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FishDuck Article

Mr. FishDuck: Explosion Plays, Fast-Tempo, 80+ Plays…Do You Believe It?

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Some may not like the questions I am asking, but considering what happened before--isn't it reasonable?  I would love your input...

 
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For many of us fans of the original Oregon Spread Offense under Coaches Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich, the excitement is palpable about the...
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Two Sites: FishDuck and the Our Beloved Ducks forum, The only "Forum with Decorum!" And All-Volunteer? What a wonderful community of Duck fans!

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“And why did everyone continue to support him when they could see with their own eyes for a couple of years before finally accepting the truth?”

 

This one is easy to answer. We (including me) we’re so intoxicated by MC’s ability to recruit that we assumed the offense was an aberration that would eventually get figured out.

 

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Excellent article  Charles, and you are correct in your evaluation of Mari (no O) Cristobal!  Thank you Miami!

 

I love your photo of the "X Files" - I want to believe in Dan Lanning!  

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 It’s too bad we have to go back to taking MC down but he certainly deserves it. 

 

 It is also to bad that he wasted a potential Heisman trophy winner with his stubbornness and inability to coach a team during a game. Even as slow a pace as the offense was he could not keep up and as I said before his defenses couldn’t keep up as well.

 

 As far as Dan and company are concerned I believe we have a much more intelligent coaching staff that are younger and their brains might work a bit faster.😀 can’t believe I just said that.

 

Hope I didn’t offend any old guard here but I’m in my 70s and my brain has slowed to a crawl. Took me an hour to jot this all down.

 

 So 80 plays a game! Maybe, but if not I bet my next Deshutes Hazy that they will be more fun to watch than they were the last few years and we as a group will not stress out and age any faster than we already are.

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There is intent and then there is ability. Mario may have intended to have an exciting offense, but he wasn't able to on any level. Just an analysis of his timeouts shows a critical flaw in his ability to play speed chess. I don't think he can even play chess, more like checkers, or maybe bumper cars is more up his alley of mindset and mental acuity. I don't mean to be attacking Mario, this is just the way it is. 

 

We now have another coach professing to want to play speed chess. Both Lanning and Dillingham seem to be up to the task. Lanning as a DC understands the advantages of playing fast. Dillingham seems willing to take the chances needed to play fast. It will then take follow through. Can you play a Stanford at a fast pace?

 

I think there will be games that look like a track meet. There will also be games we can't play at the pace and scheme they may want to. Did Ali want to play rope a dope against Foreman, no. It was the smartest move, and this is what I want to see from L&D on offense. We may not see speed ball every game, but hopefully we will see the shrewdest game plan for the situation we are in. 

 

What I don't want to see is just speed ball. I don't want to see a character flaw rear it's ugly head every game, which is actually easiest to defend. I want to see guys on the sideline one or more step ahead of the game in front of them. If that is a temp game great, but if they need to adjust I am ok with that, just win baby with innovation. Innovation is Oregon's calling card. I want to see innovation in situations once again!

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At first, I bought into Mario’s tough talk offensive philosophy as I thought that was what we needed to compete with the Stanford’s and SEC elite at the time. After it devolved into the Lombardi Ball red rover offense, I was off the bandwagon.

 

I think Mario’s fatal flaw is the need for total control. He is more comfortable with slowly but surely and predictability over taking risks.


He doesn’t trust his play makers to just go out there and make plays on either side of the ball. Conversely, that’s what Lanning seems to be all about.


I don’t care about lightning quick offense. I just want to see a coach that trusts his four and five star players to make four and five star plays.

 

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On 5/6/2022 at 6:42 AM, Smith72 said:

love your photo of the "X Files" - I want to believe in Dan Lanning!  

Thanks!  I always wonder if people notice some of the extra work I go through on an article, as I found myself saying over-and-over..."I want to believe," and realized it came from X-Files.  Then it took a LONG time to find the right photo that was not copyrighted and available for an article.

 

For the forum--we can bring in any photo, but for a published article--much more difficult.

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Mr. FishDuck

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On 5/6/2022 at 6:58 AM, Haywarduck said:

Both Lanning and Dillingham seem to be up to the task.

OK, there is an assumption in your post that they WILL carry out the offense as we anticipate--due to what they have said.

 

It is just that...there are lots of things they could say later as to "why" they did not carry it out, both real and imagined.  I hope they stick to the impression they have given us...

Mr. FishDuck

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On 5/6/2022 at 7:19 AM, The Kamikaze Kid said:

He doesn’t trust his play makers to just go out there and make plays on either side of the ball.

I agree with you and would assert he did not trust his assistant coaches either.  I do not believe we saw the "real" Joe Moorhead or Tim DeRuyter...not when their track records were so much better than what we saw.

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Mr. FishDuck

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Mario's offense was definitely limiting factor to the ceiling he could reach here. Think Tood Monken at Georgia's offense.

 

Lanning has had to defend Bama's Jones/Young at QB and all those WR's, he has seen all the film also game planning for them. Obviously, Lanning knows what that type of offense paired with his defense gives him. Lanning mentioned the talent here is why he came; he knows he has something to compete with out of the box. 

 

But it all comes down to the QB play in the end. Bo Nix hasn't showed me he is Bryce Young mentally or dropping dimes. I think how explosive the offensive will be is going to be QB play dependent.

 

The other huge factor is how good is Lanning's defense next year? With Dorlus, Popo, Taki in the middle, DJ, Funa, Swinson on the ends, Sewell, Flowe, Gonzalez, Manning, he has solid talent 5 of those who are top 100 guys. If the Defense, is shut down and the QB isn't taking care of the ball well then offense will be dialed back. 

 

My prediction is we are going to see lots of Todd Monken's offense he runs at Georgia with Stenson in 2021 when he took over. Lots of 11, some 12 personnel and not so much empty to start out. I'm sure there will be some shot plays taken but controlled how Monken did it. They ranked 26th in total offense, had about a 55% - 45% rush to pass, pretty good on 3rd down, took care of the ball in 2022.

 

Go look at AB's. Bo's and Stensons stats last year. Stenson threw for almost the same number of yards as AB with over 100 less pass attempts, 11 more TD's and higher QBR than AB or Bo. There is no reason to think Bo can't some in and match the type of numbers the Walk on Stenson did last year. 

 

But let's not kid ourselves and expect Bo is going to throw for 2000 yards more and 20 more TD's than Stenson this year like Bryce Young did last year.  We can expect better QB play, but I still think our offence is going to be QB limited.

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On 5/6/2022 at 7:19 AM, The Kamikaze Kid said:

I don’t care about lightning quick offense. I just want to see a coach that trusts his four and five star players to make four and five star plays.

This is where I am. I won't be counting the plays during the games and coming at Lanning-Ham with a pitchfork if the count didn't reach 80. If the offense is effective, in concert with the defense we're expecting, all will be fine.

 

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80 plays is not a “must” for me either, but with all the talk from the two coaches—I would hope high scoring returns again.

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Mr. FishDuck

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DazeNfused. 

 

Great take but I think you are overlooking a key fact: Nix will be playing against Pac-12 and not SEC Ds. 

 

If the OL guys Mario recruited can play up to or near their recruiting rankings in this system, I think Nix and his receivers, including TEs and RBs have a chance to light up the majority of Ds they will see in the Pac-12. This includes a Utah pass D that was lost in space versus Ohio State. 

 

BTW, I'd rather run fewer than 80 plays as the result of 'sudden strike' scores. I see '80 plays' as being far more euphemistic than literal.

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Great topic Charles, thank you!  A note of caution is not a bad thing, especially to “We Who Have Been Burned.”

 

For me, I WANT TO BELIEVE, but am almost scared to do so.  We have indeed, heard this line before.  I gotta believe that DL will indeed take the Ducks to the promised land!

 

Oh how we love to ponder about a triumphant return of our beloved High Flying Ducks!

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Good article, Charles, and thanks for bringing up some points I've been considering since the Lanning hype began.

 

I've seen enough coaches come and go that I'm fairly skeptical of anything a program promises, intends or allows the media to trumpet on their behalf-- see the number 3 rank for the Ducks last season and the enormous let-down when fans realized we weren't anywhere close. I think Lanning will be a fine coach over a period of time. I'm not expecting much from his first two seasons and may be pleasantly surprised and glad if he exceeds my expectations. 

 

The problem here, I think, is not that he is selling us dreams that won't be fulfilled, it's that fans are generally unrealistic and expect all the moving parts to perform on command. Mario sold the idea that he could command that sort performance and fans/donors believed it. They also believed the shiny talk from Taggert. They use recruiting stars as supply to keep the fanatical addiction alive. Fans want "to believe" rather than watch and enjoy as it unfolds. Sure, we can dream, but we get out over our skis to our own dissatisfaction.

 

The coaches still need to coach, make adjustments, and coach again. Players need to play up to their star potential and then get better. Most importantly, they need to WIN and let their on field action be determinative of what they can achieve.

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On 5/6/2022 at 9:09 AM, PittDuck said:

For me, I WANT TO BELIEVE, but am almost scared to do so.

That is ME to a "T."

 

I, so, WANT TO BELIEVE!

 

X Files_Screenshot by Ella Morton.jpg

Such a cool screenshot off an episode....

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Mr. FishDuck

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I want to believe that back in the day I could have scored a date with the red head? But that is no doubt beyond belief.

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On 5/6/2022 at 10:17 AM, DimpleDucks said:

They also believed the shiny talk from Taggert.

I have to give Taggert some credit here. I'm as annoyed like the rest of us with how he departed.

 

BUT!! His offense was devastating when Herbert was healthy. The lowest points scored with Herbert at the helm was 35 points.

 

The rest of the games with JH were near or above 50 POINTS: 77, 42, 49, 45, 41, 48, 69

 

Looking back, the biggest indictment of MC was that with Herbert and his recruiting classes, he could only muster 31.5 points (offensive points only) per game in 2019.

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On 5/6/2022 at 9:02 AM, Jon Joseph said:

DazeNfused. 

 

Great take but I think you are overlooking a key fact: Nix will be playing against Pac-12 and not SEC Ds. 

 

If the OL guys Mario recruited can play up to or near their recruiting rankings in this system, I think Nix and his receivers, including TEs and RBs have a chance to light up the majority of Ds they will see in the Pac-12. This includes a Utah pass D that was lost in space versus Ohio State. 

 

BTW, I'd rather run fewer than 80 plays as the result of 'sudden strike' scores. I see '80 plays' as being far more euphemistic than literal.

No, I'm not overlooking that Bo will be in the Pac and not the SEC.

I 'm just not confident he is going to break out and make a jump to elite.

 

I thought AB lead the Pac in passing yards last year?

If Bo matches that with 100 fewer pass attempts and 11 more TD's than I will be Thrilled! 

 

If Bo puts up 3900 yards and 30 TD's I will kiss a pig and love it, maybe he has it in him.

Bryce was 4900 and 47 TD's.

AB was 2900 and 18

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One thing I remember watching was an introductory press conference with Lanning and Dillingham. When Dillingham stated that he wants to run 80 plays a game, Lanning followed up that comment up with somewhat of a disclaimer that framed that number up as a very high goal that might not be attained. 
 

Our defense will be formidable in the PAC 12. Therefore, if we stay healthy as a team, I believe that the offense will average closer to 40 points a game.
 

Our QB1 may not be sitting on the bench to start the 3rd quarter, but I think there will be plenty of 4th quarter experience gained by QB2 and QB3.

 

I believe….lol
 

 

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On 5/6/2022 at 1:36 PM, DazeNconfused said:

No, I'm not overlooking that Bo will be in the Pac and not the SEC.

I 'm just not confident he is going to break out and make a jump to elite.

 

I thought AB lead the Pac in passing yards last year?

If Bo matches that with 100 fewer pass attempts and 11 more TD's than I will be Thrilled! 

 

If Bo puts up 3900 yards and 30 TD's I will kiss a pig and love it, maybe he has it in him.

Bryce was 4900 and 47 TD's.

AB was 2900 and 18

Great call on AB. Exemplifies the fact that for the 1st time since 2014 a Pac-12 QB was not invited to the combine.

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I am sure the offense will be markedly better than last year.  There is a glaring difference between what I saw with MC in game 2 vs. Utah and Lanning in game 2 vs. Alabama.  Oregon’s offense didn’t look like they made any adjustments, so Utah just stuck to what worked in game 1 and it worked exactly the same in Vegas.  As many have noted, there were some real weak spots in the Utah secondary at the end of the year, but MC didn’t do enough to try to exploit that with an offense that had the talent to do so.   Contrast to Lanning and the adjustments he made to his defense after they got hammered in the first game.,  Maybe MC had already moved on but I was shocked at the way they game planned for a team they had just lost to a couple of weeks earlier.  

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Great ponder point, and it has definitely had me pondering as I showered, left for work, and even as I was working through my early morning appointments. My thinking is the drive many Oregon fans have for an explosive offense and a pedal to the metal attitude comes back to one of, if not the most iconic figure in Oregon sports and the team which followed. 

 

If you watched Steve Prefontaine run it is an attitude and method to how you do things which becomes part of you as an Oregon fan. You attack and leave everything you have on the track, field, playground, or workplace. When we watch, or interact with a situation this mentality permeates everything we do, it is at the cellular level. I know it is for me at least.

 

 

This attitude was then cemented by anyone of that era by the Kamikaze Kids. This play, again, taught one to be relentless, and see no boundaries, just opportunities. The play of that Duck team showed how Oregon sports should be played. A team should go after every situation with passion, effort and savvy, and never hold back. One can now see how many of us older Duck fans had such an adverse reaction to what Mario brought to Oregon.  

 

A great FishDuck article from the archives on The Kamikaze Kids 

Kamkaze-featured-pic-300x300-cropped.jpg
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Following Oregon's disastrous 1971-72 season, Dick Harter was finally able to land his first outstanding recruiting class that included guard Ronnie Lee, guard/

 

 

So basically we may want 80 plays a game, but really we just want all out play, it is just part of who we are as a Fanbase, and  what we should always be as athletic programs at the University of Oregon, always! 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/6/2022 at 11:36 AM, Haywarduck said:

If you watched Steve Prefontaine run it is an attitude and method to how you do things which becomes part of you as an Oregon fan. You attack and leave everything you have on the track, field, playground, or workplace. When we watch, or interact with a situation this mentality permeates everything we do, it is at the cellular level. I know it is for me at least.

 

On 5/6/2022 at 11:36 AM, Haywarduck said:

This attitude was then cemented by anyone of that era by the Kamikaze Kids. This play, again, taught one to be relentless, and see no boundaries, just opportunities. The play of that Duck team showed how Oregon sports should be played. A team should go after every situation with passion, effort and savvy, and never hold back. One can now see how many of us older Duck fans had such an adverse reaction to what Mario brought to Oregon.  

 

Excellent comments, Haywarduck.

Relentless, smart, leave it all on the field, no boundaries just opportunities--all good attitudes for life!

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On 5/6/2022 at 11:52 AM, DimpleDucks said:

Excellent comments, Haywarduck.

Relentless, smart, leave it all on the field, no boundaries just opportunities--all good attitudes for life!

I do mean what I wrote, if you watched Pre run live, and also saw the Kamikaze Kids at the time, you were forever changed!

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