Practice report: Taggart, coaching staff building trust throughout fall camp
The Ducks are in the dog days of fall camp now. Entering week three, with the first game just over two weeks away, Willie Taggart and Oregon’s coaching staff want to make sure their Ducks are in a row.
“I want the execution to be second nature for our guys,” Taggart said. “We really want to limit the missed assignments.”
This is critical for employing a new system. The Ducks are on their third defensive system in as many years. And while the installation is complete, the focus turns to playmaking.
“With coach Leavitt, he put everything in that first week,” Taggart said. “Now that we’re not installing, you’re seeing guys lining up and just playing football. They’re able to play fast and they don’ have to think as much right now.”
Communication on defense is improving as the players know their role and what to expect from the defense.
“We try to play the music as loud as we can so those guys can find a way,” Taggart said. “I want them to yell in their big boy voice.”
One player making strides on the defense is Justin Hollins. The outside linebacker missed spring but has returned, and is making plays in practice.
“He’s one heck of a football player,” Taggart said. “I’m excited about him. We didn’t get a chance to see him in the spring. I’ve seen of a lot him this training camp knowing he’s going to help this football team tremendously. ”
Taggart has always put an emphasis on culture and the relationship between coaches and players. The theory is that the better chemistry is, the better the team will be.
“Each and every day we’re seeing guys step up as well,” he said. “A big part of this transition with our players is a trust factor. They got new coaches and they’re learning to trust us. The coaches are learning to trust our players. I’ve seen the trust grow a lot since the spring. I’ve seen it in training camp now where it’s making the difference with our football team.”
The freshman class for the Ducks will get to see a lot of playing. Taggart called redshirting players “old school,” and made no comment on the possibility of handing them out.
“I haven’t thought about redshirting anybody,” he said. “We’re going to play our best players. We’ve got some pretty good freshman that are on this football team, and if they can help our football team in any kind of capacity, then we’re going to play them.”
Games are fast approaching but so is the solar eclipse on Monday. Taggart is as excited as everyone else.
“I want to see it,” Taggart said. “Everyone talks about it and how it’s going to be dark at 10 a.m. That’s pretty amazing to me. … I’m going to make sure we’re practicing at that time so we can all see that. ”
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