Duck Stops Here is a fan blog devoted to opinions, commentary and analysis of Duck football. The opinions expressed are entirely mine. We welcome reader feedback, positive or critical. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcus Mariota ran a 4.52 40 at the NFL Combine, the fastest among quarterbacks:
5 days, 13 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/the-fifth-element-taylor-alie-shines-running-oregons-2-point-unit.html
Andrew Greif @AndrewGreif 2m
5 days, 14 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/the-fifth-element-taylor-alie-shines-running-oregons-2-point-unit.html
@duckusuckers Okay now that's funny.
5 days, 23 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/travis-waller-story-isnt-written-yet-and-its-going-to-be-a-blockbuster.html
Mariota absolutely killing it in combine interview process. Told he is as/more impressive than R.Wilson was, which is significant.
Quarterbacks throw and run the 40 Saturday, I believe.
6 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/travis-waller-story-isnt-written-yet-and-its-going-to-be-a-blockbuster.html
@goducks58 @Dale Newton I'm like Jon Snow...I know nothing. But I review the films and the notes and the record and the articles by the professionals and try to start some interesting conversation. We're just fans talking about football at the cyber-O Bar.
6 days, 23 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/jeff-lockie-nobodys-favorite-to-win-the-starters-job-embodies-the-best-of-the-oregon-tradition.html
@NormVanbrocklin Thanks for picking up on that, NVB. That's the goal, every year.
6 days, 23 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/oregons-best-athlete-at-quarterback-might-get-his-first-opportunity-at-a-different-spot.html
@Ducko30 It's unanimous--there's a strong feeling that Oregon got another leader and a quality person in Travis, with tons of athletic ability and a great work ethic.
Here's a glimpse of the tradition at Servite. Gass has since left for another school, and Scott Meyer was named the new coach in January:
6 days, 23 hours ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/travis-waller-story-isnt-written-yet-and-its-going-to-be-a-blockbuster.html
@Michael McCabe Agree that's most likely MM, but Duck fans have to like that none of these guys are conceding the job, and all of them are preparing like they want to be the starter.
@ATLDuck His mom has definitely instill some solid values. Calm intensity is a good quality in a quarterback, something you could say their last two definitely had.
@DryDuckin SB A redshirt is likely with three quarterbacks ahead of him, but he does have a track record of overcoming the odds and applying himself to improve at an accelerated rate. He's enrolled in school now to compete.
Andrew Greif of the Oregonian had a great story today, interviewing Lockie and Mahalak regarding Vernon Adams' transfer and the quarterback competition:
@Texasduck @Dale Newton I will Doug. I remember you--you were dang near a scratch golfer, used to hang around with Eric Bartels. Thanks for the kind words on the site, which is a lot of fun to do.
1 week ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/dont-count-this-kid-out-in-oregon-quarterback-race.html
Defensive backfield depth just took another hit:
Justin Hopkins @JHopkins247 8m
1 week ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/oregons-best-athlete-at-quarterback-might-get-his-first-opportunity-at-a-different-spot.html
@SonomaDuck You make a very good point SD, and part of the purpose of this post was to give Lockie his due. I do think he'll stick around. If he doesn't win the job outright he'll make a great contribution steadying and mentoring the other quarterbacks, and the Ducks could need him over the course of a 15-game season. Anybody here remember Tony Graziani? Came off the bench to beat USC in the Rose Bowl season of 1994 in an emergency start after Danny O'Neil was hurt.
1 week ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/jeff-lockie-nobodys-favorite-to-win-the-starters-job-embodies-the-best-of-the-oregon-tradition.html
@Ducko30 His attitude is perfect, and the performance you could hang your hat on are those two extended performances against South Dakota and Wyoming. He was accurate and efficient.
@GeorgeNashKhier If it's the end of conversation, what are we going to do for the next 7 months?
@duckified Lockie has a great future as a coach, if he decides to go that way. He was instrumental last year wearing the headset and conferring with Mariota between possessions, and already has an advanced understanding of the Oregon offense.
@goducks58 Pretending to know is my entire gig, gd. Are you trying to shut me down? Completely agree with you on the class act.
@SonomaDuck If being off topic put anyone in danger of being banned, I would have been banned a long time ago. This is the football equivalent of the neighborhood bar. There's five big screens, the game is always on, the beer is cold, though we have to hire a cuter waitress. Usually we talk football, but references to the larger world, particularly funny stuff, good music and movies and upbeat stories, are always welcome.
@rgyle I admire the way Lockie has embraced his role with class, following in the footsteps of Nate Costa. Reminds me a lot of Costa, especially in the way he handles interviews.
@rgyle Waller is next. I thought it was important to give the other guys some pub after touting Adams so hard for two solid weeks.
@goducks58 Ducks have built on a foundation of speed, versatility and character, and it's been a tremendous success. The careers of LaMichael James, Barner and De'Anthony Thomas have made them a destination school for the shifty playmakers.
@duckusuckers It varies from athlete to athlete. Some guys, like Kenjon Barner or Jeff Maehl or Terrance Mitchell, want to see the field any way they can, or some guys, like Arik Armstead, are drawn to a certain side of the ball and determined to play there. The Ducks typically let recruits choose which position they start out at, and that's a selling point in recruiting.
They accumulated a wealth of speedy, versatile all-purpose backs, Nelson, Lovette, Merritt and James among them, and several of those guys played both ways in high school and have the potential to be huge successes as cover guys or receivers/running backs.
@Michael McCabe A move to more 4-3 principles might help that front seven, and there's a plethora of versatile athletes who could be dynamic on either side of the ball.
@SonomaDuck The Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is notoriously bristly--two quarterbacks transferred out last year. After that 2014 Spring Game he told reporters Griffin's efforts to learn the offense as a redshirt freshman were like" sipping water from a firehose."
@rgyle Very high character and great family structure. Father Herb was assistant coach at McEachern. There was a Ty Griffin who played baseball at Georgia Tech and was one of the top prospects at second base for the Cubs in the '90s, but I couldn't find out if he was related
@Ducko30 Ronnie Lee, with his athletic ability and toughness, would have been a great football safety. The guy was chiseled.
@JonSousa Indeed, Jon, Travis Waller and Seth Green are both very promising, and Tua Tagovailoa is an interesting prospect for 2018, with very high Duck interest.
@duckified Griffin is a good athlete ho really applies himself, so if the move is made, I'm confident he'll be successful. He made great strides as a passer in his first year in Eugene.
@Texasduck Ha! I did graduate from the Green and Gold, but in 1974, a year ahead of you. My brother was in your class, so the pressure to attend the reunion is on him. I skipped mine last year.
1 week, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/dont-count-this-kid-out-in-oregon-quarterback-race.html
@duckified @Dale Newton @Ducko30 @rgyle I think they learned their lesson on that one.
1 week, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/fifty-shades-of-green-duck-offense-will-torture-opponents-and-titillate-fans-in-2015.html
@duckified @Dale Newton Hey, that's pretty good--did you make that?
@DryDuckin SB @Dale Newton Well, that would be the cynical view.
@goducks58 The smart GMs will remain quiet about Mariota and downplay their interest. The draft gurus have dropped him five spots in a month without him throwing another pass.
1 week, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/the-nfl-is-drunk-and-stupid-is-it-stupid-enough-that-ck-could-steal-marcus-mariota.html
@mburcal @DSH_Newton Raiders aren't likely--they're high on Derek Carr, but the Jets and Browns are very interested.
@SonomaDuck I've been advised the Winston photo may be photoshopped--I have no way to know--but it's a perfect representation of his attitude and work ethic.
@Ducko30 Marcus' numbers and performance were fine throughout the playoffs, even allowing for a couple of costly drops in the national championship game and the absence of four of his best receivers.
Dropping within range of Kelly and the Eagles would be ideal, because he'd get the instruction and support he needs, and Kelly knows how to get the most out of his skills.
@rgyle @Ducko30 Manu and Kaumatule are very likely to crack the rotation as freshmen, with the size and strength to improve the depth in the front seven. Lot of talk also about how the Ducks may shift to more 4-3, one-gap football to use their personnel better and get the defensive line attacking instead of soaking up blocks for the linebackers.
1 week, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://duckstopshere.com/2014-articles/fifty-shades-of-green-duck-offense-will-torture-opponents-and-titillate-fans-in-2015.html
@Ducko30 @rgyle USC has a scary accumulation of talent, but they also have Sark to coach them down. Interesting to see how they do this season--expectations are sky high with quarterback Cody Kessler returning for his senior year.
@rgyle I know this article was "out there" but sometimes I like to experiment with popular culture references and different motifs. Most of the time I try to write straight sports stories and comment, but once in a while I like to mix it up.
The two games you mentioned, along with the Stanford game in Palo Alto, are likely to tell the tale of the season. Once again the PAC-12 North title comes down to that Stanford-Oregon showdown. The winner has what amounts to a two-game lead in the division.
@rgyle @duckusuckers The acrobatics and tumbling squad can do some amazing stuff. Very talented athletes. And you won't find a more alluring and attractive bunch of young women than the Oregon rally squad. They certainly turn up the wattage, and they're a perfect fit for Oregon's brand and image. Probably not an accident they sit the recruits down a few rows from the student section and the rally squad. Nothing more appealing than pretty girls with bright smiles.
@duckusuckers For me it was Bob Walton's red convertible '66 Mustang. Gimme a break on the picture. It's Valentine's Day. Thought it was an appropriate day to lead with some pretty girls.
@NormVanbrocklin The transfer rule still applies, I believe, but Smith is challenging the serf-and-master relationship between student-athletes and schools, and his exercise of his freedom could be revolutionary for college football. Committed to UCLA, the defensive coordinator bolted the day after Signing Day, and he elected to exercise his options and sign scholarship papers to Georgia in his home state. Good for him.
@goducks58 It will be terrific to get that first look at the spring game--I'm especially looking forward to seeing what Jalen Brown, Tony James and Alex Ofodile can do.
@FunkyDucky Love Wallace and Grommit. Whimsical, funny stuff. The GIF perfectly sums up my attitude to that opening game against Ew-U. This touchdown's for you, Beau.
@mooaks It'll truly be interesting how Scott Frost distributes the touches. Incredible array of talent.
Another thing that stands out to me is that the Ducks won a PAC-12 title and a Rose Bowl last year with a devastating toll of injuries. Few teams could withstand that kind of carnage, and this year, if they get just an even break in the injury department, they will be a loaded, explosive, incredible team.
I would have like to have Pharaoh Brown, Bralon Addison, Devon Allen, Tyler Johnstone and Darren Carrington in the lineup on some of those goal line plays in the NC. It was a miracle of resilience they even got there.
@SonomaDuck Sorry if I haven't been clear :). Too much? It isn't so much that I'm hopelessly enamored with Adams--he's a good, solid quarterback with leadership, experience and the "It" factor, a knack for making plays and inspiring his offense. He's no Marcus Mariota, though, and he'll have to do a lot of work and get better to produce similar results.
The unbridled optimism has more to do with the cast around him. Adams was the missing piece, an experienced quarterback with leadership ability and a point guard's mentality, distributing and setting up his playmakers. All the Ducks lacked for another conference title run was experience at quarterback, Adams provides that. It's true he's going up a level, but 34 starts for a top program in the FCS, including two against PAC-12 opponents, puts him miles ahead of Lockie and Mahalak in terms of his readiness and familiarity with big-game pressure. It's the equivalent of landing a 6-star quarterback.
I wouldn't be nearly so high on him if he were taking over at Oregon State, Washington, UCLA or Texas. A competent quarterback with Thomas Tyner and Royce Freeman to hand off to and Bralon Addison, Byron Marshall and Dwayne Stanford in the pattern has the potential to be a great quarterback
@duckified The video comes up private (????). But I'm glad you share the optimism, because optimism is infectious. In the case of the Oregon offense, it's warranted. The evidence is so overwhelming that optimism is the realistic view.
@DryDuckin SB Ha! Titillate is a wonderful word. I try to use it as often as I can, even if I have to stretch the sense of it a little. We could all use a little more titillation, passion and energy, especially on this day, devoted as it is to love.
@Sir Rodney Sir Rod, that is an insane highlight, isn't it? It points also to something else, linemen have to be disciplined and stay in the play when Adams improvises, be mindful of the line of scrimmage and not blocking the back of the jersey, keep those hands inside the opponent's shoulder pads, look for good angles to deliver another blow that might spring their elusive quarterback and buy more time for him to make a play.