Ducks combine practice for first time this camp, assistant coaches speak to media

The Ducks practiced with their full squad for the first time this season during Wednesday’s practice. Freshmen and select underclassmen joined the full squad after practices the first two days were broken into two sections to maximize reps.

The first two practices were open to fans and media for their entirety. Today, media was limited to seeing some position drills.

Quarterbacks and running backs did handoff and option drills, which provided a glimpse of the new offense. Charles Nelson, Darrian McNeal and Taj Griffin were practicing handoffs on sweeps while all the running backs were taking reps on option pitches and handoffs.

Many of the assistant coaches spoke to the media for the first time this fall camp.

Quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo answered the question on whether Oregon would switch more players to quarterback to help depth.

“At this point, no,” he said. “It’s hard to get that many reps. If something pops up, and we feel like something can be added to the offense, then so be it.”

Arroyo on freshman Dimetri Burch making the switch to quarterback to help with depth:

“Dimetri has done a good job,” he said. “We put him back there and he’s done almost everything in high school, so giving him a chance to do something back there has been fun. He’s done a nice job the last two days being a freshman and picking it all up, drinking through the fire hose and that’s how it goes at that position.”

Daewood Davis is a freshman wide receiver who has impressed in camp so far. Veteran members on the team say he is already one of the fastest players for Oregon.

“He’s learning,” wide receivers coach Michael Johnson said. “He’s still trying to pick up the offense, but the first couple days have been great. He’s energetic. He’s enthusiastic and he’s working hard. I think by the time we finish training camp you’ll see improvement.”

Defensive line coach Joe Salave’a on working with defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt:

“For the most part this is my first time meeting a lot of these [coaches],” Salave’a said. “It’s more about a body of work with Jim. … The opportunity to be here with him, to try to shore up things on the defensive side of the ball, we’re so excited.”

Every coach and assistant has their own mechanics shirt with their name on it, and Salave’a has worn his every day. It represents a blue collar mentality.

“For me, I don’t know better,” he said. “Our guys have to understand that no one guy can make it. No one coach can make it. We all have to come together as a unit.”

Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917

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Jack Butler

Jack Butler

I am the sports editor for the Daily Emerald. I cover football and basketball. Email me at [email protected]