I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here's some quack to get your week started:
- With Oregon's defense breaking in so many new players in the front 7, the secondary looks to be the strength of the D. And taking a leadership role this year will be Cliff Harris. Moseley had a lengthy piece over the weekend on Harris' newfound maturity, and John Hunt had a shorter piece as well. While last year Harris struggled to find favor with the coaches, it seems to have clicked this offseason. He's impressed his coaches by working hard to improve his game, not just relying on his physical gifts. Harris will have some help at the cornerback position. Anthony Gildon may finally be ready to take that next step, and if not, he's being pushed by some very talented freshmen.
- A bit key to Oregon's success the last couple seasons has been a great coaching staff, who are now starting their third year together. George Schoeder had a piece yesterday on just how rare and special this group of coaches is. Chip Kelly is one of the top coaches in the game, but just as important are the assistants, who have meshed on and off the field. This group will give the Ducks an edge they didn't have when they open the season, an edge they didn't have two years ago against BSU.
- AJ Jacobson of Duck Sports Authority has an interview with Michael Clay, and AJ calls Clay a young veteran. Clay has been a top backup for the Ducks the last two years, and gives me a lot of confidence in the inside linebackers, despite losing Casey Matthews and Spencer Paysinger.
- Matt Hinton takes a premature look at the Ducks. Though he has confidence in the Oregon offense and Chip Kelly, he has concerns about the defense, and wonders if Oregon's revamped offensive line will keep the Ducks scoring at its typical pace.
- Oregon track's dual meet at UCLA ended in dramatic fashion, as freshman Michael Berry helped the Ducks win the 4x400 relay, the final event of the day, and secure a tie with the Bruins. Though the Ducks didn't walk away with a victory, the event was a success, with energy and excitement not often seen in track and field.
- Oregon baseball was also in LA, but dropped another Pac-10 series, this one to USC. They won the opening game, and were in the other 2 games into the 8th inning, but ended up losing both games. The Ducks now cling to a winning record at 17-16, and sit at 2-7 in the Pac-10.
- Lastly, a bit of basketball news. Duck Territory is reporting that guard Teondre Williams and center Martin Seiferth will transfer from Oregon. Though Louisiana Tech forward Olu Ashaolu is considering a transfer to Oregon.