Fall camp showing how developing wide receiver depth will be crucial for Oregon this season
Oregon football’s wide receivers might be a little inexperienced, but wide receivers coach Michael Johnson has used fall camp to get them ready for the season.
With Oregon’s top receivers are Brenden Schooler, Dillon Mitchell and Johnny Johnson III, but those behind them face a gap in experience they have to make up for ahead of the season opener on Sept. 1.
“We’ve got to develop some other guys behind them, some of the young guys are up and down,” Michael Johnson said. “We gotta make sure we get more consistency there. They’re trying, they’re working hard, their focus needs to be heightened, but overall they’re doing a good job.”
Johnson has seen “ups and downs” but accepts that mistakes are part of fall training. Senior running back Tony Brooks-James is wary of the inexperience of some of the younger receivers but values their importance to the team.
“A lot of little mental errors, but other than that they’re a very challenging group and we need them a lot,” Brooks-James said.
One of those younger receivers is freshman Bryan Addison, who is playing on both sides of the ball for the time being. He’s been part of the receivers groups in practices as well as the secondary, which has kept him from advancing along as fast as some of the other freshmen receivers.
He and the young receivers have the luxury of quarterback Justin Herbert launching them passes.
“He’s throwing balls the way NFL quarterbacks throw balls,” Michael Johnson said. “He’s putting them in places that you don’t normally get them. I’d like to see them more consistent in catching the ball but they’re doing a good job.”
They also have offensive coordinator Marcos Arroyo calling the plays this season as opposed to last season when head coach Willie Taggart called the shots.
“I like the detail that he’s forcing us to learn,” Michael Johnson said. “There’s a big deal about a split, big deal about footwork timing. Those type of things are gonna make us a more consistent passing unit I think and I think we’ll benefit from it down the road.”
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow
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