After spending countless hours discussing/ arguing about Oregon football with family and friends, I'm ready to stop the speculation and watch our team first hand. Since we're coming off a Rose Bowl year and expectations are extremely high, I expect Fall Camp to be the most followed and scrutinized camp ever. But for good reason. We've never had as much talent and skill at most positions then we do now and I'm biased but I think Oregon can only trip over itself--no one in the Pac-10 can stop us when we're at our best. Here are a few talking points going into Fall Camp, nothing you probably don't already know but maybe something worth commenting on. Or just use the post for a Pre-fall camp open thread
What I'll be watching for (the obvious)
- Quarterback Battle - coming into camp I give the edge to Costa, but if I have any rooting interests it's that Thomas plays like he did in his high school highlight reel and surprises everyone. Otherwise, I'm just fascinated to see who wins the job.
- DB Play - We had a great year recruiting and there appears to be a lot to sort out. We're loaded at DB, so there are more headlines then I can mention. Will Terrence Mitchell continue to work his way up the depth chart? What about prized recruit Dior Mathis? Or fan favorite Cliff Harris? If nothing else, I'm excited to see Talmadge Jackson III, John Boyett and Javes Lewis again and, of course, newly positioned Eddy Pleasant.
- Special Teams - Thankfully Chip Kelly doesn't need to go on national T.V. and brag about special teams (like Neu-weasel) because of a lack of positives, but still, five yard punts or blocked field goals will lose a team games or a season. I'll be watching to see how polished the kicking and punting can become over the course of spring camp, though if their final grade comes out to be a C+ before the first game, I'd be satisfied.
What I'll be watching for (Freshman)
- RB's - Lache Seastrunk and Dontae Willams may or may not see playing time as we all know, but all the more reason to see them in action at fall camp. What's hard about getting great recruits on top of Oregon's already great players is that you have to wait a year or two to see them in the spotlight and that requires patience, $%&@!
- QB, PK, DT - Bryce Bennett, Alejandro Maldonado and Ricky Heimuli are three other players that I'll be sizing up. Bennett didn't get that much hype because we signed him early, Maldonado potentially could win the kicking job and how beast will Heimuli be?
- Others - Every year it seems an unexpected recruit works his way into a backup or starting role by the start or middle of the season. Anyone want to go out on a limb?
What I'll be watching for (Schemes, Plays, Coaches, Overall team)
- The 3-4 Defense - After Chip denied the change in scheme, I'd like to see the defense for myself. Maybe the defensive change has been so gradual and incorporating that Chip thinks the media is trying to make too big a story of it. But as FishDuck and others have shown there is proof of a 3-4. I also know I'm not going to unlock any secrets at Fall Camp...
- What new formations, plays, etc. will be whipped out in preparation for a new QB? I hope to see a passing game that throws and completes the deep ball more often. I also expect to see a stumbling offense in comparison to our gritty defense.
- It's always fun to watch drills and coaches yelling at players, but to be honest, I've never been to Oregon's Fall Camp. What should I expect? What will you be watching for?
Here's the schedule via Moseley
Mon., Aug. 9: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tue., Aug. 10: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 11: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thu., Aug. 12: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 13: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 14: 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 16: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tue., Aug. 17: 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 18: 1:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Thu., Aug. 19: 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m
Fri., Aug. 20: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 21: 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 23: 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tue., Aug. 24: 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.