Oregon Football Training Camp: Injuries, News, Analysis and Position Battles

Randy ChambersAnalyst IAugust 9, 2012

Oregon Football Training Camp: Injuries, News, Analysis and Position Battles

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    Oregon has appeared in three straight BCS bowl games, and with the talent returning in 2012, there is no reason Chip Kelly and company can't make it four.

    The Ducks open the season at No. 5 in the new USA Today Coaches Poll, and have possible national championship hopes on their mind. The team returns 12 starters from a season ago, including seven on the defensive side of the ball and of course have enough explosiveness on offense to remain a top scoring team.

    However, while this team looks terrific on paper, a solid fall camp is needed from even the most talented teams in the country.

    Here are some of the latest updates, injuries, news and more involving your Oregon Ducks throughout fall camp.

August 20, 2012

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    Marcus Mariota or Bryan Bennett? That seems to be the question that every Duck fan is asking, as Oregon heads into the final week of fall camp. While Mariota had a terrific spring performance, it seems that the quarterback position continues to be a question that the coaching staff is not ready to answer. (Via Chris Anderson of Scout.com)

    They are both playing at a real high level right now. Kelly admitted regarding Bennett and Mariota's competition. I want them hopefully to make it be a difficult decision for us; that means they are both playing really well.

    While a decision is expected to be made towards the end of this week, with the Ducks beginning the season against Arkansas State, the competition could possibly be decided in the regular season.

August 17, 2012

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    The Oregon offense can breathe a little easier knowing the tight end Colt Lyerla has returned to practice and looks like he is once again part of the team. Lyerla is the starting tight end for the Ducks, but has missed most of fall camp due to unknown reasons.

    Whatever the reason was, I'm sure the coaching staff is glad to have their red-zone weapon back on the field.


    New uniforms

    New Ducks uniforms are expected to be released on August 22nd, but a sneak peak look has recently hit the Internet. Of course no school does uniform changes better than Oregon, and you can check out some of the pictures by clicking here.

August 14, 2012

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    Ducks even faster team

    The Oregon Ducks are one of the more interesting teams in the country to watch because of the pace they play the game at. But if this fall camp is any indication of how they will play this season, the Ducks could be even faster than they have been in years past.

    "We've increased our reps dramatically and it pays off because more people are involved in practice," Kelly said. (Via Aaron Fentress of oregonlive.com)

    Kelly has had the genius idea of splitting the team up into two sections of offense and defense, which has increased the amount of reps the team is able to fit into a single practice.

    "In the game the whole objective is not to be tired," Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu said. "If we're conditioned to take 180 reps at practice and you take 80 reps in a game we should be good to go."


    Two players stepping up at WR

    One of the main concerns for this Oregon team is at the wide receiver position due to the lack of experience. That has opened the door up for Rahsaan Vaughn and Daryle Hawkins, two players who are really making a case for more playing time in this offense. (Via Aaron Fentress of oregonlive.com)

    We've got a lot of talent that came in and a lot of talent coming out of their redshirt year. Vaughn said. I think this fall camp is going to tell us who can really do it and who is going to be prepared for the season.


    Colt Lyerla still a no-show

    Starting tight end Colt Lyerla is still not at camp, which can't be a great sign if you are a Duck fan. While Chip Kelly still believes he will be back sooner than later, tight end coach Tom Osborne isn't feeling too good about the situation. (Via Adam June of oregonlive.com)

    "We have six guys (in camp) and five have never played tight end before," he said. "I've never had a group like that."

    Lyerla caught seven passes last season, five of which went for touchdowns.

August 9, 2012

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    Carson York should be ready

    Carson York is arguably the most valuable piece in the Oregon offensive line. He has started 36 games throughout his career.

    York suffered a nasty knee injury in the BCS Rose Bowl last season, but has said he will be 100 percent by the time the season begins (via Rob Moseley of The Register-Guard):

    "It's my senior year, I plan on playing every game."  


    Tacoi Sumler to transfer

    Tacoi Sumler was a 3-star recruit from the 2011 class, who had all of the tools to become a successful receiver for the Ducks.

    However, after being a non-factor last season, and with the depth returning at the position in 2012, Moseley reports that Sumler has decided to transfer.

    Where exactly he will end up is still unknown.


    No decision on QB battle

    With Darron Thomas putting off his senior season, Oregon has a quarterback battle on its hands with Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota.

    While the latter may have the upper hand after playing extremely well in the spring game, head coach Chip Kelly says that he is still torn between the two contenders (via Ted Miller of ESPN):

    “I’ve got a lot of faith -- after seeing Bryan for a couple years now, and Marcus for a full year now -- in both those guys’ abilities to play.” 

    Like many quarterback controversies, you may have to wait until the season is a little bit closer to find out who the No. 1 guy really is. 


    Where is Colt Lyerla?

    Sophomore tight end Colt Lyerla is expected to play a much bigger role in this Oregon offense this season. Having said that, it would certainly help if he decided to show up to camp.

    Where is Lyerla? It appears that nobody has the slightest idea.

    From Gary Horowitz of StatesmanJournal.com:

    “When he comes back, I’ll tell you guys,” said Kelly, who has not elaborated on the reason for Lyerla’s absence. 

    Lyerla caught seven passes last season for 147 yards and five touchdowns.


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    This article will be updated throughout fall camp to provide you with the latest news, injuries and everything else that involves your Oregon Ducks.