thursday night.
Helfrich reiterated to his charges at the end of the 90-minute session, "Flush it, it's gone. All of our focus is on Utah."
Highlights: For a change of pace, the offensive and defensive scout team units were matched up against one another at the end of practice in what would typically be a "clutch" period for the 1s and 2s. The defensive scouts played offense with 6-6 end T.J. Daniel at quarterback (he was wearing a red scout team No. 8, completing the part). After three failed attempts at the end zone, Daniel used an unorthodox sidearm release to hit linebacker turned wide receiver Mike Garrity for the game-winning touchdown. ... Pharaoh Brown continued to make a case to seize the starting tight end job for good with a couple of nifty grabs on darts from Marcus Mariota. ... Brian Jackson, coming off a career-high 14 tackles against the Cardinal, stood out with a quality breakup during 7-on-7. ... Bralon Addison made a leaping, twisting grab on a ball thrown a touch high and ran it into the end zone.
Other observations: Based on the line of questioning directed at Mariota after practice, don't be surprised if the primary theme that is drummed up heading into Saturday revolves around the health of his left knee, which was braced during the second half of the UCLA game and the entire Stanford game. It's an easy story, but Mariota was clear that he practiced fully and admitted to feeling better today than last week. The fact remains that despite not having his typical wheels due to the brace, the redshirt sophomore QB managed to go 8-of-8 for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns during Oregon's only two offensive drives during the fourth quarter at Stanford. If the Ducks had recovered that final onside kick, you have to wonder if anyone would be talking about the knee.