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Oregon Football

Mario Cristobal Discusses Practice No. 1

October 9, 2020

On energy at practice

“(It was) what you would expect out of our program, a lot of juice, a lot of energy. The culture seems to be getting stronger. Expectations for the way we do things are very clear. We explicitly explain that in our meetings, older guys did a real good job of pushing the tempo.”

On what stood out most 

“I thought that's what stood out the best or the most today than any other thing was the fact that it didn't look like practice one from knowing what we're doing. Yeah we're rushing technique wise and fundamentally just because we haven't done it full speed against each other.”

“But in terms of knowing what to do, how to do it and why we got to do it that way, I think the why and the what to do is pretty good. How to do it we got to get better at.”

On COVID 19 protocols

“Our day doesn't start much different than what it would usually start. When you look at the processes--it takes about 45 minutes to get everybody tested and get results within 50, 55 all together when it’s done.”

“While one group is meeting, the other one quickly does their test and gets taped. We have a mobility screening area where we get guys stretched out warmed up, an activation area.” 

“Our sports science department is off the charts. They do some things that are really unique to get the bodies right. So It works out really well because what you do is you take those two things that are going on at the same time by offense, defense, special teams, and then after that 45-50 minute period you switch.”

“So your day really isn't much longer at all. The structure of it was really good, really positive feedback from the players. So everything went real smooth.”

On offensive line

“At left tackle you’ll see a rotation of Steven Jones, you'll see TJ Bass out there, you’ll see George Moore, you’ll see Jaylen Smith. Jonah has done a really good job as well. Sala has jumped out there as well so all those guys are getting reps at tackle. Who's taking the first ones most of the time, it's going to be Steven.”

“It's going to be George, it’s going to be TJ, it’s going to be Sala. But we're not gonna hesitate. Dawson Jaramillo got reps out there.”

“The interior we've mixed it up a little bit as well but Forsyth, Walk, TJ Bass, Denis, Harper, Sala. That's not in order but it gives an idea that we're looking at five or six guys per every two positions.”

“I don't think I can get you a settled one for a while. Just because it's changing rom drill to drill and that we feel really comfortable with those guys playing. That's how we've trained them even during zoom time, from the spring time up until now.”

On Jaylen Smith

“Jaylen Smith is a defensive tackle for us, and that's what he's going to be here. He's done the unselfish thing and has volunteered himself to help on the offensive line and he has been doing a great job.”

On coaching a younger offensive line group

“We don't lower the expectation, we don't. Our drill work is two-spotted. So that means whether you just got here today and you’re a third and fourth team guy or your’re a first and second team guy-- a frontliner,  you're getting the same amount of reps against the same looks.”

“Maybe it's not traditional to think that you should expect the same from a younger crew. We do because we've seen them in action. We haven't altered install one bit. Not only have they handled it well, they've actually excelled.”

“They've done a good job against I would say tougher situations, because we are moving them. Just because we think strategically you have to do that because of the challenges of the season. You have to have guys (who have) played different positions, in the case of they have to come game time.” 

“We're gonna throw the kitchen sink at the offensive line and expect To respond in practice, just Like will the kitchen sink At the secondary and everybody else.”

On Tyler Shough and QB room

“It's great to see Tyler finally get his opportunity because the opportunities he got while Justin was our starting quarterback he shined, he really did. He's got a lot of similar characteristics, especially in terms of just resiliency, toughness, work ethic. Those are the things, that combined with presence is something that you can never compromise the quarterback position.”

“He's a special guy. Special quarterback. I feel the same way about the rest of the quarterback crew. Some of the young guys are swimming right now but that's okay. They swam the right way, at least they were swimming in the right direction.”

“Between Tyler and a guy like Anthony Brown that’s had so much experience, we feel really good about the quarterback position, we feel like we're in great hands.”

On Coach Joe Moorhead

“He understands what comes with this regimen. He’s been outstanding and  besides the wealth of knowledge, his coaching acumen, that guy's an incredible teacher. I mean, like off the charts. But what he's also done is he's brought a presence with him. He’s brought the head coaching background, so it's great to have a guy like that on staff that you could bounce some things off of that revolve around the head coaching position.”

On defensive tackles 

“We shed some weight, but if you look at our body comps, our body comps are considerably better than what they've been before. We've added muscle mass, we've shed some fat, we move better, we're more explosive. And we range anywhere from as light as a 278 to as heavy as a 325, 330. I feel like we're in really good shape there.”

On rotation at safety and nickel

“We played both Pickett and McKinley out there at strong (safety) but we also saw guys rotating in there, Steve Stephens has done a great job, so has Bennett Williams. JJ Greenfield was a little bit nicked up, nothing serious. I think he'll be back tomorrow, just a minor strain.”

“Jamal Hill took reps exclusively at nickel today. He will get reps on the back end as well. Jordan Happle joins us tomorrow, so we’ll be in good shape.”

On 5 star freshman Dontae Manning

“Dontae Manning got a little bit nicked up in our conditioning drills. It’s nothing that’s gonna hold him out for more than one or two days. He's going to be strictly rotating with the corners.”

On DJ Johnson

“DJ had gotten injured in the summer. He's almost full go now. He participated in probably 60 to 70 percent of practice. He’s another big body that can go.”

On Sampson Niu

“With Sampson, there's some things that he has been taking care of. And he's a guy that I think we all know we all love him, very tight and personal with him. He may have some things to figure out personally and there's a possibility that he may not play this year, but until that's confirmed I'd like to grant him his space until we figure that out for him.”

On impact of improved recruiting

“I think our front seven is maturing. The trenches now has a lot of experience on the edges, and I think you see some depth in there as well.”

“Even though you had some departures in the secondary, you got some really really talented young guys that know what they're doing.”

Tags: Oregon, Football
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