Welcome to the Oregon Ducks Elevator. We're just a few days into Fall Practice but that's plenty of time to see how some key components are fairing so far. Let's get started.
-- LaMichael James: James appears to be doing a lot of work with the second team and has caught the eye of the coaching staff. HIs work last year on the practice squad was top notch and appears to be continuing that hard work into fall practice. He has been impressive… so impressive in fact, Chip Kelly mentioned that he was faster than Jeremiah Johnson ever hoped of being. Elevator: Up 2 Floors
-- LeGarrette Blount: After getting kicked out of practice for not hearing a whistle, LGB seems to be keeping his head high...going about his business. The media seems to be all about portraying him as a villain for this and other transgressions. Even Dwight Jaynes compared him to Chad Johnson? Hard to move up a floor with all of this off-the-field stuff going on. If he keeps doing what he is doing, these portrayals should go away on their own. Elevator: On the Same Floor
-- Jeremiah Masoli: If sporting corn rows doesn't get you into the penthouse, I'm not sure what does. Oh, he also seems to have picked up right where he left off from last year and the spring. Elevator: Living in the Penthouse
-- Nate Costa: By a number of accounts, Costa seems to be moving around well and making some great passes. He still apparently shows some signs of trouble with the knee but anything we can get from Nate to solidify the QB spot will be wonderful. Last year at this time, he was battling it out with Justin Roper for the top spot. He probably won't get close to Masoli but being a capable backup for the Oregon Ducks will almost guarantee you playing time. For all that he has gone through, I'm pulling for the guy. Even if he doesn't see the field much, Costa has a knack of being a team leader on the sidelines. Elevator: Has gotten back in the elevator and pressed "up".
-- Chip Kelly: Work hard, win the day. That's the name of the game and the players appear to be responding to it. He has projected himself as a guy who likes to play hard and work hard. I like that he's motivating the team to work hard and his show of wit on the Tebow comment from Pac-10 Media Day. The transition from Bellotti seems to be going through without a hitch. Elevator: Up a Floor
-- Ernie Kent: The Men's Basketball Schedule was released last week and it looks like Ernie made a concerted effort to get the team a slew of games the Ducks can be confident with. After last year, Ernie needed something to get the young Ducks off to a good start and this was a step in the right direction. Also, it will be nice to see that many home games in Mac Court before we switch over to talking about Mathew Knight Arena. Elevator: Up from the basement to the ground level