Monday, April 4, 2011

Another One Bytes the Ducks

Ted Miller of ESPN does a really, really good job of covering the conference.  Last week he had an interview with Chip Kelly on spring practice and the state of the Ducks.  Miller had the facts on Terrell Turner's injury three practices ago, long before it came out locally.  Here are some highlights from Miller's article:

LSU is "not even on the radar." And potential distractions due to L'Affair de Willie Lyles?

"I've never brought it up once," Kelly said. "Our kids aren't distracted by anything you guys write."

And Kelly emphasized returning starters won't get a free pass -- even stars will be pushed to get better. With quarterback Darron Thomas, it will be working on fundamentals -- his footwork, throwing motion, getting set quicker, etc. And running back LaMichael James needs to become more of a weapon in the passing game.

Chip Kelly totally eschews phony motivational gimmicks.  The Ducks don't point to anyone.  They don't have revenge games or rivalry games or transparent "all positions are open" pep talks.  The goal is consistent and easy to understand, and they all get it.  That's probably why four practices into a new season, the energy, intensity and focus are rock solid.  This is not a team struggling for identity or groping for leadership.   They are winners and champions, and they practice like they've been here before.

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