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Oregon football gives contract extensions to Keith Heyward and Michael Johnson

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NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon football will retain a pair of assistants through the 2019 season, as it was announced today that safeties coach Keith Heyward and wide receivers coach Michael Johnson have both signed contract extensions through 2019.

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal released the following statement about the extensions:

"We are excited to extend the contracts of Keith and Michael," said Cristobal. "Keith is a rising star in this industry and played an instrumental role in our remarkable improvement defensively across all metrics, and we look forward to his continued impact in the development of our players. Michael has great experience in developing offensive talent in both college football and the NFL, and his tremendous contributions this season were reflected in the improvement of our young receivers and an offense that scored 40 or more points in seven games in 2017. Both Keith and Michael have a strong commitment to the Oregon program, and their leadership and efforts will continue to provide great value to the Ducks moving forward."

Oregon’s passing defense last year improved from giving up 270 yards through the air in 2016 down to 240 in 2017, moving up about 30 spots in the national rankings. They also forced more turnovers, intercepting 15 passes, good enough for No. 21 in the country. In 2016, Oregon ranked 104th with just seven interceptions.

Oregon’s offense also improved, averaging 36 points per game in 2017 during Johnson’s first year on staff, good enough for No. 18 in the nation.

Oregon’s leading wide receiver this year was Dillon Mitchell, who had 42 receptions for 517 yards with four touchdowns. He saved his best game for last against Boise State, hauling in nine passes for 143 yards, both season-highs.