Okay, so I'm sure everybody is wondering about spring practice. Here are the highlights from the first week:
Apparently, Bellotti is pretty pissed about the way last season ended, and is on a mission to instill some work ethic into these kids. Dennis Dixon said to the Register Guard that the opening day of drills was one of "the toughest practices I've ever had", which can't be a bad thing at this point.
They scrimmaged last Friday when, as mentioned before, Ryan DePalo "probably" tore his ACL. The only other Duck regular not participating was Jeremy Gibbs, who is nursing a leg injury. As you might expect, The defense was ahead of the offense in the early scrimmage. Basically, each quarterback was given a 2nd and 12 and was asked to convert. Dixon and Justin Roper did so, but Brady Leaf, Cody Kempt, and Nathan Costa all threw picks. Not a great sign but, hey, its still early. Bellotti was not happy with the scrimmage, but believes that the team is still thinking too much about adjustments that Chip Kelly has made to the offense. Bellotti is confident that the offense will catch up to the defense soon. Also worth noting was that Dexter Manley bruised his foot during the scrimmage, but X-rays were negative, and there should be no long term effects.
According to John Hunt at O-Live's Behind the Ducks Beat blog Jonathan Stewart has had a great week this week, as did Kwame Agyeman, who the Ducks are counting on to be a leader this season. Bellotti said that he and Kelly are committed to getting the top 11 on the field together as much as possible during spring, which should pay dividends next fall when they are running Kelly's new tweaks to the offense. Joining Gibbs on the sideline was offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz (back) and Max Unger (hernia).
I don't have an account to educk, but if you're really interested in spring practice and don't mind laying down some dough, Bob Rickert has been saying in the O-Live blog that they have some good articles regarding the spring practices. So check that out if you've got the dough to spare.
Although information coming out in the papers seems to be somewhat sparse, what excites me is that Bellotti really seems to have these guys working hard. Since the end of last season, I have really thought that some of these guys were pampered too much, so hard work should be great for them. DePalo's injury really sucks. As Rickert says, it shouldn't devastate us, but we lose a ton of experience with he and Jackie Bates not playing next season. I suppose that the good news is that it happened early in practice, so the other guys have a lot of time to get some work in and pick up the slack.
I'll try to update on spring practice periodically. Practice culminates with the spring game, at Autzen on April 28.