On this 96 degree afternoon our Ducks assembled for the first time in full pads (and thus, full contact) for fall camp. Due to the heat it wasn't a less eventful and intense day than you'd think. Not a whole lot to observe, but here are the cliffnotes:
- As axemen23 mentioned a few times in the comments this evening, there was a major hit that Tyrell Irvin delivered upon Lache Seastrunk during the final period of the day. Bennett handed off to Seastrunk on a zone read give. Seastrunk appeared to be watching the B gap and was absolutely demolished by Irvin, who was blitzing around the end. Irvin showed impressive speed and instinct in making the hit on Seastrunk. He should be careful with hitting so close to the helmet though, especially early in fall practice.
- By far the most energy of the practice (and of camp so far) took place during the 11-on-11 competition periods, particularly on the final period of the day. The offense and defense were neck and neck at around 90 points to begin the period and tempers were flaring. Both teams were going hard to win the day today and there were some good-natured shouting matches going. They seemed to be in regular season game mode for this period, which was awesome to see. Early in the day (the competition periods were scattered periodically through the day) the defense took control and forced the offense into a 45-28 hole at one point. As is typical for Oregon offenses, they picked up the pace and took the lead soon after. These offenses were commanded by Costa, Thomas, and to a lesser extent Bennett. Costa and Thomas both played with the ones and twos throughout the day. Neither have seen the majority of the first-team snaps, so don't read into who played with whom. Costa always looked good in the 11-on-11 competition periods, though Thomas looked at times blind to linebackers and safeties.
- Thomas broke one great run off a zone read today, which was something I wasn't expecting to happen a whole lot. He took an outside zone read himself and outran the backtracking linebackers for about a 20 yard gain. It was his first large run that did not come from scrambling that I'd seen. Good to see.
- Costa continues to give the ball off 9 times out of 10 on the zone reads. Again, this is fine. But I do wonder if he's gunshy about using his legs more than he absolutely has to. There were many times that any other quarterback on the roster would have kept the ball off the read for a gain where Costa gave it off. That said, when he does keep the ball it's often the right decision. Gains of 5 or more, sometimes 15. No long runs for six yet. It doesn't look so farfetched, though, with how reasonably fleet of foot he's looked so far.
- John Boyett looked really good today. On punt coverage drills he had some great broken blocks and tackles. He was the only one consistently in blowing through the coverage blocker and still making a good form tackle. He could very well be the boss key to our success on defense this year if he stays healthy.
- Eddie Pleasant came up from his safety position to try and make a pick on a flat route (to a player that I can't, for the life of me, remember. It could have been Barner. Or maybe Brandon Williams.) which ended up being a failed Pete Rose dive. Whoever caught the ball took it deep downfield. The key to the play's success was Pleasant's misjudgment of the play and the ball in the air. While it's stupid to get worried about it when it's been only a week in fall camp, I hope that Pleasant does not turn out to be the type of safety who goes up for that kind of play and fails, as opposed to staying back and settling for a tackle and a two yard gain. Hopefully he will turn out to be a Patrick Chung type and not a T.J. Ward type.
As always, questions about details are encouraged and can hopefully be answered.