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Football practice report: April 8

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Event location: Moshofsky Center
Format: Full pads

At one point, UO head coach Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead will have to sit down and decide on a starter and a primary backup with the quarterback for the 2021 Oregon soccer team.

This is not the case at the beginning of April. The Ducks held their fourth practice this Spring Thursday, and as staff evaluate their five quarterbacks’ play, they are at the stage of gathering information through practice staff.

Through four practices, senior Anthony Brown remains the exclusive recipient of reruns from the first team. Behind him are sophomores freshmen Jay Butterfield and Robby Ashford, newcomer Ty Thompson and veteran Bradley Yaffe

“I see this as 15 opportunities to grow as a soccer team and grow as a position unit,” said Moorhead of the spring. “I think the guys are doing well by taking advantage of those reps.”

Anthony Brown Moshofsky Practice

The Ducks were in full brake pads for the first time on Thursday, and training was tough during long periods of 11-on-11 work between attack and defense. Practice periods start to include situations where the offense can move the ball down, but there haven’t been many real scrimmage situations like a 2 minute practice or an overtime situation.

It’s all about reps, reps, and more reps for the whole team, including the quarterbacks. Put one resumes on film, and let the coaches evaluate.

“At this stage of the season, we want to see an improvement from training one to training two, and across the board to training 15,” said Moorhead.

Brown clearly stands out from the others in terms of experience. He started 28 games at Boston College before moving to Oregon, splitting time as the Ducks’ No. 1 quarterback in the Pac-12 title game and the Fiesta Bowl last season.

“He’s a very cool, calm customer,” said Moorhead. “He is a man who has played a lot of football. He is a man who is extremely intelligent and has a lot of talent as a pitcher and runner. I think he really takes the opportunity and understands the urgency that is required in this position.”

Among the other quarterbacks, Ashford has arguably the most interesting spring, if only because he divides time between the soccer and baseball teams. Ashford, a diamond centerfielder, only participated in an hour of each of the last three soccer practice sessions, as they all fell on the day of a baseball game.

On Thursday, however, Ashford was able to participate in a full football practice for the first time this spring. The baseball team will play at home against Oregon State this week, with the series opening on Friday.

“You just have to take your hat off at him so he can run back and forth and play well in both,” Moorhead said. “That is an asset to him.”

Kris Hutson Moshofsky practice

Practice highlights: With the team in blocks, you practice open with a full contact, one-on-one block and tackle exercise. Kingsley Suamataia and Jackson Powers-Johnson both had solid reps as blockers, and receiver Don’t’e Thornton locked a defender on the line. Kristian Williams threw a blocker and made a tackle, and Jeffrey Low also did a good job of getting off a block. In 1-on-1 receiving exercises, Spencer Webb had not one but two one-handed catches on the first, he essentially locked the ball in his flexed biceps before locking it with his hand. Steve Stephens IV showed great anticipation when jumping a route, but was wiggling the ball as he left the track.

Lucas Noland had a really good day in coverage, breaking down a few passes in 11-on-11 situations. One was a perfectly placed deep ball from Thompson From Lance Wilhoite hip. But Noland ran step by step with the receiver and knocked him out. Two other defenders made nice plays on screen passes Trikweze bridges jump to deflect a ball that the QB was trying to float over the long, narrow corner, and Noah Sewell snorted a play to blow a receiver just after the ball arrived.

Cross Patton Moshofsky Practice

Other remarks: The Ducks did a period of reruns for the back-kicking team. Mykael Wright and Josh Delgado were the first tandem that could be received deeply again, followed by Jaylon Redd and Bassa. Overall, the offense did better to limit turnover after the defense got hold of several balls on Tuesday. JJ Greenfield had an interception late in the day, but that was about it. At the moment, most practice spins are pretty static, until the ducks do more live-action drills over the next week. An exception is within linebacker, where assistant Ken Wilson is mixing and matching duos and moving them up and down the depth graph.



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