28.Mar.2011 Spring Practice Begins Today

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I doubt anyone forgot, but just an FYI for the cursory fan: spring practice begins today.

Practices will be Monday-Wednesday-Friday for the next four weeks, culminating with the spring game on April 30th (12:15 PT).

This post will be a place to discuss anything related to football for the week.

I'll be keeping a close eye on these areas:

  • Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion's progress (Katz is out, last I heard)
  • The running back battle
  • Young athletes making a push to supplant the (walk-on) incumbents on the OL
  • Further position shifts, specifically on the aforementioned and malingered offensive line
  • The LB corp–keep an eye on Unga making a push at MLB. But also, is Doctor for real (fast but undersized), or will Akuna or the BYU transfer overtake him?
  • Cornerback depth. Reynolds needs to step up and become the nickle.
  • Our new kicker…very excited to see what he can do, I expect great things from Romaine

I think these are all potential weaknesses or at best question marks that warrant a keen and critical eye upon them.

Lastly, those of you attending the practices, provide first-hand information of what you're seeing, especially at key positions such as RB and OL. I'll be scouring the net for information, but direct observation always adds great value. If you want to remain anonymous, email me with your information (my address is on the contact page), and I'll bring it to print. 

Sit back and enjoy, boys. The corrupt world of college football is upon us.

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  • JackBeav says:
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    I can’t wait to see Romaine in action. Even if all he does is kick it through the end zone on all the kick-offs, he’s an upgrade. No more kick-offs to the 12 yard line!

    • ean says:
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      I agree Kahut had a weak leg but at least give him a little credit for placing the ball on the sideline and allowing for strong kick coverage all season.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I am hoping ryan hanford (sp?) steps up at nickel cb.

    The Dr. is for real…a REAL kicker too!

  • brownale9000 says:
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    Cliff Kirkpatrick has a couple notes.

    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2011/03/28/early-spring-practice-notes/

  • Alex says:
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    Per Cliff, Blake Harrah is a tentative starter.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Blake Harrah trash talk which could actually scare the guy across the line:
      “My dad will beat up your dad.”

    • ean says:
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      lol… that is funny because we were all (myself included) thinking Harrah was the worst recruit of them all. Although one day of practice is just one day of practice. Plus if I hear about how great our D-line is I will read that as how bad our O-line is. Wonder who Harrah was up against. Also brings up another point which is how do we decide who the D-line starters should be if they aren’t going against Pac-10 quality O-lineman.

      • JackBeav says:
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        One note… Dennis Harrah was a big nasty in the NFL.

        If the D-line dominates the O-line, then all is as it should be. This same O-line dominated the D-line last year, and everyone was so excited that the offense was flying early.

        • angry angry says:
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          Exactly, this is what we want to see.

          Regarding Harrah, there is no way he remains a starter…this is Riley being stubborn, hearing the critics, and wanting to prove them wrong/him right. He does this all the time, and many times leaves the room with tail between legs and pie on his face.

          • brownale9000 says:
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            You (and I and everybody else) has seen one 3 minute tape of Blake Harrah. A tape that was from his freshman year.

            There is a possibility, no matter how badly you want to shit on this kid, that he has improved and that our system fits him better than he fit the 3-4 he played in in college.

            You keep looking for tootsie rolls and you keep seeing them but the fact is…you’re not there. You haven’t actually seen this kid play. You haven’t even seen him practice.

            Related…you’ve bitched and bitched and bitched that Mike Riley ‘just doesn’t get it’ and ‘he’s being stubborn’ and so on ad nauseum…then he went and fired a coach, moved everybody else around and hired 2 known recruiters. All stuff that you complained about. You don’t see progress? Riley is being stubborn? How about this kid is better than you thought? (Or possibly everybody on the D-Line sucks, which is more likely. Either way, it doesn’t mean that Mike Riley is being stubborn.)

            I get it, your angle is to bitch about everything. But the fact is, you’re probably wrong.

          • angry angry says:
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            Give me examples of where I was wrong, and you might have a point, but there aren’t any. Meanwhile, I can think of a dozen examples where I’ve been right (#28, Pankey, Hekker, the 3 walk-on O-linemen, Krebs x 2, Ben Terry, etc etc). I could make the list about 3 dozen if I go back to when I began following OSU football. But you’re right, I have no eye for these things, and LIKE ALWAYS I am probably wrong. Great point you made there. Time to go bitch about problems that don’t exist, like I always do. In Riley you trust!

            You want me to give your Playgirl centerfold a pat on the back for making an obvious coaching change five years ex-post facto? Okay, great job Riley–better late than never. Now go back to blindly whacking off to mister nice guy, pal.

          • brownale9000 says:
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            The ultimate point is, it wasn’t even Mike Riley saying that Harrah was looking like a projected starter, it was Paul Buker. And then re-iterated by Cliff Kirkpatrick. So those guys saying that Harrah looks like a starter=Mike Riley being stubborn? :rolleyes:

            I know you can see how idiotic that point of view is.

            You were (as everybody was) correct about Pankey, Hekker, et al…after watching them for somewhere between 1 game and a couple years. It’s somewhat easier to scout a guy when you have actually seen them play.

            But re: Harrah…you watched a 2-3 minute tape of a guy playing out of position, from a year ago, and you decried him as a joke and a terrible recruit and blah, blah, blah…the fact is, you’ve never actually SEEN him play. Or practice for that matter. Now two people who HAVE seen him practice say he’s pretty good. Neither of those people is Mike Riley by the way. So who am I to believe?

          • angry angry says:
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            Two things:

            1. Who are the people who have seen him play who say he is good?
            Because if it’s anyone from Rivals, Scout, or the Oregonian, they also told me Ryan McCants was S. Jackson and that our offensive line looked bad last spring because our LBs were so good.
            2. I have seen Harrah play on film.

            He sucked, so why would I believe he doesn’t suck? Why would I believe people you mention who are nothing but ghosts to me over my own eyes, when my own eyes have been proven right again and again.

            And don’t discard my analysis of Krebs, Hekker et al. I said they sucked before anyone else. Sure, eventually everyone realized it, but you act like I came to the realization their sophomore years. No, it was right off the bat. There’s something called form, which is really closely related to agility, and when a guy doesn’t have this trait I know right away he’s a bust.

            Harrah will be a bust.

            I am actually working on a write up that describes the financial cost of each bust–it is fascinating. I have stated many times the goal should be to model OSU after the Minnesota Twins–little to no wasted resources, high investment in “farm system” (i.e. recruit analysis) so there are no misses. Right now we’re more like the NY Mets than MN Twins. It’s amazing how many Riley “hidden gems” never see the light of day, and equally amazing the cost of each one.

          • brownale9000 says:
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            Q: Who are the people who have seen him play….
            A: As stated a few posts above, Paul Buker and Cliff Kirkpatrick

            Q:Who are the people…who say he is good?
            A: Nobody. They said that he appeared to be one of the 2 best options at DE.

            1- Paul Buker and Cliff Kirkpatrick both said after day 1 of spring practice, that the BEST D-Line combo that they saw included Harrah at DE.

            2- You seemed to read that as Mike Riley saying that Harrah was a starter, which was clearly not stated by anyone.

            3- You went on a bizarre, most likely booze-fueled rant about how Mike Riley is stubborn and doesn’t get it and blah, blah, blah…when all that was originally said was that the best combo of D-linemen included Harrah.

            So I ask you again, how do the opinions of two OSU beat reporters make Mike Riley stubborn?

  • JackBeav says:
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    Heard from a friend that Ward has some live feet and a nice shimmy. He’s not a stop and start runner, but if he’s allowed to slide through a hole and square his shoulders he’s gone.

    • sparkyd73 says:
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      Would be nice to see the Beavs back break a home run every once in a while. Quizz’s doubles and triples were nice but a true speed back will be fun to watch.

      • michaelm says:
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        Absolutely. Quizz and Yve Bernard were both great at turning a 2-yard loss into a 4-yard gain, but it sure would be nice to hit the big play in the running game once in awhile. To put it in baseball terms, it would be great to blast a 3-run homer occasionally instead of relying on bunts and sacrifice flies to score every time.

        • ean says:
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          I think McCants even has more top end than Quizz… not that I want to see a ton of McCants though.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    FX games on Saturday and maybe Thursday..now Sunday games too maybe if NFL lockout problems persist. $$$

    http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1205409

    • ean says:
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      noooooo…. Sunday is my day to recover from the Saturday game.

    • angry angry says:
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      Just go ahead and make college professional already. Jesus Christ.
      $$ blah blah give me a fun, clean, amateur sport.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Don’t worry..it will be just a couple of games a week. The Beavers would probably only have one or two games affected. Worth it for the monster TV contract my friend. The PAC-12 is on a mission to start being better than the SEC. 🙂

    • angry angry says:
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      This is called keeping up with the Jones’, and most people (even the Jones’ and their neighbors) agree it’s a terrible way to live. We all do it, and it’s miserable, reducing quality for quantity. Read “The Philosophy of Misery: The Evolution of Capitalism”…

      • JackBeav says:
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        I much prefer Rousseu to Proudhon. And that title is poorly translated. Proudhon clearly meant for misere to mean poverty throughout his works, not misery.

        While I agree that ownership of capital is merely another compulsion which can only lead to those most efficiently compulsive to owning everything if left unchecked, Proudhon’s solution was to attack those who would check the flow of capital to the uber-compulsive. But since he received a pension from the state he wasn’t an anarchist. He was simply another loopy libertarian. And since he lived in a time when the state owned the whole of France (if on a whim the king chose to do), then he was really railing against a monopoly already in place.

        Rousseu chose the same stance on property, but he was resigned to the fact that ownership of capital had long since been ingrained in the human psyche to the point where it could only be contained by political forces as mandated by the people those forces serve.

        Larry Scott is our political force, and his mandate is to go get some money and attention for the Pac 12. I don’t think using the media as a sounding board means much more than him giving notice to potential bidders that he is two or three steps ahead of them.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    We have to be SEC big with the Ducks winning some nattys for the Beavers to ascend as the natural rival. Who knows maybe even down the road the Beavs could win a natty in football.

    • JackBeav says:
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      A natty? Who wants to win an adjective for being smartly dressed?

      Btw, if Nikegon is anything, it’s not smartly dressed.

      • angry angry says:
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        My favorite thing about this past season is how Oregon was all, “look at meeeee!” and then when the world did, what they saw were massive recruiting violations. It was beautiful irony.

        What happened to that story, btw? It broke, then went quiet…one has to assume Phil got on the horn and started paying the right people off. There’s been no pressure in the media for resolution or answer.

  • angry angry says:
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    How do you guys feel about moving Glover inside? Apparently that’s what is happening. I think Glover was a bright spot at DE…why not go Thompson and Castro inside, with Frahm and Harrah backing them up? Crichton and Glover at end would be nice. I’m not sure I understand the move. Taylor Henry was poor against the run last season; Glover was much better. Glover is also undersized at 265…hopefully this is just an experiment.

    • ean says:
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      I thought Glover was quick enough to play DE last year and I like him at that spot. I don’t have a problem with him getting some reps at DT though, just in case… we have some question marks in the middle and more depth on the end.

      Tough to know with not being there who deserves the time though. Castro is hurt so he won’t be in the mix until fall. Tuivala (sp?) was hyped last year but I haven’t heard his name sense. I like the thought of a lot of size up front though. That seems to be what beat the Ducks the last couple of years.

  • Afghanbeav Afghanbeav says:
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    Fred Thompson. He is suppose to be the second coming, but had grade issues right? What is his story? Anyone seen his name tossed around? Or should we just change his name to Simu Kuli?

    • progressivebeav says:
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      Supposedly he’s in good shape, worked with the 2nd team yesterday and had a nice TFL in the scrimmage. FWIW.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Joe Schad at ESPN is trying to pimp for Texas again. I think he definitely would like to see the Fiesta lose its BCS Bowl to the Cotton Bowl at Jerry’s World. Larry Scott needs to save the Fiesta Bowl for the PAC-12. Having 2 of the 4 BCS bowls in our backyard is nice and good promotion for our part of the country and the PAC-12 conference longer term in the big scheme of where we want to be.

    • angry angry says:
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      Here’s a link to the scandal: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6270459

      I really want to bump the college football in decline post…

      Odds Jerry Jones hosts the Cotton Bowl/National Title game in a pro stadium? I’m saying 99.9999999~% after this scandal.

      And as we all know, 99.9999~=100%

      i.e.

      .333~..666~=.999~
      1/3+2/3=1

      .999 = 1

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2011/03/29/banker-on-the-defense/

    Is Banker maybe toying with changing schemes? Moving Glover inside, not naming depth chart for LB, his statement that he hasn’t talked about things with the players and didn’t want them to worry about it.

    I may be reading to much between the lines, but it looks interesting.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I think Banker is too stubborn to change anything on his own. That being said, it looked to me like the front four were moving further and further outside the ball on the line of scrimmage as the year went on. I don’t know if that was because Paea could eat the whole space in the middle, or if he was compensating for the backers getting caught up in the middle the whole game.

      The gap cancellation defense works when we have backers fast enough to actually get to the gaps. Obviously, last year it didn’t work. Maybe this year the DT’s move back to the inside, and our speed at OLB will make all right in the world again. Or maybe the front four splays like it did last year for contain, and someone steps up at MLB to cover.

      But even that didn’t work so well until Collins and Doctor were on the field and Watkins was choosing his gaps on the edge. So I don’t know if Banker was adjusting to compensate for poor personnel decisions or actually tweaking his defense a little for the long run.

      Our backers are coming in bigger and a whole lot faster than they have been in a long time. I really thought Gabe Miller’s move to DE was wasted when he should have remained at about 250# and played MLB instead. His skills translated better to the Mike than the DE, and I think his learning curve would have been less. But that move was made prior to Bubba leaving, so I can’t really blame anyone. The guys who ended up there last year were supposed to be depth, not starters.

    • angry angry says:
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      I’d like to know the chain of command for the LBs. Was Newhouse in charge of who played? Banker’s comments have some vitriol them. He seems to hate all last years guys except Collins. I don’t disagree, but wonder why if he had final say he didn’t change the personnel earlier last season. Where does Riley stand with position coaches? Does he get involved and overrule them or let them make the decisions? Can the DC overrule the LB coach?

      These are some topics the media could be covering, where we actually learn something and gain insight, instead of “freshman reviews” for some guy who won’t see the field for 3 years or the same, hackneyed “cav wants a nasty line” crap I’ve read since the walk-ons invaded the trenches.

      • JackBeav says:
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        Banker’s statements don’t say anything about how poorly last year’s OLB starters played, so we’ll never know. But knowing that they did play for a majority of the year despite their glaring weaknesses reminds me of the strong safety position for the last two years. Collins and Tuimaunei have been our best backers for the last two years even when they were safeties. Tui was the more suspect in coverage, but someone who ran the secondary kept him there for some stupid reason. If I had to guess, Banker’s personnel decisions with Tui looked a lot like the same ones with the backers.

    • angry angry says:
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      What’s your opinion of Newton?
      I think the closest thing to him in the NFL is Vince Young, but Newton is a better pure passer. Newton plays with poise, too. If I’m a GM I pass on him simply for being a scumbag and doing the play or pay thing, but if I were a scumbag owner I’d probably take the risk mid to late 2nd round. Someone is going to get hosed if they draft him in the middle of the 1st.

      For the record, Paea is an NFL bust waiting to happen. I love that a Beaver is being mentioned in that round, but he’s too small to be an every down, effective NFL DT. I don’t care how much he can bench…

      • JackBeav says:
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        I would never touch Newton as a QB in the NFL. Forget his skeezy life. He’ll have one good year (or half year), and all his supporters will croon. Then he’ll bust hard.

        Paea will be fine if he’s in the right system. He’ll never be a NT in a 3-4, but he would be an awesome 3-tech. I think he can play the DT in the 4-3 for a while, but being a 3-tech would make him an all-pro somewhere like Houston, KC or Baltimore… somewhere where they have recently invested in other d-line stars. He might also be a steal for someone like Green Bay at the very end of round one. I think he slides into the second round (depending on his pro-day tomorrow), and goes no further than Houston at #42. I’ve heard that Wade Phillips liked what he saw of Paea in Dallas, and now the noise is that he wants him to play alongside Mario Williams. That would make for one scary defensive front, especially with steroid boy behind them.

        • angry angry says:
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          True, Paea could have success if he lines up next to the right DT. There are maybe 5 of those guys, though, so the odds are against him. He’d be a disaster in a 3-4. I was thinking 4-3 in my original comment, and still see his success being limited (Size matters more than quickness for an NFL DT). I hope I am wrong because his success could parlay into some good DT recruits for the roster. Then again, Riley couldn’t parlay Quizz into a top running back recruit…ugh. (I mean, I like Woods and all but we should have done better).

          • JackBeav says:
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            Actually, the odds aren’t too much against him. The teams with great NT’s are the teams who play well, and they end up having later picks as a result. This puts Paea in the middle of those picks, and I think a lot of these teams will see his value.

            In other words, the rich get richer.

          • ean says:
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            Paea would be great as a DE in a 3-4 IMO. He has the speed and shedding ability to play DE in a 3-4.

  • angry angry says:
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    Riley after the third practice:
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/Zy3o9GY9dvI

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