Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Football

Practice No. 4 Takeaways

March 12, 2018

This morning the Ducks kicked off the new week with the fourth spring practice of the year and the second to last practice before spring break. Interviewing players and coaches before each practice as well as watching the practices it is obvious that this team is ready to prove themselves this season. That is why Mario Cristobal becoming the head coach was the best thing that I think could have happened for this team.

The biggest, most important thing that Cristobal did was hire coaches that bring 100-percent every day. In past articles I have talked about Aaron Feld and the strength and conditioning team. The praise that these men get from the players as well as the coaches is not stop as well as praise for the 4th quarter program, which put the whole team into the best shape of their lives, according to the players themselves.

Another coach that has received a lot of praise from his players is Jim Mastro, the running back coach. Tasked with replacing one of the best if not the best running backs to ever play for Oregon, Mastro has been praised for his attention to even the smallest of details when it comes to drills as well as his care for his players. Watching the running backs at practice I’m excited for this season because all of them look ready and hungry to step up to the challenge of replacing Freeman. Right now, I think the frontrunners to do that are Tony Brooks-James, Darrion Felix, and CJ Verdell. 

Another coach that has received a lot of praise from players and coaches a like is Alex Mirabal, the offensive line assistant. Mirabal will help Cristobal coach the offensive line this year and has already been praised as dedicated to his players on and off the field being touted as someone you can talk to about anything. I love all the hires that Cristobal has made because they all care about the players success on the field and off the field.

The energy of these practices is contagious, you can’t help but get caught up in the all the excitement when you are hearing the music and pads crashing together. Today’s practice was the highest energy so far with players doing drills that pinned offensive players and defensive players against each other.

Early in the practice the players gathered in a circle to compete in a game of offensive linemen trying to protect a QB while also helping the RB to get past the defensive linemen. After every round the winning team would erupt into cheers and roars. Another drill that has been at every practice is ball security drills. Alongside reducing penalties ball security was one of the biggest things that the Ducks wanted to work on this off season.

This is why I think Cristobal was the best decision for the Ducks. He has perfectly blended a fun environment with working on areas that they struggled areas last year and coaches that want to see players succeed on and off the field.

And because of that the players are giving the coaches all that they have every day all day long. This team already looks better than last years and all the players haven’t even arrived yet.

Tags: Football, Oregon
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