Thursday, March 31, 2011

After Two Days of Drills, Ducks Look Like a Team Building on Their Successes

From oregonlive,  John Hunt's practice report:

Seastrunk made noise with his feet. Showing the darting ability of Jacquizz Rodgers but with more size, Seastrunk wowed for the second straight day. He’s the rare running back who can not only stop on a dime but throw it into reverse without grinding any gears.

Oh yeah, and LaMichael James, the nation’s leading rusher last year, was there, ripping off blindingly fast runs. Business as usual.

Colt Lyerla, the highly regarded, highly athletic, highly inexperienced star out of Hillsboro worked with the receivers and the tight ends on Thursday and looked ready to step in.

Kelly said Lyerla is being groomed for the H-back role. Expect him to line up in the backfield and catch passes for the Ducks in 2011 and for Kelly to use him as he – sparingly – has used David Paulson and Ed Dickson in recent years.

Lyerla at H-Back, it's making sense to me now.  They can hand him the ball on an inside reverse, toss it to him in the flat, throw hooks and slants, have him in mismatches along the sideline and up the seam.  He has a big body for those lead blocks, and great football instincts, honed when he was the focal point of the offense in high school.  They can use him in the passing game the way the Chargers use Anthony Gates.

Gates, by the way, is listed at 6-4 260 with a 4.8 40.  Lyerla is 6-5 240 and a 40 time around 4.5.

Did a double take when Hunt described Seastrunk as bigger than the now-departed Jacquizz Rodgers, but checking the roster, at 5-9, 190, he's bigger than LaMichael James, and heavier than James, Rodgers or Barner.

In the coming days FishDuck will have another report, this one on the twin back sets the Ducks used in the Civil War.  Seastrunk could add some razzle to James' dazzle in the Oregon attack.  Bet that Coach Kelly, who loves to tinker, innovate and scheme, will have looks to utilize all this talent.  Come fall teams will be looking to stop what they saw last year, or trying to duplicate the Cal blueprint or the Auburn one, while Oregon has drawn up a whole new set of plans.

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