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Football Practice Report: Aug. 16

Aug 16, 2022

Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Full pads

An analogy Dan Lanning likes to use is that the day after a game – or in the case of this week, a scrimmage – is for going to the doctor. You diagnose what ails you, and you get a prescription for recovery.

The practices directly after the doctor's visit are for getting better. So how have the Ducks looked early this week, in the wake of their scrimmage Saturday and a chance to analyze it in the days after?

"I thought today," Lanning said Tuesday afternoon, "was probably our best fall camp practice yet."

The Ducks were back in full pads Tuesday, for the first time since the scrimmage. The team was off from practice Sunday – making the metaphorical doctor's visit – before returning to practice Monday and then putting pads back on Tuesday.

Afternoons have been warm in Eugene this month, and these are the days when camp can become a grind. The newness has worn off, yet the opening game still seems like a small dot on the horizon.

But Lanning loved what he saw Tuesday.

"Our guys are starting to take ownership of, what practice looks like is really relative to their performance and their energy that they bring," Lanning said. "Guys just came out here with the right mindset, saying, you know what, I want to get better today. I'm not looking for this just to be another day. And they did a good job of that."

It wasn't only Oregon's attitude that was impressive. There was also attention to detail, in addressing issues from the scrimmage that were diagnosed in film review by the coaching staff.

"In practice today and practice yesterday, we're trying to recreate those moments that happened in the scrimmage that we screwed up," Lanning said. "So, if we had a wrong adjustment versus a certain look, or we didn't get a cadence right on offense, or a motion right – trying to re-script that so it happens again, to see if we got it corrected. And I thought that showed up from our guys."

Notable: Among the competition periods in practice Tuesday were some 1-on-1 matchups between guys at various position groups early in practice, an impromptu field-goal attempt midway through practice to test the readiness of those units, and a 4-minute situation to close practice in which the offense had to try to protect a lead while killing the clock. … Following practice the night before, the Ducks held a "home-run derby" in Autzen Stadium using tennis racquets. The event was part of a series dubbed the "Duck Olympics" that has also included a free-throw shooting contest hosted by UO women's basketball coach Kelly Graves, and a night of bowling.

Quotable:

Junior defensive lineman Brandon Dorlus on establishing himself as a leader
"Last year I wasn't really practicing how I play in the games. I really was slow, and I didn't like how I practiced. This year I took a big step in finding something every day to get one percent better at. I just try to take the other guys with me, and try to lead every day."

Junior defensive back Steve Stephens IV on returning to action following last season's injury
"Constantly just being a recovery specialist, as far as making sure I'm doing everything possible: hydration, what I'm doing off the field, stretching, cold-tubbing, hot-tubbing. Things like that for my recovery, keeping that at a premium."

Post-practice interviews:

Head coach Dan Lanning

Junior defensive lineman Brandon Dorlus

Junior defensive back Steve Stephens IV

Junior outside linebacker Mase Funa

Sophomore defensive lineman Treven Ma'ae