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3 Things That’ll Get The Ducks Back On Track

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While I believe the Ducks core problems are systemic and coaching related.... I also see an enviable foundation that will allow a fast turnaround if Cristobal will simply adapt.

This foundation is what made the 2008 - 2015 Ducks so successful & dangerous. And mark my words, will be the basis for a new resurgence at the University of Oregon:::
Playmaking Ability

1. Speed
Henry V, “Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day”

Perhaps you’ve forgotten. There was a time in the not so distant past, that it was accepted fact that Oregon was the fastest team on the field versus EVERY single opponent.

then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.”

Marcus Mariota, Devon Allen, De’Anthony Thomas, LaMichael James, Bralon Addison. For years, our guys were faster and quicker than anyone on the field. That applied to our skill position players. That applied to our offensive linemen. We out-hustled and out-ran opposing teams off just about every field we competed on.
The last 5 years...not so much.
CJ Verdell, Tyler Shough, George Moore, Johnny Johnson are all fine athletes; yet none of them have blazing wheels. They seem like they’d be equally comfortable in a Wisconsin offense rather than the Oregon Blur of old.
Fair enough.
But all is not lost.
There is SPEED either on the roster now....or is coming::::
Sean Dollars, Mychal Wright, Seven McGee and Ty Thompson have wheels that will once again strike fear into our hapless PAC12 foes.
And honestly, I cant wait to see that once again.

2. Size
The Chip/Helfrich era put a premium on long, lengthy athletes. The twin towers of Defo Buckner and Arik Armstead. Kyle Long. Jake Fisher. Dwayne Stanford. Every one a matchup problem because of their combined size and athleticism.
But not to fear.
We have that right now; albeit perhaps not properly utilized yet:
Sala da Beast
Jayson Jones
Devon Williams
Spencer Webb
Adrian Jackson
Kayvon Thibodeaux 
Every one of these guys is a matchup nightmare because of their combination of size and athletic ability.

I know Chip/Helfrich were master chess players when it came to finding matchup inequities and then pounding the crap out of them.
Cristobal hasn’t shown that talent yet....even though it’s just staring at him on his own roster.

3. Playmaking Ability
For me, this conversation begins and ends with DAT.
But... that said, few teams had an answer for Byron Marshall (incredibly clutch!), Kenyon Barner, Charles Nelson, Brady Breeze, Josh Huff, Ifo Ekpre Olumu.
Yet if Cristobal would simply UNLEASH what’s on his roster right now.... the Ducks would have the chance to once again be among the most DYNAMIC & EXCITING teams in college football:::
Once again - Sean Dollars and Seven McGee
DJ Johnson (every time he’s fed the ball he makes something happen)
Mychal Wright (has the chops to be the best return man in college football)
Dontae Manning (I’ve never seen a Ducks cb with as much flexibility and potential. He absolutely needs college level coaching to turn him into one of the best cornerbacks in the country. Put him out on an “island” and know he’s got it locked down.)
Noah Sewell (Led the team in tackles and was 1st team all American. Has the physical tools. But can Cristobal/Avalos/Wilson turn him into a Derrick Thomas? Noah has every measurable and intangible a football team covets. Question is - Can Cristobal turn him into a generational player like his brother?)
Kayvon Thibodeaux (see Noah Sewell)
Spencer Webb (This kid is could be a college version of Travis Kelce. Big. Strong. Exceptional route runner and hands. Yet he’s languishing on the bench.)

My point is - we’ve got the meat on the hoof. 
Right now.... right now!!! .... we’ve got the players with the
Playmaking Ability 
on the roster...or coming into the program in 2021.

The question is::::
Does Cristobal have the ability to utilize and fully maximize these elite players?
Forget about a coherent offensive SYSTEM and HRHSP for a moment.
Does Cristobal have the ability to utilize and fully maximize these elite players?

Because THEY will be the foundation of turning this program around.



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Thank you very much Sherman for your analysis of the football team, as well as a touch of Shakespeare! My hopes to are that Cristobal isn't doing this great recruiting with out a master plan in mind, one similar to what you detailed.  The WR's especially, with a quarterback like Thompson makes me think we could see an offense like LSU blitzed the field with in 2019. There is so much talent, Cristobal has to make sure that it is used properly, not in the scattered, disjointed way it was this season. 

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Number 1, 2  and 3 is you have to have a qb who can make it all work. Moorhead had Trace McSorley when he was at Penn State, along with Saquon Barkley. It is time for Oregon to find their QB and RB. I think we will along with a few more weapons.

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I'm pretty sure Shough lost his starting job for the 2021 season.  Oregon's offense looked better with Brown as QB.  Shough has happy feet and appears to have no pocket awareness.  I'd prefer for Tyler Thompson to win the starting QB position for 2021, but would settle for Brown. 

I'm not sure which Seniors will decide to come back, but I don't see Redd, Johnson III, Moore or Kampmoyer on offense getting drafted.  Scott, Lenoir and Faoliu are probably gone on defense.  I don't see any juniors leaving early. 

With as hard as it was to watch this season, I'm going to look on the bright side.  We are the youngest football team in NCAA football.  I know getting one year older doesn't always mean we get better the following year, but I have a feeling the team will be better next year.  

Watching the Fiesta bowl was like getting stabbed in the stomach.  It was a slow death.  The box score is wrong about how many turnovers the Ducks had.  They had 5, not 4.  I have no idea why the kickoff Hill didn't catch, doesn't count as a TO, because we absolutely lost a possession.  Which makes the loss that more brutal.  Even losing the TO battle 5-0, we only lost by 17.  The Fiesta bowl game was there to win and the Ducks fumbled their way to a loss.  Turnovers tend to be cyclical, so I don't expect Oregon to be 121st in TO margin next year.

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I do not think Sean Dollars has break-away speed, but I understand your point that the talent is there--will they be coached up in an overall system that makes sense.

It still bothers me that what we built the brand on--was discarded to what is now a mess of an offense.  It is all about his pride...

Epic post Sherman, thank you.

Mr. FishDuck

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