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FishDuck Article

Cristobal’s Problem? It’s the Oregon Fans!

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Yes, you read that right; the problem for Mario Cristobal are the fans at Oregon. He runs a team under an old philosophy, an old way of winning. Since then offenses have changed and what is required to win has also changed, as his mentor has been at the forefront of that trend that now wins national championships. Meanwhile Greybeard-age ...

 

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I can guarantee Mario is going to get another 4 years and another contract extension before that ends. The only question is will he leave before his contract is up. Mario isn’t Mark Helfrich.

 

Mario’s problem is he loses the games players don’t get up for. Oregon dominated after the first quarter and fell apart at the end of the game. This is what Mario often does when on the road against lesser talent, he’s what 6-6 in that situation.

 

The Stanford game is also what happens when the turnover ratio goes against us, while we don’t have a decent 3rd or 4th down conversion ratio. I was out of town during the game and left when we went up at the end. I could see the writing on the wall, this team wasn’t going to get it done, unless they got a turnover, and it wasn’t worth watching if what happened, happened, too predictable.

 

The crazy part of it for me is I have a larger emotional response from the beaver game than how the Ducks play. The beavers, maybe it was partly the joy of seeing the dawgs lose, play inspired, wily football. The coaching leads players to reach their potential. They are also the underdogs, and I have an affinity for underdogs.

 

The way the Ducks play is like watching a lion play with their prey, and then letting it go because they just aren’t hungry enough to get it done. When that happens in the wild, this is unconfirmed, but comes from a reliable source, the zebra, will come in and smack the lion. This is what happened on Saturday, Oregon didn’t want it, didn’t know how to truly dominate, and then couldn’t finish, so the zebra abused him. This is the way it works in the wild.

 

I agree many fans will fall off, but not too far. I will never root for the beavers when Oregon plays. When Oregon goes to a bowl game I will either go or be glued to the tv. I will also hope the Ducks don’t have to play in the untamed Pac-12 where the zebras can punish poor coaching, but maybe that is what we needed!

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The problem I have with Mario is that I can't tell what his plan is. He didn't bring in some exotic new offense, he just discarded the one that had revolutionized the sport!  He's getting great recruiting classes and not capitalizing on their talents. Jeff Maehl wasn't a 4 star, but in that offense he was unstoppable.

 

Mario checks a Lot of the coaching boxes. But the one's he leaves blank are destructive. 80% to the good, 20& to the bad. If we could change that to 70 % checked,  lose a 4 * but get a scheme, we'd all be cheering again. 

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The ship entered some choppy water, but we haven't hit an iceberg yet. We were undefeated and ranked #3, then we played poorly, plus got some very questionable calls, lose one game and drop to #8 in the country, and some are ready to jettison one of the best coaches in America. Let's take a breathe. I have been rooting for our Ducks for decades, going back to games at Hayward Field, and I have experienced a lot of disappointment. Saturday, because we all had very high hopes for this team, was an extreme letdown.

 

That said, it is way too early to think about a coaching change. Mario is building a great program with quality young men. Keep the faith. 

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Excellent article, Charles!  You describe the atmosphere at this longtime Duckfan’s home exactly right!  My wife said after last game—-that the Ducks gave away—-“that’s it!  I’m not watching the Ducks anymore!”  Same with me.  I’ll record the next game, but I’m not gonna waste 3-4 hours of my time on this defective commodity anymore.  And, I’ve followed the Ducks since the 70’s.  When I see a result like last Sat…….I’ve seen it SO many times!…… I say: “typical Ducks”!  We don’t want to continue with “typical Ducks”, anymore!  

 

We’ve waited long enough to see what Cristobal’s got.  And, as Head coach……all he’s shown….consistently, and, based on last Saturday…..embarrassingly….he does not have “it”.  If he worked for me, I’d be looking to replace him.  And…..I doubt that that thought has not crossed Mullens mind.

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I’m willing to give MC the time but want to see him improve his coaching skills as well. 
 

The clock management still needs work. 
 

The offense has the talent to score 50 every game but doesn’t. Why?  
 

MC didn’t call plays in the absence of JM. Or did he and how many? Does MC have an offensive mind? Is MC deadweight on game day. 
 

why is 5 yard shotgun better than running behind a 360lb guard with one yard to gain? 

 

run the ball

stop the run

pressure the qb. 
 

easy as 1,2,3. 

 

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On 10/4/2021 at 6:48 AM, 30Duck said:

The problem I have with Mario is that I can't tell what his plan is. He didn't bring in some exotic new offense, he just discarded the one that had revolutionized the sport!  He's getting great recruiting classes and not capitalizing on their talents. Jeff Maehl wasn't a 4 star, but in that offense he was unstoppable.

 

Mario checks a Lot of the coaching boxes. But the one's he leaves blank are destructive. 80% to the good, 20& to the bad. If we could change that to 70 % checked,  lose a 4 * but get a scheme, we'd all be cheering again. 

Wow, great point, he discarded an offense which worked, said he was going to improve it, but really hasn't put an offense on the field you can define, nicely.

 

I look forward to the day where prevent offense is no longer the defining name to the Oregon offense, it really doesn't historically work!

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Except for Ohio St most of the games under Cristobal haven't been all that fun to watch. 

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Another game or two like last Saturday and somebody is going to say they "Ducked it". Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory while looking inept..."Did they Duck it again?".

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The number of injured Duck players hasn't helped matters either. And even the OC was out on Saturday--how often does that happen???

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On 10/4/2021 at 7:18 AM, Vandownbytheriverduck said:

I’m willing to give MC the time but want to see him improve his coaching skills as well. 
 

The clock management still needs work. 
 

The offense has the talent to score 50 every game but doesn’t. Why?  
 

MC didn’t call plays in the absence of JM. Or did he and how many? Does MC have an offensive mind? Is MC deadweight on game day. 
 

why is 5 yard shotgun better than running behind a 360lb guard with one yard to gain? 

 

run the ball

stop the run

pressure the qb. 
 

easy as 1,2,3. 

 

With Anthony Brown at QB the Ducks absolutely cannot score 50 points a game.

 

A change is needed to revitalize the Ducks’ offense. That has become glaringly apparent.

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This article is spot on! I remember when my friends and I would watch the game and think about how special the team was.  But it wasn’t just watching the game- we would discuss and search the web to know more about the game.

 

Football was interesting beyond the game to those who traditionally had no interest to the sport before.

 

That is gone.
 

Covid or not we are not going to watch a boring game.  The BBQ are gone, the only discussion about football I have is on FishDuck, and  cut the cable cord, so  I am unable to watch most the games…. And half the games I do watch- I regret watching them. Outside of recruiting, the game has lost significant value to myself and others.

 

And it has left me wondering, if I didn’t tolerate a Brady Hoke defense, why am I tolerating a Cristobal Offense?

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If Cristobal and Mullens are not careful and don't make improvement soon they are going to hurt the Oregon Duck Brand. 

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On 10/4/2021 at 8:18 AM, Pocketchange said:

And it has left me wondering, if I didn’t tolerate a Brady Hoke defense, why am I tolerating a Cristobal Offense?

 

Whew!  That is powerful...and while it is tough at times--I will be watching regardless. I try to remain as a loyal fan no matter how frustrating...

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/4/2021 at 8:22 AM, 1Ducker1 said:

If Cristobal and Mullens are not careful and don't make improvement soon they are going to hurt the Oregon Duck Brand. 

 

I would suggest they already have...when a percentage of fans leave you--that is a decline of the brand.

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/4/2021 at 6:39 AM, Haywarduck said:

I can guarantee Mario is going to get another 4 years and another contract extension before that ends. The only question is will he leave before his contract is up. Mario isn’t Mark Helfrich.

 

Mario’s problem is he loses the games players don’t get up for. Oregon dominated after the first quarter and fell apart at the end of the game. This is what Mario often does when on the road against lesser talent, he’s what 6-6 in that situation.

 

The Stanford game is also what happens when the turnover ratio goes against us, while we don’t have a decent 3rd or 4th down conversion ratio. I was out of town during the game and left when we went up at the end. I could see the writing on the wall, this team wasn’t going to get it done, unless they got a turnover, and it wasn’t worth watching if what happened, happened, too predictable.

 

The crazy part of it for me is I have a larger emotional response from the beaver game than how the Ducks play. The beavers, maybe it was partly the joy of seeing the dawgs lose, play inspired, wily football. The coaching leads players to reach their potential. They are also the underdogs, and I have an affinity for underdogs.

 

The way the Ducks play is like watching a lion play with their prey, and then letting it go because they just aren’t hungry enough to get it done. When that happens in the wild, this is unconfirmed, but comes from a reliable source, the zebra, will come in and smack the lion. This is what happened on Saturday, Oregon didn’t want it, didn’t know how to truly dominate, and then couldn’t finish, so the zebra abused him. This is the way it works in the wild.

 

I agree many fans will fall off, but not too far. I will never root for the beavers when Oregon plays. When Oregon goes to a bowl game I will either go or be glued to the tv. I will also hope the Ducks don’t have to play in the untamed Pac-12 where the zebras can punish poor coaching, but maybe that is what we needed!

I feel the same way about the Beavers. I always root for them except when they play the Ducks. Maybe it’s the underdog thing. But it appears to me that they play with a lot of heart and determination and you can’t help but support a team like that.

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Great article. 

 

Nick Saban. Love the irony of seeing Nick in commercials with a duck! AFFLACK!

 

Nick did learn. He wasn't all that at Michigan State. He arrived at the happy recruiting grounds in the south and prospered at LSU and is on a historic run at Bama.

 

Nick evolved with the game. He changed his D from all-behemoth guys to guys who can run sideline to sideline. After whining, he brought in Lane Kiffin, opened up the O and emphasized recruiting skill players as much as smash mouth OL guys. He has had consistent assistant coach turn over and always seems to hire excellent replacements.

 

It's hackneyed, but Nick has a PROCESS that works. A process that has NFL bound talent ready to go against opponents strong and weak. 

 

Because of Mario's recruiting prowess and because of the state of the Pac-12 conference, Mario will win a lot of games. But something is missing. The team can show up and play excellent ball in champ games vs Utah and USC and on the road against a team ranked #3 on nation, a team that 'never' takes an L at home. But the team also struggles against the likes of Arizona, the worst team in the conference.

 

IBM almost failed. The new CEO of IBM looked in the mirror and made dramatic changes that IBM had not seen in 50 years. One of the IBM's of CFB, Alabama, was failing and floundering before the right leader was hired. It took Nick Saban one year to right the ship in Tuscaloosa. And like all great leaders, Saban adopted to changes brought on by the competition. He did not stand pat.

 

I do not know of a single Ducks fan who wants Mario to fail. But Mario is at a cross roads. The road he is on is not producing results commensurate with the talent of his organization's 'employees,' the players.

 

Mario by all accounts is a workaholic. But working yourself to death does not equal success unless you have a plan that will translate the work effort into positive results.

 

I hope he will take this brief respite in the season and ask: do I have the right assistants; am I micro-managing my assistants; is our strength and conditioning program preventing injury or causing injury; are our practice habits working: and are on-field leaders being encouraged and developed?

 

Sorry to go all Tony Robbins, but if Mario doesn't change we will see the same results season after season. Big wins against big opponents and a lack of cohesive effort against mediocre opponents.

 

In any business you can recruit the best employees, but can you get the employees to function as a cohesive unit? If you can't do that you will never be a great leader.

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On 10/4/2021 at 8:35 AM, Jon Joseph said:

I do not know of a single Ducks fan who wants Mario to fail. But Mario is at a cross roads. The road he is on is not producing results commensurate with the talent of his organization's 'employees,' the players.

 

So true, and an outstanding post.  You can go Tony Robbins on me anytime...

Mr. FishDuck

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On 10/4/2021 at 8:35 AM, Jon Joseph said:

Great article. 

 

Nick Saban. Love the irony of seeing Nick in commercials with a duck! AFFLACK!

 

Nick did learn. He wasn't all that at Michigan State. He arrived at the happy recruiting grounds in the south and prospered at LSU and is on a historic run at Bama.

 

Nick evolved with the game. He changed his D from all-behemoth guys to guys who can run sideline to sideline. After whining, he brought in Lane Kiffin, opened up the O and emphasized recruiting skill players as much as smash mouth OL guys. He has had consistent assistant coach turn over and always seems to hire excellent replacements.

 

It's hackneyed, but Nick has a PROCESS that works. A process that has NFL bound talent ready to go against opponents strong and weak. 

 

Because of Mario's recruiting prowess and because of the state of the Pac-12 conference, Mario will win a lot of games. But something is missing. The team can show up and play excellent ball in champ games vs Utah and USC and on the road against a team ranked #3 on nation, a team that 'never' takes an L at home. But the team also struggles against the likes of Arizona, the worst team in the conference.

 

IBM almost failed. The new CEO of IBM looked in the mirror and made dramatic changes that IBM had not seen in 50 years. One of the IBM's of CFB, Alabama, was failing and floundering before the right leader was hired. It took Nick Saban one year to right the ship in Tuscaloosa. And like all great leaders, Saban adopted to changes brought on by the competition. He did not stand pat.

 

I do not know of a single Ducks fan who wants Mario to fail. But Mario is at a cross roads. The road he is on is not producing results commensurate with the talent of his organization's 'employees,' the players.

 

Mario by all accounts is a workaholic. But working yourself to death does not equal success unless you have a plan that will translate the work effort into positive results.

 

I hope he will take this brief respite in the season and ask: do I have the right assistants; am I micro-managing my assistants; is our strength and conditioning program preventing injury or causing injury; are our practice habits working: and are on-field leaders being encouraged and developed?

 

Sorry to go all Tony Robbins, but if Mario doesn't change we will see the same results season after season. Big wins against big opponents and a lack of cohesive effort against mediocre opponents.

 

In any business you can recruit the best employees, but can you get the employees to function as a cohesive unit? If you can't do that you will never be a great leader.

Excellent post Jon.

 

Mario is a class person, no question about it. A real asset for the university. As a recruiter he is phenomenal. As a coach? That’s a different matter. 
 

Oregon football became popular nationally under Chip Kelly. The cool uniforms, the explosive offense with plays being run so quickly that the opposing defense had no clue what to do. The Ducks were very successful, but perhaps equally important they were entertaining.

 

And as far as fans are concerned, they want to win, but they also want to be entertained. They want that adrenaline rush when they go to a game….they want it so bad that they’ll drive several hours for a 7:30 kickoff knowing they won’t get home til 2am.

 

I sense that this team doesn’t stir the same enthusiasm as past editions.

 

Oregon football, certainly offensively, has become boring. Unless they find a way to open up the offense, recruiting 4 and 5 star players may become problematic.

 

 

 

 

 

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I wonder what the attitude in the locker room is?

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Unless they find a way to open up the offense, recruiting 4 and 5 star players may become problematic.

Exactly!  If I was the parent of a 4 or 5 star football player, other than a lineman……. I would not want him to play for Mario……who has not shown he is an above average football coach.  If your kid was a wide receiver…… would you want him to play for Mario….where he gets next to zero chance to expand his game? Not me!  I’m happy he does, but I don’t know how Mario gets some of these ball-carrying recruits!

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On 10/4/2021 at 6:39 AM, Haywarduck said:

The way the Ducks play is like watching a lion play with their prey, and then letting it go because they just aren’t hungry enough to get it done.

 

Love this line!  I also share your view that watching the Beavers win was a lot of fun, and not just because it was against the Huskies. 

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On 10/4/2021 at 9:18 AM, 1Ducker1 said:

I wonder what the attitude in the locker room is?

I would think they’d be pretty pissed off!  Hope so——might be a great motivating factor!

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On 10/4/2021 at 9:19 AM, Duckdude said:

Exactly!  If I was the parent of a 4 or 5 star football player, other than a lineman……. I would not want him to play for Mario……who has not shown he is an above average football coach.  If your kid was a wide receiver…… would you want him to play for Mario….where he gets next to zero chance to expand his game? Not me!  I’m happy he does, but I don’t know how Mario gets some of these ball-carrying recruits!

Yeah, I keep thinking about Troy Franklin and Dont'é Thornton, in particular - remember them?

 

Are they wondering, "What did I sign up for here?".

Edited by jrw
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On 10/4/2021 at 6:48 AM, 30Duck said:

 Jeff Maehl wasn't a 4 star, but in that offense he was unstoppable.

One of my favorite players.  Chip loved him enough to bring him to the next level. He never went down easily.

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