As of right now, there are 194 days until the first football is kicked in the 2015 Oregon Duck's season. There are 68 days until the spring game in May. It's safe to say we are officially in the dog days of football winter. With all this time and not much news, we need things to keep us optimistic when looking forward to that September 5th date with Eastern Washington.
One of those things is the return of Bralon Addison.
Bralon Addison is not some unknown entity to Duck fans, but he may not be as present in everyone's minds as he should be. In 2013 Addison hauled in 61 catches for 890 yards and 7 touchdowns, all while playing second fiddle to Josh Huff. He was set up to be the featured receiving option this year in a core of talented but unproven receivers. Instead, Addison tore his ACL and we learned on the fly that the young guns (Devon Allen, Darren Carrington, Dwayne Stanford, Byron Marshall in his new role) were pretty capable themselves.
Fast forward to the present, and the addition of a healthy Addison to an already scary cast of receivers should have Oregon football fans excited. So let's look back and get a quick refresher on what Addison brings to the table.
Respect from defensive backs
When watching the highlights from Addison's 2013 season, the first thing that jumps off the screen is the respect defensive backs give him. No DB dares line up within five yards of Addison, with most giving the receiver even more of a buffer zone. Take the first clip in the above video for example. At the line of scrimmage, the defensive back gives Addison an eight yard buffer zone.
When the ball is snapped, Addison drives hard off the line and the DB immediately opens up his hips in anticipation of running downfield with Addison. After a five yards Addison plants and waits for the pass, while the DB is 12 yards downfield and still moving.
Addison catches the pass and picks up an easy 15 yards.
There isn't anything overly complicated going on in this play. The reason this play works is the respect the defensive backs must give to Addison. Why do defenses give Addison all this respect?
Bralon Addison is the definition of elusive
Watching Bralon Addison play football is a lot of fun. The moves he is able to put on defenders is downright mean sometimes. I could continue to do him a disservice with my descriptions, or I could present some GIFs of Addison clowning fools with complimentary corny titles of each Addison move.
TO THE GIFS
"Dude Where's Bralon Addison?"
"I swear, I totally meant to fall"
All these moves bring so much to Addison's game and the Oregon offense. 5-10 yard routes like the ones in the first video can easily become 20-25 yard plays. He also has the ability to make turn screens and slants into homerun plays. Every time Addison touches the ball, there's a chance it ends in six points.
While Addison has the moves and speed to be a vertical threat, he has the hands of an over-the-middle possession receiver.
It's hard to wrap your head around all the weapons Helfrich and Frost will have available to them next year. With five (possibly six) of the top seven receiving options returning, both Freeman and Tyner back, and all the new offensive recruits coming in, how is the offensive brain trust going to utilize all of the available weapons?
The answer is yet to be seen, but whatever the answer is I know one thing - I cannot wait to watch Bralon Addison play football in an Oregon uniform again.