by Rob Moseley
Oregon wrapped up the first week of preseason camp with its second practice of the day this afternoon.
Venue: Moshofsky Center, due to the threat of thunderstorms early in the afternoon
Format: Full pads
Situations: FUJI (two-minute drill) to start the session, some field-goal and punt-return work, and a late red-zone scenario.
Highlights: The first offense opened the practice by driving to a "touchdown" in FUJI, with Marcus Mariota throwing a laser to Bralon Addison in traffic, and Addison working his way into the end zone. When the twos were up, the defense got the better of it, with DeForest Buckner getting to Ayele Forde on a screen to end it.
The offense really got its tempo going in an 11-on-11 situation midway through, and Byron Marshall broke free for a decent gain. But for the most part the defensive line dominated that period in my eyes, with Taylor Hart and Ricky Havili-Heimuli bottling up Marshall later in the drill.
Play of the day might have gone to Josh Huff during seven-on-seven, when he leaped into the air and then twisted back to make a catch over his head. While that was going on, the linemen were doing more pass-rush drills. Mana Greig won a rep with Buckner, and Andre Yruretagoyena held his own against Boseko Lokombo, who otherwise was all over the place this afternoon.
Early in the red-zone drill, Mariota tried to hit Addison in the end zone but Ifo Ekpre-Olomu jumped to break up the pass. Mariota and Addison got their revenge at the end, beating Ekpre-Olomu on a touchdown reception. Jake Rodrigues did a nice job of checking through his progression on a touchdown pass to Devon Allen, and Tyson Coleman won a rep for the defense by breaking up a Jeff Lockie pass at the line.
Most entertaining period: That would be the "tube" drill, which tests open-field blocking and tackling by matching a blocker against a would-be tackler, who must try to defeat the block and tackle a ballcarrier all while staying within a narrow "tube" of field. Tony Washington had strong reps as both a blocker and tackler, Tyree Robinson twice made tackles and Christian French twice neutralized guys as a blocker. Oshay Dunmore and Kenny Bassett also made plays as tacklers.
Other observations: Today featured two instances of Mark Helfrich going off-script and calling for a field-goal attempt between practice periods. Alejandro Maldonado drilled the first and Matt Wogan made the second, both from about 30 yards out. … There was a period of field-goal drills earlier, and both guys were perfect in that one, too. … John Mundt had a great leaping catch of an underthrown ball despite blanket coverage early in the practice, and a tough catch in traffic near the end. He continues to get special teams reps, and if he can get a better handle on the playbook this month, perhaps he's a guy that can help this fall. … Danny Mattingly continues to impress as a high-motor guy. … Cool deal late in practice when both Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson were on the field with the No. 2 defense. … Cameron Hunt, Mundt and Allen also got some chances as twos this afternoon. … One of the most striking elements of practice since the last time I got to watch is the demeanor of the D line coach. While Jerry Azzinaro was constantly in motion and yelling himself hoarse, Ron Aiken is the picture of composure. … Running back Lane Roseberry got kudos from Helfrich in the post-practice huddle for his willingness to take a bunch of special teams scout-team reps. "He took every hard rep as a scout-team guy," Helfrich said. … Keloni Kamalani, whose career has been derailed by shoulder problems, is on hand for practices as something of an undergraduate assistant coach, though he hasn't officially been declared medically retired.
Up next: The Ducks will have meetings and treatment Sunday before another two-a-day on the schedule Monday.
Oregon Football Afternoon Practice Report — Aug. 10
Release Date: 08/10/2013
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