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ATQ Mailbag: 3.6.15

Your weekly dosage of shenanigans.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We've heard a lot recently about Marcus Mariota and the NFL draft. First he was the #1, now he's more like #6... Who knows. That being said, what is Marcus' ideal team (aside from Philadelphia, obviously) that fits his skill sets and needs as a quarterback? As I do not follow NFL football and this is not something I have heard discussed, I am curious as to where the right place for Marcus is, positionally speaking.

Much of Mariota’s criticism has come from the fact that he didn’t play a lot from under center in college (OH NO!) However, we’re starting to see more and more teams pick up the spread offense, and whatever team Marcus goes to, don’t be surprised if that team decides to add it to their repertoire for Marcus’ sake. As for where he'll fit in best, let's take a look at his potential suitors:

The Bucs hold the first pick, and are likely to take the home state Winston, which might be a good thing for Mariota. Here’s some fun facts about Tampa Bay’s O-Line last season: They led the NFL in hits allowed on their QB and were tied for third in most sacks allowed.

The Titans pick 2nd. Tennessee didn’t have a single Pro-Bowl selection last season, and their running back and receiving core aren't as sexy as the Bucs. Rookie OT, Taylor Lewan is one of their few bright spots. But, Jake Locker is still technically their franchise quarterback and it would be pretty satisfying to see Marcus come into town and put him out of a job.

The Raiders and Jaguars pick at 3rd and 4th and regardless of whether he would be a solid fit for either of them, odds are they aren't taking him! Both teams are locked in with their quarterbacks they drafted last year. Blake Bortles LOL.

If Marcus slips to the Jets, they too had a shitty O-Line last season. But he would at least have Eric Decker, Percy Harvin, Jace Amaro, AND BRANDON MARSHALL to throw to when he wasn’t running for his life from pass rushers.

Thank the lord Washington is committed to RGBLAMEEVERYONE, because I don’t want Marcus to be employed by Dan Snyder. If there’s one team that could decay at the wholesome and genuine character of Marcus Mariota, it’d probably be the ‘Skins. They ruin everything they touch.

It’s highly unlikely that Mariota falls all the way to #7 to the Bears. The Bears are between a rock and a hard place. On one hand they’re stuck with pouty face Jay Cutler. On the other hand, I think the Bears organization feels they’ve seen Jay’s ceiling. When I talked to the Bears scout at the Colorado game and asked him who he was looking at, he replied, "your quarterback." In my opinion, if he’s on the table for the Bears, they’re snatching him. The Bears have the best O-Line out of all the teams listed above, and he’d be reunited with former teammate, Kyle Long. The Bears also have a solid run game. Oh and they also have Alshon Jeffrey! Aside from Philadelphia, this is his best fit in my opinion. Keep in mind they recently hired Adam Gase as their offensive coordinator, who along with Peyton Manning, helped the Broncos put up historic offensive numbers the past two seasons.

The Falcons aren’t taking Mariota at 8 because they have Matty Ice, and the Giants aren’t either at 9 because ELI FUCKING MANNING, that's why.

Things get interesting at 10. The Rams have voiced their support for Sam Bradford as their starter, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t take Mariota if he was still on the board. The Rams have a young and dominant defense, but they’d need to revamp their offense with more weapons to surround Mariota with. If all that happened, SCARY.

The Vikings aren’t taking Mariota because Teddy Bridgewater played surprisingly well in his rookie season!

Even though their ‘franchise QB’ that they drafted last year is in rehab because he can’t resist putting shit up his nose, the Brown’s aren’t taking ANOTHER QB in back-to-back years despite that being the Cleveland Browns thing to do. Oh, and they just signed Josh McCown. NO QUARTERBACK PROBLEM IN THIS CITY, PEOPLE.

The teams picking at 13-15 all have quarterbacks they’re fairly pleased with, so that’s a no-go on Mariota there!

In this alternative world where Marcus falls all the way to the Texans at 16, they could take him! Ryan Fitzpatrick is nice and all, but this organization needs to give JJ Watt a franchise QB while he’s still in his prime. I didn’t even look at the Texans roster because they play in the AFC South. How bad is this division? Andrew Luck throws 20 interceptions a game and still wins this division with ease every year. But it’s ok because, LEARNING PROCESS. Also, have you seen the hustle from him after he throws an INT? Guy can really wrap up. I’d love Mariota to go to the Texans solely to give Stanfurd boy nightmares.

The Chargers aren’t taking Mariota at 17 because Philip ‘The Prophet’ Rivers is still capable enough of keeping the Chargers at a respectable 8 to 9 win season (but nothing more), which is something the Chargers are completely content with.

Then there’s the Chiefs. Currently the Chiefs have about 20 quarterbacks so I don’t see them taking another one. Especially since they have the best game manager in the game right now in Alex Smith.

Last but not least, the Eagles at 20 (for now), which is obviously the most ideal destination for Marcus. Ever since the Kiko for Shady swap, it's pretty clear Chip's master plan is to compile as many Oregon Ducks on the Eagles as possible. Don't be surprised if Chocolate Thunder is shagging balls in Philly next season. Now the speculation is heating up about how the Eagles are going to trade up to get Marcus. The latest rumor has them trading with the Jets if Mariota falls all the way to 6. WE SHALL SEE. Anyway, if Chip doesn't land his guy, don't be surprised if he takes Bryan Bennett somewhere  in the later rounds.


Why did the elite of the ducks, especially the linemen, fail so badly in the lifts at the combine. Does this say the Ducks strength and conditioning program is not developing stronger linemen which is still a glaring weakness in their program?

I think saying they failed badly is a bit of an overreaction but let's take a look at every Duck who participated in the past combine:

Jake Fisher got 25 reps on the bench press. Brandon Scherff, who many believe is the best O-lineman in the draft put up just 23 reps. While 25 certainly isn’t in the top percentile, he’s far from the bottom. If you look at the full list of results you find Fisher is near the middle.

Arik Armstead finished with 24 reps, which was far from the bottom compared to the other defensive ends. Mario Edwards Jr. led the way with 32 reps and Zack Wagenmann came in last with 14. The average was 23.

Tony Washington was the only one who struggled with the bench press. Out of all outside linebackers, Tony Washington finished dead last in reps.

Hroniss Grasu, Troy Hill, Ifo-Ekpre Olomu didn't participate in the test.

I understand the notion of Oregon being smaller and weaker because they’re a ‘finesse team' and all, but I don't think there's any confounding proof that there's a correlation between Oregon's relatively smaller size to strength and fitness. Florida State was supposed to be too big and imposing for the Ducks, remember? Compared to the other power-5 conferences, Pac-12 offensive linemen rank dead last in weight. Compared to the other notable programs in college football, Oregon’s offensive linemen ARE smaller. But factor in the spread offense, which means Oregon’s linemen need to be more quick and agile than say LSU’s. I say it carries little weight in the grand scheme of things. With Oregon's 'puny' linemen, they came one win away from winning the whole damn thing.

Let's say someone offers you a $100 even-money bet on whether Oregon wins a football national championship in the next 20 years. (Obviously, as a good Oregon fan, you can't bet that they won't, so you either bet that they will, or you abstain.) What do you do?

I'm absolutely taking that bet. But I'm a complete degenerate when it comes to sports gambling, so I'm upping the ante. It's 20 years after all. Oregon HAS to win it at least once in that time span, RIGHT?

Many are spending this offseason wondering at the QB battle and the implications that it will have on our season but I think the biggest questions aren't on offense. Whoever is our QB will be surrounded by everything they could need. The WRs and RBs are top notch, the O-line will be experienced and toughened by last season's crucible. The TEs are pretty good too. As I see it, all the QB really needs to do is be decent and the stars around him will d the rest.

My biggest concern is the defense. Our secondary has been gutted, our LB corps is middling, and our D-Line needed to improve before losing Armstead. Below is a list of our top 10 defenders based on stats. Dargan, Malone, Hill, Ifo, Washington, and Armstead are all gone. The loss of Dargan, Hill and Ifo is just brutal taking 10 INTs, 5 FFs, and 229 Total tackles out of the secondary.

Canton Kaumatule is a huge step (pun intended) toward solidifying our defense, and Buckner staying helps as well, but there are only a couple remaining defenders I have much confidence in. I may be wrong but from what I've seen Prevot has flashed potential but isn't consistent, Seisay did great filling in for Ifo, but was out shined by Hill and I didn't really see much of him throughout the season, Walker is great at jamming up runs, but not good in coverage. Beyond those three I haven't really seen anyone stand out. It wouldn't worry me as much if I hadn't watched tOSU bulldoze a unit I thought was pretty good.

So my question is this, are there any signs that our defense could be better than expected at this point? They'll improve as time goes on, but this unit looks like a vulnerability in the MSU game (and moving forward) if they don't improve in a lot of places and gel quickly. Secondarily, are there any potential break out players on defense that I'm overlooking?

In all honesty, no. I don’t see the defense being better than expected next season. Here are some of the key defensive players from the 2015 Rose Bowl Champion team that are now gone: Arik Armstead, Tony Washington, Derrick Malone, Erick Dargan, Troy Hill, Dior Mathis, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. That’s a huge chunk of production right there. Let’s look on the bright side of things though: DeForest Buckner is back, and along with Christian French and blue-chip prospect, Canton Kaumatule, our D-line should remain solid. Nose tackle, Alex Balducci will be back as well, which is another plus. There’s no denying that the secondary took a massive hit since essentially all but one starter must be replaced. Fortunately, Reggie Daniels is back, as is Seisay, who despite being exposed against Ohio State, received a lot of crucial playing time last season that will only help his growth. Safety Juwaan Williams and cornerback Arrion Springs are going to be asked to step into larger roles as well. The guy I’m looking forward to most however is Paris Bostick: the former Georgia Bulldog outside linebacker. Bostick will fill a need at Oregon’s most vulnerable position on defense. Along with Rodney Hardrick, Joe Walker, and Torrodney Prevot, their level of play will dictate how far this team goes. Obviously this years defense can exceed expectations like last years 'D' did, but on paper at least, they're not as good as last years.

Questions from the comments!

If you could have one player back on the Ducks football team for the 2015 season

That wasn’t drafted or probably won’t be drafted (i.e. no Ngata, Mariota, Byrd, etc.) who would it be? Basically, who was the best undrafted player that would help the Oregon Ducks this upcoming season?

I'm assuming guys who weren't drafted, but were later signed by NFL teams are off limits? If that's the case, then I'm going with Boseko Lokombo like someone else already mentioned. Linebacker is our weakest position and that dude was an absolute monster.

WHAT is your favorite color?

Black, and this is a new development for some reason (used to be blue). The black Hank Moody t-shirt is my go-to these days. It makes me feel EDGY and DANGEROUS.

Boxers or Briefs?

I like to put on a front like I’m a boxers kind of guy, but that's not entirely the case. Boxers come in all different sorts of cool patterns and designs, which is fucking awesome, whereas briefs are typically one color (BORING). Also, brief guys are all Calvin Klein PRETTY BOYS, whereas Boxer guys are laid back and catch fish with their bare hands. Boxers are also extremely uncomfortable, as in copious amounts of wedgies and such. That being said, I wear both. For me, it's briefs during the week, and boxers on the weekend. Weird I know.

What’s for dinner?

I’ve essentially had the same dinner for the past two weeks: A chicken breast, brown rice, and asparagus. I’m dieting, folks! Maybe I’ll substitute a sweet potato for the rice if I’m feeling extra sassy tonight. Dieting is miserable. All those "eat good, feel good" theories are bullshit, I don’t care what science has proven. I have been moping around for the past two weeks in a perpetual state of gloom because I can’t eat anything that provides any sense of taste whatsoever. When you start to count calories, you realize how shitty and unfair life is. Oh you want olive oil and seasoning with your bland chicken? TACK ON 600 MORE CALORIES, BUD.

Top Question:

If James Cameron made a film about Oregon football

Who would play Kellen Clemens?

Allow me to offer a list of potential candidates:

Elliott Yamin: It could be a musical!

Ryan Gosling: We want Kellen to be portrayed as a SEX SYMBOL.

Ryan Phillippe: The resemblance is canning.

Edward Norton: Would likely rewrite the script and immediately make it an Oscar contender.

James Van Der Beek: Already a proven actor in football drama's.

Simon Pegg...

Shoot your questions to my email at