As a sort of all-encompassing way to put a bow on the first week of practices, (not counting today's), some of the guys who made it out have answered a few questions about the team, and players in general. This should, along with Fishduck's in depth write-up, tide guys over till tuesday's scrimmage. GO DUCKS!
1. Most Impressive New-Comer (answers of Bryan Bennett were excluded for time-saving purposes)
-- 071903: Brandon Tett- He is every bit as strong as he's been labeled. After hearing that he broke the bench press record, I wanted to see what he could do firing off the ball. I watched him a bit in the D-line drills and he absolutely demolished the O-lineman in the 2-on-1 blocking drill. As a walk on, I doubt he'll see a lot of playing time. He's a senior and should add some depth. I would expect that he would at least see PT during the New Mexico and PSU games. I would have to say that if he keeps blowing up O-linemen, I don't see how the coaches keep him out of the lineup.
-- Jconant: Brandon Williams, the JC transfer at tight end. He runs away from linebackers and shows good hands. Paulson's the man at TE, but we saw several formations where both he and Williams were on the field together. If Williams can command coverage by a safety lots of good things can happen, not only in the passing game but also in the running game.
2. Freshman you expect to see the most playing time
-- Axemen23: I expect it to be Josh Huff. He's looked great in the short/mid range routes and has been used in a similar multi-tasking role we saw Barner in last season. He has very consistent hands, and seems to have a good knowledge of the offense. He's also bigger than I expected him to be, which is never a bad thing.
-- Jconant: Honestly? I have to go with long snapper Drew Howell. He's a specialist and will see time on special teams. There are other true freshman who COULD see time - Huff, Seastrunk, White - but in reality, none of them will be expected to be a top guy at his position unless injuries become an issue.
3. Potential under-the-radar star on defense is:
-- Qrsouther: That's a good one. I wouldn't say Brandon Bair is under-the-radar anymore, though he was last year. I'm thinking Bo Lokombo. Lokombo has been standing out in practice. Even though he should split time with Kaddu, he's showing his athleticism in every play. He could be the next star OLB at Oregon.
-- 071903: Isaac Remington- He is built like Jared Allen and plays like it too. I think he is going to be a huge help to the depth of the D-line. He was recruited by the Ducks out of HS, but it looks like he didn't qualify academically. I think he is talented enough and fast enough to play inside and outside on the D-line. I'll be watching #65 when he is in the game.
4. Player who is NOT meeting your expectations heading into fall camp is:
--Axemen23: For me it has to be Eddie Pleasant, and that's more a product of the hype surrounding him as an all Pac-10 player with his move to safety. But I have to say that I don't quite see the meshing and chemistry between Pleasant and the other DBs that i'd like. I don't think this will be a continuing issue, but it could be cause for concern if it extends far into next week.
-- 071903: Lache Seastrunk- The early reports are true (and from what I saw Friday) being that he doesn't have the playbook down yet. I know it's the first week and there is a lot of time for him to get it. He is getting coached up right and he seems to not let it get to him too much. I guess I would expect more from a highly touted recruit.
-- Jconant: Has to be Cliff Harris. He played last year and made the most of his opportunities as a true freshman. Thursday he was running with the threes on D. We've heard tidbits of Chip getting on his case, and someone somewhere mentioned the notion of academic challenges. Let's not pretend to have insights we don't really have. Cliff Harris playing third string means something is up. I expected to see him competing for a starting job, not sliding down the depth chart.