Jan. 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Oregon Ducks offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich (right) talks with quarterback Marcus Mariota prior to the game against the Kansas State Wildcats during the 2013 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Oregon defeated Kansas State 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
On Friday Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota caught up with ESPN 1080 the Fan in Portland. He led the Ducks to a Fiesta Bowl victory vs Kansas State last season, and is looking forward to the 2013 season, specifically Stanford. Here is some of what he had to say.
Spring practice has started for Oregon and there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the previous Head Coach Chip Kelly, and Mark Helfrich:
"There hasn’t been much of a difference. For right now I think things have been the same. I’m sure over the course of Spring we’ll see some differences. The team has responded really well. I feel good about where we’re really at right now."
I’m not sure who started the rumor that the Ducks ‘may’ be airing out the ball more this season, but Mariota says he is ready to do what is asked of him:
"Coach Frost and Coach Helfrich have developed game plans. Whatever they ask me to do I’m willing to do it."
Not all the conversation can be about the quarterback, there are other position battles to be watched throughout the Spring for the Ducks, including Running backs, Receivers and some key areas on Defense.
Mariota’s observations on replacing Kenjon Barner in the offense are positive:
"The guys are doing an awesome job. DeAnthony(Thomas)has been in there picing up where Kenjon left off. They’ve learned and all learn as a unit."
On the receiving side of the ball:
"Very exciting, come out and played well. They have done a good job of just coming out and showing what they can do."
Mariota also talked about this upcoming season and how Oregon’s younger players have an opportunity:
"It’s hard to focus on Stanford. It’s always just one day at a time. If we can control what we can control we’ll be able to be ready and prepared when the season starts and looking forward to that Stanford game.Our youth helps us get through the long haul. You get into a routine with Spring Practice. With the youth we have to get through the practices to get through the long haul."
When it comes to picking up where they left off, Mariota says the culture hasn’t changed:
"We’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing. the culture here hasn’t change. If we can contunue to build off what the culture has given us, we should have good seasons ahead."
In closing Mariota says he’s working on becoming a better Quarterback, and that involves footwork:
"I really wanted to focus on my footwork. I’m able to control the pace my feet are moving. It will help me be in good body locations to throw the ball and to be a steady force."
Full interview: Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota, ESPN 1080, the Fan
The Ducks will continue practice througout the month with the Oregon Spring game on Saturday, April 27th at Autzen Stadium.
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