The team pushed back the beginning of spring practice to get the new coaching staff and players acclimated to the change around the program.
“Get the new guys, staff acclimated and truly give yourself an evaluation,” offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo said following the second day of spring practice on Monday. “We’ve done a good job in past years and now moving forward is making sure that they can comprehend enough so that we can evaluate guys early, let alone get some staff guys caught up.”
Arroyo, along with the rest of the staff, will only have until Saturday to get comfortable with one another before they end the first block of camp for spring break. The team will return to practice on April 2.
The offensive side of the ball will have an advantage of being comfortable with one another as a majority of the returns are starters. Arroyo, who will have his starting quarterback Justin Herbert back, is making sure that Herbert, along with the rest of the offense, are keeping things simple.
“There are a couple different schemes that we like, that I think fit us,” Arroyo said. “There are a couple things that you add wrinkles to maybe it was a B-list type of thing or a secondary type of thing ... it's just us going through it with a fine-tooth comb.”
The freshmen who will arrive later on during the spring may have missed practice but the team has made arrangements for them. According to Arroyo the freshmen who have yet to arrive on campus, have full access to Oregon’s practices through technology, so they can be ready by the time they arrive to Eugene.
“The beauty of technology now is that we can push them stuff to those guys if they are already signed and enrolled,” Arroyo said. “They are getting acclimated a lot faster and those guys are getting as much as we can give them.”
Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, who does not have the same luxury of previous continuity with his side of the ball, begins his spring in some place other than Boise State for the first time in seven years. But, this is not Avalos' first time seeing some of his defensive players as he’s come across about half of them along the recruiting trail.
“Seeing how guys move and seeing what guys do well, obviously being able to watch film last year, but being on the field with them is a whole different deal,” Avalos said.
The defense has also returned most of its starts along with some highly touted recruits. Avalos has had a warm welcome by his newly inherited defense.
“The guys have been flying around, they've really been doing a good job preparing even before we get on the field,” Avalos said.
A point of emphasis in the scheme of Avalos’ defense is the “stud” linebacker position.The emergence of Adrian Jackson, La’mar Winston Jr., D.J. Johnson and Kayvon Thibodeaux have emerged as early candidates for the position.
Despite a new defense and new team, Avalos has been impressed about what he’s seen from his defense and the team, despite only two practices.
“They’ve been awesome...they’ve opened up their heart and they want to win a championship and coach Cristobal he’s raised the standards in everything we’re doing,” Avalos said.
Follow Gabriel Ornelas on Twitter @gabe_ornelas