Wow, what a weekend it was for the Ducks. With practice on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there is a lot of quack to make your Monday better.
- Let's kick things off with a blog post from the big man. He has a new blog post off titled, "There is no 'Hall of Average.'" The first thing that pops out, not only with the title, but with the whole post, is Kelly's intensity and focus on competition. This is really the main change he's brought to the program so far, as has really taken a page out of the Pete Carroll playbook. I like this shift in attitude. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, and if anything, the Kelly hire has changed that. The main downside is the possibility of the players getting burnt out. But I feel that players that have stuck around are the competitors, and those that will relish this environment. Players, such as Talmadge Jackson III are also learning not to cross Kelly, or else they will be running like crazy.
- In practice news, the two names that jumped out were LaMichael James and Diante Jackson. Despite having clearance issues, Diante is making his presence known (this notebook also has some notes on Andre Crenshaw), not only with a big personality but with his abilities. He gained praise from both Masoli and Kelly. However, how we really know he's a duck is his style choice. Not only does he sport some awesome dreads, his mom will be dying them before every game to match the uniforms the ducks will be wearing. For more on Jackson, Moseley and Adam Jude have a video interview with him, as well as incoming players Mike Bowlin (K) and Andrew Iupati (DT). James was impressive as well, and displayed the speed that has been so tantalizing all offseason. He also spent a lot of time with the second unit on Sunday.
- What may be most encouraging is the status of LeGarrette Blount. After being dismissed from the end of practice on Friday (over going too hard after a blown whistle), Blount came out in force on Saturday. George Schroeder also had a column up this weekend on Blount, and his tumultuous offseason. Though Blount has his personal issues, what is great about this team is that there are a lot of leaders, and Blount won't be able to get away with anything.
- To quell another worry, Rob Moseley has a feature on the offensive line. And what will likely dispell any worries is Steve Greatwood saying, "I expect them to break every record of the group ahead of them." The group exudes a quiet confidence and they sound comfortable with each other. Most have been in the program for at least 2 years, and are ready to prove it on the field. As I've said before, this is a very physically talented line. That they seem to be coming together is incredibly encouraging. C.E. Kaiser, the leader of the line, said of the group, "People say we need to gel; we’ve already gelled."
- The Oregonian also had a slew of videos up, including one on the first day of practice, one with Blount, and one with .
- After Sunday practice, there are a few injury concerns. Jeff Maehl, Tyrece Gaines, and D. Jackson were all nursing knee issues (though it's nothing major at this point), while Bo Thran wasn't with the ones because of a knee injury. Meanwhile, Cliff Harris and Justin Brown have still not reported.
- Lastly, George Schroeder tackles the question of expectations. Are they too high for this season? Well, no matter what, they can't be higher than Kelly's, who expects to win every game. There are definitely questions for this season, but there is also a lot of talent. Kelly has a lot to work with, and his long term success will be judged on his ability to bring talent to Oregon.
That's all for now. There is a lot of quack floating around today, so post it in the comments. GO DUCKS! 24 days!