Football Practice Report: April 12
Venue: Moshofsky Center
Format: Full pads
Oregon took the field inside the Moshofsky Center on Tuesday morning for the ninth practice of this year's spring drills, and for the first time since the first major scrimmage of this spring, on Saturday.
Much was revealed by the scrimmage. But in the big picture, the goals for the remainder of spring drills remain the same.
"There's a lot of work for us still to do," head coach Dan Lanning said Tuesday. "A lot of room for improvement."
When the sun rose Tuesday morning, the Ducks had seven practices left this spring, having passed the halfway point of the 15-practice spring slate with Saturday's scrimmage. Tuesday's was the first of three workouts this week, culminating in another scrimmage Saturday; next week's three-practice schedule includes the Spring Game on April 23 in Autzen Stadium; and the Ducks will hold one final practice following the Spring Game before heading into the summer.
With more than half the spring under their belts, the Ducks are mostly done installing new concepts, Lanning said.
"Maybe one to two calls a day, some situational stuff," he said. "But more than anything, we're trying to let our guys line up and play and get better at the techniques we want to execute. Maybe a little window dressing here and there, but not much beyond that."
The Ducks got a chance to line up and play for the final period of Tuesday's practice, a 4-minute/2-minute scenario in which the offense first tried to milk the clock while protecting a lead – a 4-minute drill – but then tried to come from behind if the defense was able to get the ball back – a 2-minute drill.
The first time through the drill, the offense was able to move the chains for a first down and bleed the clock down. Eventually the defense forced a punt, but there wasn't enough time left for a successful 2-minute drill.
In years past, Lanning presumably had a rooting interest in such a drill, given his background on defense. In a situation like Tuesday, his priorities are now different.
"It's practice for the players, but it's practice for me, you know?" he said. "So I'm sitting here thinking, OK, when do we want to use a timeout, or how will we use a timeout? What's the situation: Is the clock stopped? Is it not? Just more than anything, me coaching the coaches and me coaching myself; it's an opportunity for me to get better."
Notable: Lanning briefly interrupted the normal practice routine to run a half-dozen one-on-one reps between players at various position groups. Bradyn Swinson came through with a sack on a pass-rush rep, Jackson Powers-Johnson held his ground blocking a D tackle and Terrance Ferguson hauled in a touchdown pass. … Cornerback Dontae Manning was limited Tuesday after getting banged up in Saturday's scrimmage. "We don't think it'll be a long-term deal but obviously we're monitoring it, and his safety's first," Lanning said. … A group of first-responders and their family members watched practice from the sideline, and met with the team afterward.
Running back coach Carlos Locklyn, on carrying the torch for Oregon's recent success at the position
"(One of my first priorities) when I first got here was to reach out to Coach Campbell and reach out to every one of those backs. Because that's the standard. And it's my job to get that room back to that standard."
Receiver Chase Cota, on transferring to Oregon for his senior season
"As much as it would be great to come back home, which I ended up doing, and playing for the Ducks – because I grew up a Duck fan – it was also the best spot for my last year of college football, where I thought I could fit in the best, have an impact and set myself up for success."
Running backs coach Carlos Locklyn
Senior defensive back Bennett Williams
Senior receiver Chase Cota
Junior placekicker Camden Lewis
Sophomore running back Byron Cardwell