Format: Helmets and shorts
The first preseason practice of the Dan Lanning era at Oregon was conducted Friday afternoon, as the Ducks began ramping up their preparations for the 2022 season.
The first practice is always one that spurs mixed reactions. There’s excitement at getting back together in practice, and to see the progress made in summer workouts. And there’s urgency as it becomes clear where there’s still work to be done before the opener.
Friday was no different.
“Good first day,” Lanning said. “Nowhere near where we need to be for game one. But luckily we’re not playing game one yet.”
There was excitement on several levels, from a personal standpoint. For one thing, the Ducks are largely healthy as camp begins. Some players who were limited late last season, such as tight ends Patrick Herbert and Cam McCormickand defensive linemen Brandon Dorlus and Keyon Ware-Hudsonare now back in the mix.
And those newcomers to the roster who weren’t on hand for spring drills participated in their first practice as Ducks. receiver Caleb Chapman made a couple of big plays in his first practice since transferring to Oregon, and freshman running back Jordan James caught Lanning’s eye as well.
From the athleticism of offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr. to the length of defensive back Khamari Terrell to the catch radius of receiver Kyler KasperFriday was a chance to get eyes on many of the guys who made up Oregon’s impressive recruiting class of 2022.
Of course, now recruiting rankings are out the window. Now it’s time to perform as college football players. And show consistent improvement, every day.
“One percent’s what we’re looking for in everything we do,” Lanning said. “Where can we find that?”
Camp continues Saturday. One area Lanning would like to see a bump of improvement is in sustained execution.
“Our guys looked fast,” he said. “But I’ll say, around period eight today, we looked slow. It’s learning how to play fast consistently, over time.”
The Ducks didn’t look ready for game one Friday in their new coach’s eye, but Friday wasn’t game day. Saturday isn’t either, but game one will be one day closer. And Lanning will look to see if the Ducks are one day better as camp continues.
Notable: Practice in the early going this preseason will be held in the afternoon, a departure from Oregon’s schedule in recent seasons. The Ducks got going around 2:45 pm on Friday, and got done around 5 pm … To keep players from overheating in the afternoon sun, staff members sprayed water on guys who weren’t in a drill at any given moment. And there was a full period of practice in which the Ducks went and sat on bleachers underneath pop-up tents, and ingested fluids and ice pops. …
Practice concluded with a 2-minute drill, and the offense was able to put points on the board two different times. … The south wall of Oregon’s practice fields was retouched, and wording on the wall updated to reflect the program’s priorities. Now, the four words listed are “Connection,” “Toughness,” “Growth” and “Sacrifice.”
head coach Dan Lanning
On moving practice to the afternoon
“Football needs to be tough. We want to strain. And we’re going to play a lot of games in this position of the afternoon.”
On fostering competition along his veteran offensive line
“You push them just as much as you push other guys. So we’re moving guys around in different positions. Certainly none of them have been anointed to be in their spots. There’s gonna be some shuffling there. That’s part of figuring out who your best five are up front. It’s not just assumed because of who it was before.”
head coach Dan Lanning