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Oregon Football

Mario Cristobal: 'This is just the beginning'

October 7, 2020

Mario Cristobal spoke with the media Wednesday ahead of Oregon’s return to the practice field for the beginning of fall camp on Friday. 

On returning to football

“So the fact that we're getting to play football now, it's something that was taken away, was about as gut wrenching and as tough mentally to take as you could possibly imagine. So this privilege of coaching this privilege of playing is real again, and cannot be and will not be taken for granted. And the bottom line is nothing but our very best is going to be good enough and everything we do so looking forward to it.”

On NFL opt outs

“As of right now, I don't have any information regarding Thomas Graham doing anything but what he has been doing which is opted out and preparing for the NFL Draft. As of right now that is the only information we have on opt outs.”

On safety group and adding grad transfer Jordan Happle

“Certainly Jordan is a talented guy. He knows the system extremely well. He was a great player in high school. He was a big name out in Portland but did a great job over there (Boise State) and had a couple injuries--got a little bit banged up. He joins a talented crew of guys.”

“No one has mentioned Steve Stevens and I think it has to be mentioned because Steve in the four days of spring ball that we had, he certainly showed up in spring ball. We all expect him to have himself a really good football season for us.”

On offensive line group

“We're gonna determine that (lineup) tonight and tomorrow. We have some really good options. We feel good about it because it's become really competitive in these certain skill instruction sessions that we've had with our team.”

“We feel that we have the flexibility to put a couple different guys out there and a couple different combinations all in all. “So I think I'll have a better, more firm answer on Thursday.”

On quarterback competition

“We'll enter day one with Tyler taking the first reps and we'll have Anthony taking the rest with the two’s. We're gonna make it a competition but it starts off like that.”

“Something that I've said from the beginning since Justin's departure is that Tyler Shough has done a great job. When he's had his opportunities  in practice and in spring ball he got off to a great, great start. He has a natural, just field presence. He has a commanding presence out there.”

“In the short amount of time that Anthony Brown has been here--he is an extremely talented guy that really is hungry and driven just like Tyler. He's done some great things. He's had a really good career out there at Boston College.”

On being Pac 12 favorites

“That's something that never factored into what we pay attention to. In the program, in fact, it's the opposite. We live our daily lives and practice, like we have everything to prove. No one in this program feels like they have arrived.”

“There are no sacred cows, there is no entitlement. If someone feels that way, they will have to exit the door immediately. We’re based on being hungry and being humble and driven. And that's the only thing on our minds right now.”

On expectations for linebacker group

“We are of course expecting tremendous things from Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe, Jackson LaDuke, I expect those guys to have a tremendous impact. I expect MJ Cunningham to take a huge step up-- it's his turn, he has to take a huge step up for us to be a successful team.”

On Adrian Jackson returning from Injury 

“We want to see a guy like that, be healthy, kick up his mentality to a different level and have success because he could impact the team. There's a lot of guys like that now where it's time--something is brewing and it's positive. And now it's time to make that a reality and practice everyday and carry it over to the game.”

On importance of maintaining culture around the program

“I want to see an elevation of the culture. I want to challenge these guys in their personal lives and their football regimen, to just not accept anything less but their very best and to not tolerate anything that doesn't uphold the standards of our culture.”

“You certainly can't assume that it's going to grow. You've got to hit the restart button on it and you’ve got to do it daily, heck you may do it several times a day. And understand that that's the key. That's the key to us here. That word is real here.”

On running back group

“That is a core group of guys that is now in year three of playing ball here. They're all different in their style of running, but they're all the same type of human being leader and teammate. They're what you want In the fourth quarter when the game's on the line.”

“The expectation from them is nothing but their very best and now elevate their voice in terms of being vocal leaders as well, and holding a high standard and making sure their teammates hold the high standard by them doing it first.”

On younger running backs (Dollars, Benson, and others)

“Young guys like Sean Dollars--who's going to be a phenomenal football player. I mean already he;s showing flashes he did, especially during the practices over there inn the Rose Bowl. You have a guy like Trey Benson who just got here and is a large man that can flat out go.” 

“Guys like Cross Patton, KJ Maduike have been here, they spent a lot of time here. And they put in some time. So that group over that's a special group of guys. When those guys run hard, we're a different football team.”

Tags: Oregon, Football
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