by Rob Moseley
Editor, GoDucks.com

The Ducks held a non-contact workout in between Tuesday's scrimmage and a competition day this afternoon

Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Helmets only
Situations: With no pads on, it was a session heavy on teaching and installation. The offense did two late periods of second-and-long, to reinforce all the reps they did in that situation during the scrimmage. Special teams included punt return and kickoff coverage.

Highlights: The 11-on-11 second-and-long periods to end the practice provided the best outlet for highlights, on a morning that stressed teaching and installation. Tony Washington blew up a play by getting to De'Anthony Thomas near the line of scrimmage, and Rodney Hardrick made a nice diving play to break up a pass from Jeff Lockie to Eric Dungy. Lockie tucked the ball and a ran for a "first down" later in the drill.

The morning opened with field-goal tries for Alejandro Maldonado and Matt Wogan from 49 yards out, with a mythical game clock counting down to zero. Both guys converted.

Most entertaining period: Had to be a minute of levity in which head coach Mark Helfrich called out his assistants for a couple of head-to-head reps. Offensive line coach Steve Greatwood got the best of defensive line coach Ron Aiken in a blocking situation, and then tight ends coach Tom Osborne got "vertical" against the coverage of defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti to haul in a pass from Marcus Mariota. The Ducks are knee-deep in the "Groundhog Day" mentality of preseason camp, and it was a chance for everyone to start off the morning with a light moment.

Other observations: Great to see running backs coach Gary Campbell back on the practice field after he missed a couple days due to a personal matter. In his absence, graduate assistant Nate Costa had managed running back drills. … The offense's improved timing over the course of camp is tangible at this point. After the running game got going in the scrimmage Tuesday, the quarterbacks and receivers were very crisp in positional drills today. Passes were pretty much on the money, and the wideouts were hauling in most everything. … Receiver Darren Carrington's three or four catches in the scrimmage earned him a few reps with the ones this morning. Outside linebacker Torrodney Prevot got a couple snaps with the twos, as the Ducks continue to get their newcomers reps here and there with the veterans.

I'm struck by how little Greatwood is rotating his first offensive line unit, compared with what I'd seen in the past when practices were open. But it makes sense. He's got three returning starters in Hroniss Grasu, Jake Fisher and Tyler Johnstone, and three veteran competitors for the two guard spots in Mana Greig, Hamani Stevens and Everett Benyard. … The defense spent some time this morning on pass coverage drills involving the entire back seven — both linebackers and defensive backs — with secondary coach John Neal providing a lot of the input.

Up next: The Ducks will hold a competition day this afternoon