Oregon Football

Leavitt Sees Progress on D

August 7, 2018

Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt is back for his second year. History suggests from his stop at Colorado the Ducks could be in for a boost defensively.

But on Monday Jim Leavitt met with media and squashed that notion.

"You can't go by that, you know what I mean. I don't even compare it like that. Everything's different, everything changes. I don't think you can go by that because it was different people, different pieces, different things. Different teams, different offenses and all of that."

What gives him optimism for this season?

"Just the fact it's a similar system. I'm adding some new things, we're doing some new things than we did last year."

A lot has been made about Keith Simms moving to outside backer through the first few days of camp. 

"Yeah, he'll play outside. We just needed an outside backer. He's just good out there, he's a good player out there. He sets edges, he runs very well. He's smart and very physical and has some length and strength. He just doesn't have too many game reps yet."

That move was aided by the development of Isaac Slade-Matautia.  

"He's gonna play, they're all gonna play. Isaac's as good as a 1 as any of them. He was great last year I would have played him last year but we were trying to protect him a little bit. He was a young guy."

Adrian Jackson and company have made some early impressions on the staff and media. Jim Leavitt singled out a few standouts so far through the first few days.

"We're going to need about 5-6 guys, no question. They're doing a pretty good job. I think they are doing really good. I really like those guys. (Jevon) Holland's doing a lot of things at safety, he's showing me a lot of things. Adrian (Jackson) is really playing well and MJ (Cunningham) is doing a good job." 

Freshman sensation Jordan Scott is visibly trimmer. Jim Leavitt said that's been something they had talked about during his recruitment.

"He understands the weight is going to be an issue with a guy of his stature. I had told him a while back during his recruitment about his weight. It's really important he keeps it under control."

Do they have a target weight for him?

"Whatever he can be at where he can move well." 

Ugo Amadi has become one of the leaders of this defense. His versatility is a big plus for an Oregon defense looking for veteran leadership.

"He's doing a good job. He could play corner, he could play nickel, he could play safety."

Jim Leavitt said he doesn't have many sleepless nights but does have a few things he's constantly thinking over. 

"You're thinking about getting the best players on the field. You're always thinking about can this guy play a couple different positions to help add a little depth. I think about calls a lot. Which calls I should make with different people."


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