19.Aug.2011 Injuries & Ryan Katz’s Progress

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I don't know about you guys, but the injuries are really starting to get on my nerves. I understand they are "part of the game", but they're not supposed to be the entire game, and that's the point we're at with the Beavers.

Injured starters:

  • Brandin Cooks
  • Kevin Frahm
  • Cam Collins
  • James Rodgers
  • Michael Philipp
  • Joe Halahuni
  • Castro Masaniai
  • Brandon Hardin

Injured reserves:

  • Storm Woods
  • Cody Vaz
  • Shaydon Akuna
  • Jordan Jenkins

Out for the season:

  • Brandon Hardin
  • Fred Thompson
  • Micah Hatfield

So, almost half of our starters are injured. That's just ridiculous. Any theories on this? It seems beyond random since it's happened for several years and to a greater degree than any other Pac-12 program.

Also, regarding Ryan Katz…I am reading the same reports as last season. He's inconsistent, he's overthrowing receivers, he can't throw on the run, he's busy showing off his arm, etc. In short, he's still acting like Dirk Diggler. Can we just get a heady QB who converts third downs and knows how to check down? ARGH. Stupidity is so frustrating.

-End rant

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  • Alex says:
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    Brandin Cooks probably wouldn’t be starting unless James was also hurt, so he’s really a backup (albeit a very good one likely to see the field)
    Michael Phillip was a backup before he was injured.
    Masainai is full speed now, right? His injury was in the offseason, unless I’m missing something??

    So it’s not quite as bad as you indicate. It’s frustrating, but it appears to be the flip side of more intense practices.

    I’m with whoever on the previous thread indicated that it’s preferentially weeding out frail players. Some people just don’t have the joints/tendons/etc to play football at a high level. Much better to lose a guy in fall camp than halfway through the season. Much more time to develop the inexperienced talent and gel your team.

    For instance, I don’t see Hatfield ever succeeding at football, no matter how fast and athletic he is. His bones must be freaking hollow.

    Better

    • angry angry says:
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      Cooks will be starting somewhere. If it’s not WR, he’ll be on kickoff/punt duties.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Hatfield build is still that of a HS player is it not? With the existing and upcoming WR talent, I don’t think he’ll be missed, and I think he’ll have trouble ever getting to the field if he can stay healthy. I always thought he was given a schollie to get Lomax, who also needs about 10K calories per day.

      The overall injuries are bad luck I think, and they’re especially frustrating now because OSU is getting more talent, coaching changes appear to be an upgrade, and we’re eager to see some results. But the indication is there’s still a lack of true depth and the encouraging talent is young.

    • osbeavs says:
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      All long bones are hollow… They are filled with bone marrow, just sayin’.

  • locusimperium says:
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    yeah, its hard to feel good about the team going into the season like this, no matter how much i repeat my “think positive” mantra

  • Alex says:
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    Katz telegraphing throws, rolling out badly, missing secondary receivers….is very frustrating.

    It may explain why Bishop has flown so far under the radar career to date…maybe he’s getting open, but Katz just never sees him. Slotback is rarely the primary receiver.

    • owmyfuckinleg says:
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      katz will be fine. he is the least of our worries. broke dick o line that may get him killed is a bigger concern. phillip is a total waste at back up OT. he should be at G.

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    You are counting guys injured clear in last year. And you might even be counting guys injured in High School, but whose injury has now got worse. Would you rather they take it easy and then get blown out in the early season?

    Seems to me getting guys who arent injury-prone is part of the recruiting process. Some guys just have very durable bodies … others get injured easily. Its part (or should be part) of the evaluation process. Notice how the Portland Trailblazers are very poor at that sort of evaluation.

  • Beaverbill Beaverbill says:
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    Dude. Not only do we need to recruit starred players to compete but they need to able bodied.
    I think it is the result of settling in recruiting. We talk to players the big program don’t talk to because, I believe, they are easier to get. Yes OSU is not the biggest, but neither is TCU. The difference is they believe in them selves. We don’t.

    • StarcraftSquall says:
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      TCU also has the benefit of having a world-class weight training program, that has a lot to do with the success they enjoy down there. What do we offer?

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Injuries suck- but I think they will only serve to put Riley and his coaching staff’s back against the wall further. All of the shitty recruiting is going to be exposed and they will have to demonstrate the ability to actually COACH some players, rather than letting some mediocre seniors rule the day.

    Frahm was all bark, no bite- hasn’t done a thing and likely would have been mediocre again.
    Hardin’s stubborn belief in his ability to play corner, and his neanderthal hits on players in summer camp won’t be missed. I was getting close to actual physical illness every time I read comments (even Angry’s) that said that fucking clown shoes was a lesser evil. His departure will only bring SPEED to that position. Let the age of Poyer/Reynolds/Martin officially begin!

    As for Katz, I’d like to compare his situation with that belief that Beav fans had about our team coming around during the Pac-10 season after we got pummeled and embarassed by TCU and Boise and got lucky against Louisville. People say that all QB’s in Riley’s system “get it” and become world-beaters…Katz will prove that wrong, just like our season proved the other belief wrong.

    I’m not trying to be the ultimate pessimist here- I actually think the more older players are knocked off their pedestal (by younger players or by injury) the more progress we’ll make as a team. I actually think Katz will be useful in that progress, insomuch as he hasn’t been the turnover machine that Moore and Canfield were at one time. He at least has that going for him, which will help keep us in games.

    I’m going to view this season, win or lose, as a positive…because it will produce further change either way.

    • BeaverBeliever21 says:
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      Remind me again how TCU “pummeled and embarrassed” Oregon State last season? The Beavers had the ball down 7 late in the fourth. That’s not embarrassing. The Beavers also trailed Boise State by 7 in Boise going into the fourth quarter. That’s not embarrassing either.

      I believe Ryan Katz will be good this year and will continue to improve. Canfield didn’t really play until the WSU game his second year so I will compare Katz’s second year to Matt Moore. Moore’s second year started out quite rocky and it took him till about his 6th or 7th game to really get it going. Katz is farther along in my opinion than Moore was and I think by the ASU game things will begin to click for Ryan and he will get it going.

    • angry angry says:
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      As I wrote in the other thread, Frahm is a big deal because he’s the only natural leader on defense. It’s a quiet bunch.

      He’s also improved a lot since his sophomore year. He was bad then. At least he’s serviceable now. Him and James Rodgers are the leaders on each side, so they’re the two biggest injuries.

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    I pretty much agree with the apocalypse — we dont like the way Hardin and Frahm have played in the past (big talk, small production) and lamented that the coaches seem to favor senior players unfairly. Now they have been beat out, via injury, and new guys will have to be put in play. Things often happen for a reason.

    I notice some are worried about our showing against Wisconsin. This is prototype scheduling….we schedule preseason teams we cant beat, and learn something in the process. Thus the first two games are very reasonable — one we should win even if we eff around and the other we lose unless there is some kind of second coming. Then a bye week and the first conference game, a winnable one. Perfect OSU scheduling.

    As to last season, yes, we expected the team to come on stronger in the last part of the season, just like they typically have done, but something went wrong. That something had to be in big part psychological, as we lost to the three worst teams in conference, and showed in some of the other games, that we were capable of much better. Losing Rogers also had some effect, surely.

    I think the season will be ok if the coaches have figured out the psychological/motivational angles. If they havent, and depend on the players themselves to get motivated, it might be like last year. We will see.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      You are exactly right. The only difference between most typical Riley teams was that they lost to teams that looked worse “on paper”, but here’s the question. Do teams like UCLA and WSU now have equal or better players? I might take Jeff Teul over Ryan Katz at this point.

      • angry angry says:
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        Teul is better. I think Vaz would be better than Katz if he had equal game experience. It might “click” for Katz at some point this season, but it hasn’t yet, and that’s a real disappointment. What I like about Vaz is he’s smart and seems to play within himself (i.e. who cares if he can’t throw a deep out and knows he can’t? He just won’t throw it and will check down). His game film doesn’t show a guy with a weak arm. I think a lot of that is Katz fanboys raving about his arm/justifying why he should play.

        Am I saying Katz is bad? No. He’ll make his share of highlight reel plays. He’s fine, but he’s inconsistent, wild, and still doesn’t know how to read defense/check down. To me that says he’s not bright/savvy, which is one of the top requirements for a QB.

        • mckalk mckalk says:
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          He gave us a lot of hope in that Arizona game last year, but really was not able to duplicate it for a lot of reasons, not all his fault.

        • OStateBro says:
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          Huh? Your comments about our quarterbacks are really confusing. “Vaz is .. smart and seems to play within himself”…? What is that based on? I don’t remember him having any actual snaps in a live game….maybe some garbage time last year.

          And you were putting down Mannion in a thread last week. Total unfounded comments. Have you actually seen Mannion or Vaz play?

          Bottom line – Katz is the guy right now. He makes mostly good throws and made some heady plays last year. And this in the face of losing his primary target and constantly being on the run because of a crap o-line. I still smile when I think about the roll-out 60 yard td pass to Wheaton, ON THE RUN from last year.

          Love your blog angry and usually you make sound insightful observations. But not supportive of baseless inflammatory commentary.

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      rsteve, I agree with you about the “something went wrong” being, in large part, psychological. It wan’t just the loss of JR. I have never seen a story (and only a comment or two) about the possibility that Quizz was at the center of that problem. Will we ever know if the focus on one outstanding player and his manner of trying to motivate his teammates was a large part of the psychological/motivational problem?

      That said, a few points to bear in mind: 1) Whether or not Quizz was part of the problem it is the responsibility of the Head Coach to get control of this type of thing….early on! 2) Make no mistake, the fire and work ethic of Quizz are second to none 3) He is gone now, there is no anointed star this time, so there are no excuses for the O’line 4) Riley’s non-reaction to cheap shots against his team is also a factor 5) There is hope that the new coaches will contribute to a more motivated team, and 6) That thing that Coach Brennan uses is a pugil stick, not a mysterious large q-tip. GO BEAVS

      • ean says:
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        “He runs hard,’’ said Katz. “The good thing about him is, he really hits the whole fast. He doesn’t dance, he just makes a cut and goes and that’s what we need.’’

        I found that quote from an Oregonian article about Agnew very interesting. Almost like a jab at Quizz.

        • JackBeav says:
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          Huh? It looks like football speak to me.

          • WFO WFO says:
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            Looks more like a jab at Mccants to me…

          • uncanny says:
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            Quizz did dance but what else can you do when you get the handoff and there are two defenders between you and the line of scrimmage and no hole to speak of. Watching him last night in the preseason brought back some good memories from ’08 and ’09. I think the Katz comment is just praise of Agnew who has been the most impressive RB in practice.

          • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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            Yes….I think Katz’s comment is in reference to McCants not hitting holes hard. Even referring to a hole that a running back can hit, is a good sign.

  • angry angry says:
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    Seastrunk transferring to Baylor. HAha. Wow.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      Interesting about Seastrunk. I had heard he was turning out to be somewhat of a disappointment anyway. Man, the Ducks seem to be blessed with the timing of their schedule looks like the LSU bar fight think might be escalating, some key players including QB Jefferson involved.

  • WFO WFO says:
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    Wow.

    Is the first rat abandoning the sinking ship?

    • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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      Good, was getting tired of hearing about Oregon’s “most dominant backfield in football.” There isn’t enough playing time for everybody. Something had to give.

    • mcewalk says:
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      Quizz?

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    Seastrunk leaving may be a blessing in disguise for UO. If Seastrunk were to play a little in each game, and then were to be declared in eligible due to recruiting violations, they would have each game he played in, voided. Isnt that the way it works?

    In any case, he was looking at trouble in getting all american playing time at UO. I also wonder if he was getting a hard time from other players, fans and coaches because he is in fact the initial focus of an NCAA investigation that may cost UO, bigtime.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I thought I read where Seastrunk did not want to redshirt last year. I think the mutual unhappiness may have been percolating for awhile. Kind of ironic that Seastrunk won’t even be there when/if the $hit hits the fan.

    • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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      Well, it wasnt his fault that UO violated the rules, so why should he be penalized? If he now knows that they violated the rules, its time to run for it……dont go down with the ship.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    It must be a pretty uncomfortable situation for Seastrunk because if I understand it correctly he will lose a year of eligibility by transferring. Be interesting to hear what the Chipster has to say, last we heard from him, he was vigorously defending Darron Thomas (who gave a very weird press conference).

  • beavskis says:
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    This comes as no surprise to me. It seems likely that Oregon was going to bury him on the depth chart to avoid having to forfeit games in the likely event that they are sanctioned for violations committed during his recruitment. Chipper is a nasty dude.

  • beavskis says:
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    I also have a hard time believing that Seastrunk is innocent in this mess. Rumors are that he was a known pay to play commit so I’m sure that a portion of the 25k that went to Lyles was funneled back to him or his family. The worst part of all of this is the glut of Oregon fans that still think Chipper did no wrong and that the Oregon athletic department does things the right way. What a joke.

  • Russ Rice says:
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    Is there anymore on Darron Thomas and friends doing 118 with pot and getting no jail time? I thought anyone going over a specific speed doesn’t move past go, but goes directly to jail. Would it have been a different outcome had the officer been a Beaver fan?
    I don’t know how things will go this year, I just know last year Katz was leading the country with the fewest interceptions and player of the week against AZ ( with JR ). After James was gone he lost all bearing. I think James was so big a part of his game he was lost without him.

    • them beavers them beavers says:
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      I think you are right I mean it was his first year as a starter and the star WR goes down and heck he may have been the most important player on the field, the one you know who could make the plays. So you have to learn to trust the other guys. Not only this but not have james took the pressure off of other teams trying to stop him so they could focus stopping the other tool which with no offence is was a lot easier to do. at any rate just think about this year without the possibility of james coming back just think were this team would be then.

      • ean says:
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        I think too when you are a guy that suffers from tunnel vision like Katz it is less of a problem when the guy you are zoning in on is a stud like James was last year.

  • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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    Just back from Saturday full-pad practice. Here are some comments (leaving out stuff already reported by Cliff and Buker on Twitter):

    At the start of practice, I watched Hekker, McMullen, and Kostol each hit about 20 punts. On average, Hekker was kicking the ball at least 5 yards farther than McMullen, and 10-15 yards farther than Kostol. Barring injury, Hekker is almost certainly the #1 punter this season. But looks like McMullen will be a solid back up this year, and the likely #1 next year.

    Same story with Trevor Romaine on field goals. TR kicked a few beauties. He also had a couple of shanks. He’s a work in progress. But the potential is there….

    During drills, I spent as much time as I could watching Rashaad Reynolds at CB, and was impressed with what I saw. RR was covering receivers tightly all day. In one-on-one drills, he was staying right with Markus Wheaton, stride for stride, on downfield coverage. I remember one play in particular, on 1-on-1 drills, where RR batted away a long pass just before Wheaton got his hands on the ball. RR also showed excellent athleticism on a play during 1-on-1 drills where he blanketed Obum Gwachum on a flag pattern, jumped to intercept the ball, and then kept his balance to run the interception back. So far, very good.

    When RR wasn’t on the field, I usually tried to watch Tyrequek Zimmerman, who also looked good. TZ is already playing safety with the second unit, as well as running with the first unit on kickoff coverage, and seems to be getting comfortable in his new roles. He looks quick, fast, athletic, and tough. Again, so far, so good.

    Kevin Cummings had a couple of TD catches during 11-on-11 two-minute drills. One was a long pass down the right sideline. The other was a shorter pass over the middle. Also, in 1-on-1 passing drills, KC beat new safety Peter Ashton deep for a TD. Ashton dove in vain to try to break up the play, causing Mike Riley to yell out, “Don’t dive, Peter, stay on your feet.” I continue to believe that KC is one of the sleepers on this team — a guy who is not getting much press, but who is going to make some big plays for the Beavs this year.

    Overall, the energy and tempo of the practice were impressive. It was very hot, but the coaches kept the players moving from one drill to the next, with little downtime in between. No sign of the team being mentally “down” because of the injuries (or anything else) — the “vibe” was upbeat and positive as best I could tell.

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      Thanks, again, SS for the reports. For me the comment about the vibe is most encouraging

    • uncanny says:
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      Good update as always SS. Buker is raving about Mannion, what was your impression of him today?

      • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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        I thought Mannion did a nice job today. Towards the end of the day, Mannion threw a few balls up for grabs (one of which was a gift interception over the middle dropped by Lance Mitchell), but that was probably because Mannion was getting tired — Mannion threw a LOT of passes today.

        Mannion, Lomax, and Richie Harrington alternated as QBs in the 1-on-1 passing drills (where one receiver tries to beat one defender) and in many of other drills. But in the 11-on-11 drills, it seemed to be mostly or all Mannion.

        Mannion has a strong arm and throws a tight spiral. His accuracy seems okay (not great, not bad). To be more specific, Mannion misses open receivers (maybe 10-15% of the time?), but most of the time he gets the ball close enough to be catchable. Mannion of course has a built-in advantage of standing 6’5″, so he can see the field over onrushing linemen.

        I remember watching Mannion last year, when he was a true freshman, and thinking that Mannion looked like a scared giraffe on many plays. Mannion has come a LONG way since then. Mannion still sometimes screws up his footwork on drop backs and ends up looking gangly and awkward, but overall he’s looking smoother and more polished.

        Personally, I was happy to see Mannion get so many reps today. I have a feeling that Mannion may need to play for us at some point this year, and the more experience he can get before then, the better….

        • osbeavs says:
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          Don’t underestimate footwork mess-ups. This is particularly concerning because the entire offense and his passing start from this point. Some running plays start with gather steps that should look identical to a pass so that the defense doesn’t know if it is pass or run. If he has poor footwork, the D can key into specific run or pass plays.

          • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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            Good points.

            I do think Mannion’s footwork is still a work in progress, and that this may take Mannion a bit longer to master because of his 6’5″ frame. I don’t think Mannion will be a finished product this season, but I do think he will be able to move the offense if it comes to that….

          • osubaby osubaby says:
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            How were his check downs? Did he lock on the primary receiver?

          • bpragmatic says:
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            practice drillls are practice drills.

          • bpragmatic says:
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            thanks for the info SS.

          • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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            Good question. I didn’t watch Mannion closely enough to be able to answer that. I’ll watch him more closely next time….

          • bpragmatic says:
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            for some reason, maybe good reason, number 4 mannion was the only qb i saw with any kind of reps today. does anybody know why?

            to me, he was very good at distributing the ball to a variety of spots on the field. i saw very few running plays aka quiz every down, then every other down etc etc etc. maybe utilization of the passing game is taking a predominant role in the overall constitution of the offensive approach.

            mannion’s deliveries for the most part were crisp, to the correct spot, selected tosses appeared to be one of several options available, and in step with a consistant ability towards moving the ball towards the goal. definitely looks like he has studied the routes and knows where to place the ball when other options close. mainly short to medium distances is what i noticed.

            does anyone have a take on number 80 evans? to me he has a nice looking athletic body and can run and catch……there were a bunch of other receivers who were relatively short heighth wise but seemed to be quick with the abilty to catch the ball

            i noticed cook walking around without much of any kind of limp and number 35 had seemed to be the only one running the ball and other than sweeps with number 2 i think.

            happy to report my impressions…….

          • bpragmatic says:
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            oh yes, one of the kickers was putting the ball through the uprights from a medium to short range, but seemed to me would have made it from 50 plus yards. dont remember who that was.

          • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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            Thanks much for your reports, SS!! Buker tries to observe but obviously doesnt evaluate well.

            Again, I was not disturbed to hear of Hardin and Frahm being injured — they had their chances and didnt do so well. Go with the young talent.. But glad to hear at least the Hardin replacement is doing well.

          • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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            @bpragmatic:

            The field goal kicker with the strong leg is true freshman Trevor Romaine (#12). On his best kicks, he looks like he’s ready for the NFL. But then he misses badly from 20 yards out. When / if he becomes consistent, Romaine is going to be really good.

            Ryan Katz (top QB on depth chart)) was resting his arm at yesterday’s practice. Cody Vaz (second QB on depth chart) was recovering from lower back spasms. That’s why Mannion (third on depth chart) got so many reps yesterday.

            Danny Evans (#80) is a red shirt JR wide receiver who is not going to see the field much (if at all). There are too many WRs with more talent ahead of him. This is not so much a knock on Danny Evans (who is clearly a good athlete) as a credit to the superior strength of this year’s group of Beaver WRs.

            Malcolm Agnew (#35) is a true freshman RB who appears to have the inside track to the Beavers’ featured tailback. Agnew has had a strong camp, and now seems to be getting the most reps with the first team.

  • them beavers them beavers says:
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    not that BYU will be easy but I sure wish that we played sac then byu, ucla and then WI I think this would make for a better way to start the year and maybe get some player heathy and other isuess fixed. This I think would help with the whole not ready for the season issues and slow starts the beavers have had in the past and for the love of heck sake stop the blow outs. For example think back a few years ago we had PSU then UNLV and then Cin. Yes we almost lost to UNLV and we did lose to CIn but the Cin game was a good game and they ended up pretty good (cin) that year. I think this build up helps with the rest of the year over all. In short the whole easy mid and hard game I think this works.

    • them beavers them beavers says:
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      I’m almost inclined to say that beavers should schedule like the SEC and get as many wins as they can. No not really… but just think about starting the year 4-0 like the SECers and only needing two more wins to be “good” and have the best conf in the world would be nice right….right? And all the love the conf would get and of corse we’d just argue that our conf is so hard and this is way we must not play any one

      • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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        If you are a slow starter, like OSU has been, scheduling patsies is one way to pad the record, but not a way to get better. And….being a slow starter, its a route to embarassment, when a patsy beats you. Also, I believe you make good money playing name teams at their place, which seems to be what the Beavers try to do.

  • angry angry says:
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    Riley tweeted it’s a great day to be a Beaver…

    Possible commit.

  • angry angry says:
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    Caleb Smith commits.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NorthwestEliteIndex#p/u/0/uCC2DGsC4nQ

    • JackBeav says:
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      Woo hoo!

      How good can the 2012 class be?

      • angry angry says:
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        The best part of that interview is the last 20 seconds. He’s going to get as many buddies as possible to commit. Look for a coupe in Washington this year. We’ve already stolen two excellent tight ends.

        Also, expect Smith to be bumped to a 4-star. His film is incredible. Fast enough to play WR (which he played in HS), big body, and most importantly great body control. He’ll be a nightmare for LBs.

        • JackBeav says:
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          He’s also going to be here for spring ball.

          As far as getting his buddies to commit… who are his buddies?

        • ObjCritic says:
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          Love his confidence – not cockiness. The whole video demonstrates a thoughtful young person and family. The response at the end “What can beaver fans look forward to?”

          “they can look forward towards a lot more wins and bowl victories.”

          The last recruits I remember talking like that were J and J Rodgers who said “The goal is to be playing in January.” They backed up their goal with effort, and I bet this young man does too.

          This next class is going to be the caliber of what we were hoping for from this last one – everyonge was excited about the “Grant Four” visiting and recruiting. The change in coaches and energy applied towards recruiting is remarkable.

    • progressivebeav says:
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      Great video. That’s a big high schooler!

      Here’s his 2009 film, moves really well.
      http://youtu.be/U76x4_9QDHk

    • KC says:
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      Great pickup!

  • angry angry says:
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    I’ve never been more excited about a walk-on than Richie Harrington (preferred walk-on, to be exact).

    Tell me this guy doesn’t have perfect footwork and spot on accuracy? I’d like SS or anyone who attends practice to give an opinion on him. Boise State should have recruited this guy–he looks like a right-handed Kellen Moore with better footwork. He also reminds me a little of Chad Pennington.

    • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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      I haven’t been focusing on Harrington. Still, I couldn’t help noticing that Harrington has thrown some beautiful passes (including one 25-yard down-and-out route in last Thursday’s scrimmage at Reser that would have been a TD if a tightly-covered Singler hadn’t dropped it).

      I’ll be sure to take a close look at Harrington soon, and will report back….

    • brownale9000 says:
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      He’s interesting.

      He was stuck behind Wayne Gretzky’s son at QB for Oaks until 3 games into his senior season, which is probably why nobody offered him.

      • JackBeav says:
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        Yeah… Boise, Cal and us were the preferred walk-on offers he got (and considered). But he was largely ignored because he was inconsistent over his senior year. But that inconsistency came from not being the man taking the reps in spring and fall ball. He did get better as the year progressed.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Great anticipation, timing, and placement on throws. I think his feet move a little too much when nothing is happening, but that’ just being picky about a great highlight film. The first play featured shows him maintaining awareness and moving just enough, not unnecessarily, and being patient enough to make the play.

      Arm strength is adequate+, more than made up for by his placement (at least in the highlights -curious about INTs,?) and will only get better. I’ll bet he’ll be playing in 2 years at a weight of at least 215-220, then he”ll put more on the ball when needed.

      With the receivers and tight ends OSU is stockpiling, I could see his PAC-12 highlights looking very similar in 3 – 4 years – well placed passes to a plethora of receivers in space who can extend the play.

      I look for him to get a scholarship by next year, and start before he’s done.

  • jasonthebeaver jasonthebeaver says:
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    Subscribed

  • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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    Cliff’s latest article expresses concern that the injuries may mean the Beavers “don’t have enough juice to get by Sacramento State in the first game”. I am surprised that Cliff would say something like this. He seems to be looking for excuses for the Beavs to lose their opener.

    Sure, there have been a lot of injuries. But the Beavs still have healthy, proven skill guys on offense (Katz, Wheaton, Bishop) plus talented young skill players (Cooks, Agnew, Gwacham), plus an O-line that has stayed intact — for the most part — through Fall camp. Even without James Rodgers and Joe Halahuni, this group should have no trouble putting up points against the Sac State defense.

    On the other side of the ball, the Beavs will be missing Castro Masaniai and Kevin Frahm in game one, and will be starting a bunch of inexperienced, unproven guys on the d-line (other than Glover, assuming that he will be eligible to play against Sac State). That could be a problem. However, the rest of the defense should be sufficiently solid by September 3 to contain Sac State.

    The Beavs also should have a decided advantage on special teams against Sac State.

    In short, OSU should have more than enough weapons to handle Sac State on September 3, and the absence of Kevin Frahm, Castro Masaniai, and Brandon Hardin (and even James Rodgers and Joe Halahuni) should not affect the outcome.

    If we lose to Sac State, it would NOT be due to injuries — it would be due to an utter and unacceptable failure to perform on the part of our coaches and our (numerous) healthy players.

    • angry angry says:
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      Yeah that is ridiculous. Sac State are ranked in the top 25 of DII, but that’s not saying much. Beavs will lose if they think they just have to show up, but they’ll win easily with any effort. I’d worry more about being mentally unprepared than injuries.

      Cliff is weird. I don’t get that guy.

      • BeaverBeliever21 says:
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        Since the start of the baseball season Cliff has tried to be overly negative about Beaver sports. Maybe he was criticized for being too easy on teams? Not sure what the deal is with him. Whatever there is something positive about the football tea he seems to try and find something negative to talk about. It’s very odd. Didn’t understand the comment that Wheaton would be the only reliable target because of injuries. Jordan Bishop is back and nobody can say Brandin Cooks will not make an immediate impact. Cliff is just trying too hard.

        • helmsley says:
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          Several people on this blog from time-to-time have criticised his reporting as being too sunshine and roses and not wanting to offend the coaching staff.

    • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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      A few years ago we almost lost to Eastern Washington, right? And just last year we got whipped at home by WSU, for their only pac ten win. I think such losses are not due to injury, though, but to lack of effort and thinking we automatically win.

      • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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        The year we almost lost to eastern washington was the fiesta bowl season. If I remember right, we had a tough time with new mexico st that year too, but at the end of the year people were thinking we could compete with Miami at #1.

        • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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          Yes, yes….how time flies. That year showed how you can develop. A walkon QB, hitting only 49% of his passes. The time is ripe for a comeback. We squeak by Sac State, get whupped by Wisconsin…. Yep — perfect staging!

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I guess I could understand Cliff if he said the Beavs are ripe for an upset because of certain specifics, but to say that they don’t have enough juice against a D1 team is bizarre. The Beavs back ups should be better than the Sac.St starters. That being said, someone gets upset almost every year now. Wasn’t it James Madison knocking off Va.Tech last year? God, I hope it’s not the Beavs turn.

    • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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      The first time an FCS school beat a ranked FBS school was at the start of the 2007 season, when Appalachian State beat Michigan (then ranked #5). The next time it happened was last year, 2010, when James Madison beat Va Tech (then ranked #13).

      The Beavers will not be ranked going into this year’s Sac State game. A Beaver loss to Sac State would not be considered nearly as big an upset as the ones achieved by Appalachian State and James Madison. So, yes, it could happen.

      But Cliff is wrong to suggest that such a loss would be due to injuries, or that because of injuries the Beavers no longer “have enough juice to get by Sacramento State”. The players who will take the field for the Beavers on September 3 will be, with few exceptions, stronger, faster, and more skilled than their Sac State counterparts. With good coaching and a serious effort on the part of the players, the Beavers should win easily. For Cliff to suggest otherwise is, as noted above, ridiculous and bizarre.

      • HopefulBeav says:
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        I completely agree with you guys. This is similar to when you hear things from fans about whether the best college team in the country could beat the Raiders, Panthers, etc. In theory every player on Oregon State’s roster (at least scholarship players) should be better than every player on Sacramento State’s team. You know this because if any of those kids on the Sacramento State team would have been offered by a FBS school, they wouldn’t be playing for Sacramento State.

        • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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          Uso Olivo was not offered by OSU, apparently because he was academically questionable. Instead he is at PSU. I suspect that academic standards might put some very good players at a Sac State. There are other reasons why players end up at JC’s and lesser colleges….like questionable behavior, repeated DUI’s, misdemeanors, or even felonies.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Or they get overlooked and end up at a small college like Kevin Boss. But still, we’re talking the totality of a team sport, and there’s no way we lose to Sac St. They can embarrass us by keeping it closer than two scores, but I’m thinking we will be ready and will roll 35-10 at worst.

            And it won’t mean anything when we head off to Madison except we might show that the team has its timing and schemes in a better/worse place than we expected. Remember that EWU was a scare in 2000, followed by a one score win at New Mexico. After those two games, who expected a winning run through the league?

            I like this team for only the feeling I get from the youth giving it the energy it’s been missing for the last two years and the elders respect for those new kids forming a responsible leadership. The juniors and seniors can all be Gundy as far as playing time is concerned, but they know what’s what when it comes time to show the youth how to step out on the field and win–even if they can’t do it themselves. The family can be scoffed, but it is the best attribute Riley brings as a coach to his team. And it rarely fails when talent is in place.

            This is going to be a better year than expected by most “experts.” And still we’ll be wanting more.

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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    Is it bad that I’m already looking forward to 2 years from now, rather than getting excited for the upcoming season. This is the first year that I’ve really folowed recruiting much. I’m picturing the team when Mannion takes over as a Jr QB. He’ll have a dominant O-line protecting him so he has time to pick apart the defense and he’ll have some seasoned veteran receivers like Cooks, Gilmore and Espatia, not to mention Smith at tight end. And when the passing game isn’t clicking, he’ll have Thomas Tyner, possibly the fastest running back in college football to hand it off too. I’m almost wondering if Riley is looking ahead too, and isn’t all that worried about all of the veteran injuries this year, knowing the young guys will be getting good experience on the field? I think one of the big quwstions now is, will the defense in the next few years be able to keep the offense on the field?

    • JackBeav says:
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      That’s actually a compelling argument for “wait until.” It’s good now. It’s gonna be better when….

  • MudAndSticks MudAndSticks says:
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    Ah, we’re at the orange colored glasses stage. Can’t wait for the season to begin.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Oh come on! It’s not like we’re trying to defend tax cuts by reliving the one lonely time in our nation’s history when they actually grew the economy. We’re talking about a sport which is as much about team as it is about talent. We’re thinking 7-5 will be fun to watch, and we think this team won’t settle for that.

      Was that too much? Am I going to have people whimpering in pathetic, whiny pain at the mere mention of reality? I apologize in advance… I guess.

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    My view — the light has been seen….some changes made…. Recruiting seems to be up. Young talent is visible in the ranks. Last year should have been 7-5, and this year can be so. Any player not a moron knows that it was just motivation that made for a losing season last year. The stage is set; OSU is the underdog. Bring it on!

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Faith in Robinson persists:

    http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/article_b065b2c2-cc34-11e0-a146-001cc4c03286.html

    I call it faith, because you have to believe in what you can’t see….let’s hope Collins stays healthy.

    This is another one of those decisions that just kills me – there are demonstrably faster players with more potential, and the (older) coaching staff will not admit they’ve overestimated a player.

    • brownale9000 says:
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      I guess you must be talking about Akuna, since that’s the only SAM behind Robinson that makes sense. (The other two are a true frosh and a walk-on senior who’s never really played.)

      He’s been dinged up since spring. Stubborn coaching staff for not putting a guy who’s injured above a guy who’s not?

      I get some of the ‘stubborn coach’ angle, I really do. But come on man.

      “He doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.” – Yeah, real vote of confidence there!

      • ObjCritic says:
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        I’d prefer a fast freshman, RS or true, over Robinson. Robinson has shown nothing to indicate he should be 2nd string at pac-12 level. Get the fastest guys on the field and move on.

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    I get to attend this Saturday’s (27th) practice while my wife is at the OSU football workshop for women. Interested to see changes & improvements since seeing them a couple weeks ago. Hopefully seeing more team plays, not just endless drills.

    Speaking of endless drills… if you’re a Catchings or Gwacham, known for dropping passes or even Katz known for overthrowing wide open receivers streaking to the end zone, wouldn’t your entire off season focus be on improving these shortcomings? I know this sounds obvious but many times we don’t see much improvement.
    If I’m a receiver who has all the tools except hands then guess what I’m doing every waking moment I’m not in class or studying? That’s right, catching balls, tip drills, closed-eyes balancing drills so my focus can be on looking the ball in better, etc. This could be the difference between developing into an NFL player versus being known as “Droppings” to Beaver nation for eternity.
    So what if you’re 6′-7″ and can run and jump if you can’t catch?!!? Maybe these guys DO practice on their own and I just don’t see it, I’m just doubtful that they do when I don’t see significant improvement.

    • ean says:
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      Some guys can practice all the time and never catch. Some guys just have the drops. The Ducks had a guy a while back (Jaison Williams) that was a stud athletically… he was NFL in every way except he couldn’t catch… now who knows what he is doing.

    • Beavker Beavker says:
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      The Chargers have some examples. Jackson and Floyd are your 6’5 guys that can catch…then they had Kassim Osgood, although a Pro Bowl Special teamer, couldn’t make it anywhere actually catching the ball. At some point, you’ll have to catch it. Unfortunately for Hass, that isn’t enought either.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      An alternative with guys who don’t catch well but have the speed and moves to play receiver is to move them to DB.

      I think Catchings is too light for that, I doubt Gwacham is fast and fluid enough. I think Gwacham is going to develop the hands he needs to be the threat we’re hoping he’ll become.

      • angry angry says:
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        I think that’s a safe assumption.
        Moving him to TE might help…less pressure to catch everything might result in more catches. The media tends to glorify his height and his occasional one-handed grab, but what about all the drops in between? You hear about them, but everyone shrugs them off.

        • ObjCritic says:
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          That’s a great idea you’d brought up before – Gwacham @ TE. So we could see a set with say, katz, agnew, halahuni (hback), gwacham, wheaton, rodgers/cooks…looks very effective.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Ha! Maybe we can run Trips TE to either side and just run the fly sweep with any of our burners. Or a four TE set? We could have a bunch of 6’5″+ receivers pushing puny DB’s around, then we can throw our speed guys back out there to run by the poor, beat up defenders.

  • Beavergopher Beavergopher says:
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    Great get, but we really need DT’s that are ready to play. What happened to the Hawaii
    connection? Those dudes are big and strong as bulls.

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