Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fan Gets It Right

Rob Moseley's blog generates some of the most intelligent and thoughtfully-written fan commentary on the web.  Go to and the comments are barely worth reading, a flame-fest of the lowest order, with predictable references to Willie Lyles, the University of Zero, little brother, naked three point stances and gay sheep.  Things invariably get personal, and rarely add anything to the conversation.  It's a dialogue with a roomful of football terrorists.

Partly because of the example Moseley sets with his even-handed, informative reporting, and partly because of the community that has grown around that news source, the opinions, observations, and discussion at the Register-Guard blog include some very thoughtful and on-point observations.  Most days there is a genuine exchange of ideas and some great perspectives.  Here's an example from yesterday's post-scrimmage discussion:

Mallard Drake, Chicagoland
“Today was a competition day, and the defense came out on top 97-84, earning the right to wear black practice jerseys until the next competition day. Among the big plays were Kenny Rowe dropping back into coverage to intercept Costa, Dior Mathis picking off a Daryle Hawkins pass, Cliff Harris beating Diante Jackson in a battle for a ball, Bo Lokombo coming off the edge and leaping to deflect a Costa pass, and James Scales leaping to break up a pass from Costa to Justin Hoffman.” - Rob Moseley, April 3, 2010
Just a little reminder of where things were this time last year… Get off of the panic buttons already!!! It is Spring football; enough with the doom and gloom. CK has been here since ‘07, and with the exception of a stretch that included being forced to play an RB at QB, when has he not produced on the O side of the ball? You guys should be encouraged by the front 7 making great plays on D.

That's a very instructive and well-researched blog post, for a number of reasons.  One, it specifically illustrates how typical it is for the defense to dominate early in the spring.  Offense requires timing and cohesion.  Good defense thrives in the chaotic, sloppy atmosphere of the first scrimmage of the spring, when aggressiveness and mayhem rule.  Two, the names that emerge in the spring aren't necessarily the ones the Ducks will rely on in November.  James Scales and Dior Mathis are still finding their way as Ducks, and Diante Jackson lost his completely.    It's 142 days till kickoff.  There is a lot of preparation and refining to do before then. 

The takeaway from yesterday is that Oregon will continue to have a fast, aggressive and swarming defense.  It doesn't mean the offense has forgotten how to play.  They just have work to do, and they'll try to have a better day tomorrow.

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