Oregon Football: Ducks Open Fall Camp With Improvements In Key Areas

Oregon Football opens Fall Camp at the Hatfield Dowlin Complex.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Oregon Football opens Fall Camp at the Hatfield Dowlin Complex.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Fall Camp for Oregon Football opened on Friday and Head Coach Mario Cristobal has seen a Culture Shift over the Summer that should lead to big things in 2018.

Oregon Football officially opened Practice on the 2018 season on Friday morning, but Head Coach Mario Cristobal gave his expectations for the season and expects there could be some surprises with his team. One area that the team has been focusing on the offseason is on fundamentals. Cristobal said there was a specific focus for the Offensive Lineman when it came to where their hands and feet were and the staff worked hard this Summer on that fundamental aspect.

One player who has stepped up, aside from adding about ten to thirteen pounds of muscle is Tony Brooks James. He has also taken on a bigger role in the Locker Room and his teammates and Head Coach have taken notice, “He’s created a great running back room…it’s now time for these guys to show what they can do. The competition is thick in the right type of way.”

Brooks-James will lead a talented Running Back group that includes CJ Verdell who had two touchdowns in the Oregon Spring Game. Jim Mastro enters his first year as Running Backs Coach and has his players focused on vision and the path they need to travel with the ball. Verdell and Brooks-James could open some eyes and have big games this season.

Another area of focus team-wide has been getting to be better players together. The team element has returned to Oregon Football in full force with Cristobal leading the charge. The Offensive Line has been taught to be more physical and I expect that will rub off on the rest of the team as the season moves along.

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Mario Cristobal has noticed not only a physical change with his team in the offseason, but one that is a little bigger, “You come in on a Saturday to do some work in the office and walk by the weight room and see that your weight room is filled with your players that’s a cultural change for the positive.”

One aspect he spoke about was team speed. He told me that his fastest player is likely Tony Brooks James, who has hit the 23 mile per hour mark in his runs. He added that there are about two dozen players that can run 20 miles per hour or faster which could surprise the opposition this season.

It is Cristobal’s second season with Oregon Football and his first as Head Coach of the Program.

Fall Camp is in full swing over the next few weeks as the team prepares for the 2018 season. The Ducks host Bowling Green on Saturday, September 1st. (5:30 pm PT, Pac-12 Network)

Quotes obtained during Oregon Football Media Day Availability at the Hatfield Dowlin Complex.