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FishDuck Article

Cristobal Cost Herbert the No. 1 NFL Draft Pick

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Perhaps it is the long cold winters I spend up here in eastern Washington, but the grouch in me has returned. It’s been a while, but like a broken record, I’m placing Oregon’s offense inconsistencies once again on Mario Cristobal’s shoulders.   Having not been kind to Cristobal in the way he had handled the Oregon offense with the uber-talented Justin ...

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I agree with you Darren, Oregon is not the school one goes to in order to be "coached up" in football. I don't think it ever has been. 

What made players so good in the past has not been "coaching them up" but has been how they were utilized. The plays themselves. Yes the X's and O's. If a player wants/needs to be coached up the best place to go is Utah. 

I totally agree with your statement "Lucky for Herbert, in being drafted at No. 6, he went to the Chargers and not the Bengals. The Chargers are the better team and organization, as well as his childhood dream team." and it couldn't happen to a better person. This also, IMO is much better then being drafted No. 1, this is what has given him "The rookie of the year"

I do, however disagree with one thing and wish all Duck fans would get over it and that is when you say "(remember those days Oregon fans?), not the once conservative ball-control offense that was complimented by a suffocating defense". My friends those days are past and simply put, you and most Oregon fans need to get with the times. Stop living in the past and move on.

In terms of Mario himself, I feel we are lucky to have him. After all we could be having articles about Taggart. (Oh what a downer)

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18 minutes ago, BigDucksFan said:

My friends those days are past and simply put, you and most Oregon fans need to get with the times. Stop living in the past and move on.

BDF....this is one of the few times we will disagree because in reference to your statement above....I will not.  It is a means of measuring, not to other teams, but what the potential is at Oregon.  Cristobal changed expectations of recruiting at Oregon, while Chip/Helfrich changed expectations about scoring, and it is a shame that both cannot happen at the same time with the level of talent being brought in.

LaMichael James from Video.jpg

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Mr. FishDuck

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4 hours ago, FishDuck Article said:

I’m placing Oregon’s offense inconsistencies once again on Mario Cristobal’s shoulders.

This is a fair criticism.  And, the downturn in offensive output beginning in 2018 is noticeable and fits snugly with with MC's tenure.  However, I wonder about extenuating circumstances.  WR and RB talent was a multi-season low point in 2018 and 2019.  For context, the 2017 team had Charles Nelson at WR and Royce Freeman at RB, both superior to the starters in the following two seasons.  We saw glimpses of improvement in 2020 but I do not think it is fair to pass judgment on a historically weird season.

For that reason, I look at 2021 as a critical year in terms of demonstrating consistent offensive efficiency.  We should have a normal spring/fall camp to determine a legitimate QB depth chart.  And, based on the past several recruiting classes, roster talent is at an all-time high.  Finally, OC Joe Moorhead is experienced and has demonstrated success in multiple stops.  So, no excuses.  Will be interesting to revisit this conversation at this time next year.

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4 hours ago, BigDucksFan said:

"I agree with you Darren, Oregon is not the school one goes to in order to be "coached up" in football. I don't think it ever has been. "

"My friends those days are past and simply put, you and most Oregon fans need to get with the times. Stop living in the past and move on..."

No, not at all calling for the Ducks to return to the days of Chip and Helf, if that's what you're implying. The rest of college football has long caught up to that. And the days of an SEC team winning with a conservative ball control offense are long gone as well.... Nowadays you have ot have an explosive offense paired with a great defense to win it all. 

What I'm calling for is the Ducks to get with what it takes to win it all today!

And I think denfensively we're on the right track with the upgrade at coaching and talent. Time to match that talent with results on the field. But offensively, we seem to still be dealing with Mario's medaling we won't win it all. As Charles has mentioned in the past, (paraphrasing) Oregon can't win it all with the way the current offense is constructed. 

And Oregon has long been a school where players came to get "coached up." From Brooks to Bellotti to Chip (ok maybe not Helf).... the Ducks consistently punched above their weight class. 

Edited by Darren Perkins
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Herbert really didn’t have the luxury of a lot of highly talented receivers while he was at Oregon. Our receivers often struggled to get open, and at times, had problems with catching a well placed ball. 

I think being drafted by the Chargers has worked out pretty well for him. While being a number one draft pick would mean more initial  money, Herbert won’t be worrying about paying his bills anytime soon. 

Herbert is a class act, and it is exciting to see him excel in the NFL. 

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24 minutes ago, Duckman said:

WR and RB talent was a multi-season low point in 2018 and 2019. 

Agree.... BUT, and please don't take me word for it, while I have a high level knowledge, I'm certainly not an X's and O's junkie. But listening to various pundits and former coaches over the past three seasons, in paticular former DC Nick Aliotti, the Oregon offense had become predictable and easy to defend. I specifically recall Aliotti saying, "the defense knows what Oregon is going to do before they do it."  .... Yikes! 

It would really be interesting to hear what new DC Tim DeRuyter has to say about defending the Ducks offense. Having finally gotten some decent talent at Cal the past couple years and holding the Ducks to 17 points the past two seasons. 

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"Lucky for Herbert, in being drafted at No. 6, he went to the Chargers and not the Bengals. The Chargers are the better team and organization, as well as his childhood dream team." I think this is important. The team picking No. 1, after, is always the team with the worst record. And really, a player in the first round is going to get good money, even if he  isn't #1.

I remember it was predicted that Joey Harrington would go 10th in the draft, but instead when 3rd to the Lions. I don't remember who the tenth team was, but I'll bet Joey would probably have had a better start to his career there.

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46 minutes ago, Darren Perkins said:

DC Nick Aliotti, the Oregon offense had become predictable and easy to defend.

Good point.  I've seen that as well.  Obviously lots of blame to go around...lol. 

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Counterpoint(Kinda). Marcus Arroyo cost Justin Herbert the number one draft pick. Not even getting into the scheme of Oregon's Offense. Herbert obviously didn't have the talent that both Burrow and Tagovailoa had, and probably never would have put up the stats those players did. With that the biggest knock(rightfully so) on Herbert prior to the Draft was his Mechanics.

Herbert didn't improve at all during his three seasons post Helfrich. While the offense may have been stale and utterly boring at times, Why did herbert continuously make the same mistakes, overthrowing in the middle, neglecting to see LB's in zone and struggling to progress through reads. Sports pundits often pointed out that the offense was bland but they also commented it was bland and then noted his struggles. Arroyo was a bad OC and terrible QB coach.

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While I agree that Oregon's offense could definitely have been better/needs to be better and I think they will be. You could also argue that because of that Justin wound up in a much better situation in going to the Chargers and securing what could be a very long and successful career on a very talented team rather than be put out to the pasture with the Bengals.

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1 hour ago, Annie said:

 Joey Harrington would go 10th in the draft, but instead when 3rd to the Lions.

Well, well, well... the 10th pick in 2002 was.... the Bengals!!!! Carson Palmer got picked No.1 the next year and had some success, but ultimately left the organization because he couldn't stand them any longer. 

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19 minutes ago, SCO1586 said:

You could also argue that because of that Justin wound up in a much better situation in going to the Chargers and securing what could be a very long and successful career on a very talented team rather than be put out to the pasture with the Bengals.

Oh absolutely. Chargers are a way better situation. But just trying to bring to light the reasons why he went to 6. And of course there's always something to be said about going number 1, very prestigious for the player and the school (IMHO). 

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54 minutes ago, UtahDuck said:

Herbert didn't improve at all during his three seasons post Helfrich. While the offense may have been stale and utterly boring at times, Why did herbert continuously make the same mistakes, overthrowing in the middle, neglecting to see LB's in zone and struggling to progress through reads. Sports pundits often pointed out that the offense was bland but they also commented it was bland and then noted his struggles. Arroyo was a bad OC and terrible QB coach.

I don't know... He steps in as rookie and sets the league on fire and gets ROY. You can't really do that if you have poor mechanics and can't read a defense.  I don't think there was anything magical that Chargers did to "fix" him, other than allow him to do what he does best... sling the football around with that rifle arm of his. They put him in a position to succeed instead of holding him back. 

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20 minutes ago, Darren Perkins said:

Oh absolutely. Chargers are a way better situation. But just trying to bring to light the reasons why he went to 6. And of course there's always something to be said about going number 1, very prestigious for the player and the school (IMHO). 

Totally agree with that.

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6 hours ago, Charles Fischer said:

Cristobal changed expectations of recruiting at Oregon, while Chip/Helfrich changed expectations about scoring, and it is a shame that both cannot happen at the same time with the level of talent being brought in.

Which is exactly what happened at Alabama and LSU. We all remember back when the country dreaded the idea of Alabama and LSU playing for the championship in 2012. it wasn't because they were both in the SEC, it was because it would be BORING!

And it was, After losing to LSU, 9-6 in OT,  earlier in the season, Alabama beat LSU, 21-0 for the championship. But Alabama and LSU have evolved. LSU's offense 2 seasons ago was heralded as being the best college football had ever seen, until last season's Alabama championship team, that averaged 50 points a game!

Mario is on the right track, the WR recruiting is regarded as one of the best, as is QB, Ty Thompson. Just follow what Nick is doing, Mario. Recruit some great offensive talent and let them go!

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30 minutes ago, Darren Perkins said:

sling the football around with that rifle arm of his

Arroyo arguably tried this a bit in 2018.  If I recall correctly, it resulted in a lot of WR drops and a boom/bust offense in too many games.  Seemed evident in 2019 that the coaches decided to minimize risk taking in order for more offensive efficiency.  Aesthetics aside, it is hard to argue with the results given that we were 10-11 points away from an undefeated season with mostly 3* talent.   That said, I would like to see better offensive efficiency in 2021 given the upgrade in talent and a normal year of preparation.  No excuses.

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I was going to comment how Justin might just thank the coaching staff for keeping him out of an organization in which he'd have his knee destroyed before his first season was completed (yikes!) but I think that sentiment has already been expressed.

Still, as Duck fans, we'd rather have a second Heisman than giving our outstanding QB a better shot in the NFL because he goes to a better team.

I think a lot of this discussion may be settled, for better or worse, next season. We'll see what the new OC can do in a normal season, and if it appears he's being hindered or not.

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9 hours ago, FishDuck Article said:

Perhaps it is the long cold winters I spend up here in eastern Washington, but the grouch in me has returned. It’s been a while, but like a broken record, I’m placing Oregon’s offense inconsistencies once again on Mario Cristobal’s shoulders.   Having not been kind to Cristobal in the way he had handled the Oregon offense with the uber-talented Justin ...

Read the full article here...

A smart coach plays with the cards he's got. Not what he wishes he had.

It's hard to tear up the league with an incredible passing attack when one doesn't have any NFL talent at WR. Herbert never had any premier guys that could get off the LOS, and when they did get separation, they couldn't catch it or out run the DB's.

But CMC has taken some big strides in solving that problem with the 2021 recruiting class.

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Looking back, I'm honestly not sure what to make of the offense in 2020.

It seems like it couldn't stay on the field and the defense couldn't get off the field.

It seemed like the offense would either score pretty quickly, go 3 and out, or turn the ball over.

61 offensive snaps per game in this age of college football is pretty low.

I guess one could argue it was "smash mouth, field position, ball control" football, but our opponents averaged 76 snaps.

In the final five games, Oregon gave up something like 17 drives of 10 or more plays, and only had like 5 such drives themselves.

In the old favorite, time-of-possession stat, Oregon ranked #118 out of #127 teams listed.

For reference, the 9 teams that finished lower than Oregon in TOP finished a combined 15-45 (all with losing records).

Teams that fit the way MC has expressed he appears to want to play like? Maybe Wisconsin? Stanford? UW? They finished #1, #27, and #26 in TOP.

I think I mentioned in another thread, it possibly hasn't just been the philosophy of the offense, it's perhaps just as much, that the team has been relatively poor at it. 

It might work, if the team gets a whole lot better at it. It might be much easier actually just to embrace something a little different (that is, based on the results so far, if the offense is to improve, it just might be much easier to become something Penn State 2016-2017-like than to continue to try to become something Wisconsin-like).

Edited by AnotherOD
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11 hours ago, Charles Fischer said:

BDF....this is one of the few times we will disagree because in reference to your statement above....I will not

It's ok to disagree because we can't be right all the time and it gives a chance to read about a different side of the story. 

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Simply put, Mario needs to get with the times”

A-MEN!!!!!!!!

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If this conversation happens the it would be a good step,  Hey Mario, I couldn’t wait to play you guys and your mediocre offense. The conservative nature, the predictability, and overall ineptness made it such a joy.“ I would say until a few of these conversations happen we won't see much change, other than the talent level.

 I would also say that keeping Justin from running might have saved the season as we didn't have depth at the qb position. This is something we saw this year. Maybe Justin and Mario had an agreement that he wouldn't run until the season was in the bag.

I also agree our receivers were not the guys he is throwing to now. How many times did guys drop Justin's passes, we blamed the coaches, but the WR's we had didn't have the game to handle Justin's throws. All the pieces weren't together on offense.

As the pieces upgrade so to will the offense, but Mario needs an epiphany to truly change. I just hope the conversation you mentioned happens, and others too, which might push us to the offense we all know we can have.

We can be a school where our offense and defense put fear in other programs. The defense is well on it's way, time for the offense, to again, rear it's head!

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14 hours ago, Darren Perkins said:

Agree.... BUT, and please don't take me word for it, while I have a high level knowledge, I'm certainly not an X's and O's junkie. But listening to various pundits and former coaches over the past three seasons, in paticular former DC Nick Aliotti, the Oregon offense had become predictable and easy to defend. I specifically recall Aliotti saying, "the defense knows what Oregon is going to do before they do it."  .... Yikes! 

It would really be interesting to hear what new DC Tim DeRuyter has to say about defending the Ducks offense. Having finally gotten some decent talent at Cal the past couple years and holding the Ducks to 17 points the past two seasons. 

Darren,

I’ll rarely question your assessments because you’re very accurate.  What drove me crazy in 2019 and 2018 was it seemed to me Arroyo could not only set  defenses up to fail, but he saw how to do so three or four plays ahead.  The Rose Bowl’s final drive comes to mind.

It always seemed to me MC interrupted Arroyo’s flow.  Arroyo always had an excellent opening drive, then it always seemed to fall apart from there.  MC seemed to disrupt every single bit of momentum Arroyo started, and MA always took the heat for MC’s choices. 
 

Well I hope 2020 destroyed the notion Arroyo didn’t know what he was doing, because MC singlehandedly disrupted anything JM developed.  The offense was abysmal this year.  Horrific...pathetic...disgusting.  I surely would love to have seen what Arroyo, and especially what Moorhead would do unleashed.  I dare say we would see nonstop scoring...despite very, very subpar WRs.  Anybody can get open with an effective design.  Anybody.  

I’d love  to take any defensive back’s strengths and turn them into weaknesses.  Blanket cover CBs can be shredded.  Using their strengths.  Moorhead can definitely execute that kind of strategy.  MC needs to go to the locker room when the offense is in the field. IMHO.

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On the question of the article: IF MC cost JH the first over all pick in the draft, I say, "Good for him!" I also say that, if he did, Herbert owes MC a debt of thanks.

For a QB, it is not necessarily good to be drafted #1. For several reasons:

1) You are being drafted by a team that has a lot more problems that at QB. The Chargers were mostly together as functional team.

2) The expectations of the fan base is that you will come in and save the team (which is totally unrealistic) and almost dooms you to disappoint - at least on that point. The expectation for Herbert his first year with the Chargers was to sit on the bench most of the year.

3) Your offensive line is not going to be the best, and this is not good for your long term success at staying upright. JH stayed upright all year.

4) The money difference between #1 and #6 is not all that huge. My money is on Herbert making a lot more money than the #1 pick when their second contract comes around. If he has as good a year next year as he did this year, the Chargers might not wait 4 or 5 years to give him a raise.

5) Speaking of money, more success means more endorsements. You don't get that success and those endorsements playing for the worst team in the NFL.

For my final argument, I will simply quote BigDucksFan:  Being the No. 1 pick in the draft is not necessarily the best of possibilities. 

So, Mario Cristobal, if you ARE responsible for Justin Herbert being picked sixth and not first, I just want to say, "Thank you! Good job!"

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