Ducks Open Football Camp With High Expectations

Aug. 10, 2002

EUGENE - University of Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti greeted 101 players Saturday morning for the official start of his eighth season at the Ducks' helm with the intent to not only attempt to successfully defend the school's Pacific-10 Conference title from a year ago, but aggressively go after a third straight crown.

Bellotti sent his squad through a two-and-a-half hour morning workout to open fall camp and is expected to respond with a two-hour encore late Saturday afternoon.

After paying close attention to the highly-publicized newcomers along the defensive line during the two previous orientation practices, much of numerous onlookers' attention reverted back to the play of quarterbacks Jason Fife and Kellen Clemens.

'(The quarterbacks) were not as consistent as I would like,' Bellotti said following the morning workout. 'They did some very nice things, made some great throws and had some throws they would like to have back again. The one thing in the summer is they typically throw with just seven-on-seven type of stuff and now putting the defensive line in front and things move a lot faster and everybody is coached up-tempo, it's interesting.

'I thought overall that we executed, I thought (wide receiver) Jason Willis stood out to me today, he and Samie (Parker) did some nice things and those guys will make whoever plays quarterback's life a lot easier.'

Bellotti indicated that it might take a little time for the offense to get untracked, both because the Ducks will be trying to evaluate the development of the successors to former standout Joey Harrington as well as additions to a defense that already returns six starters from a year ago.

'I was encouraged,' Bellotti added. 'I think there was great effort out there, I think the defense is a little bit ahead right now which is exciting because we have some real key players over there. It was nice to get back, nice to sort of watch what some of these people can do.'

Oregon is scheduled to hold two-a-day practices for the first eight days in preparations for its Aug. 31 season opener vs. Mississippi State.

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