Year two of Mark Helfrich's tenure as Oregon head coach begins on the practice field next week. The Ducks once again open the offseason with high expectations.
Last season's 11-2 record marked the fifth consecutive season in which the Ducks won at least 10 games and the fourth straight year of 11 or more victories. But another thwarted effort to win the Pac-12 Conference title and an end to the program's four-year streak of BCS bowl appearances has Oregon facing some crucial question marks that need addressing before the kickoff of the 2014 campaign.
Oregon returns plenty of talented veterans but isn't without prominent roles to fill from departed playmakers. The Ducks are also without defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, who manned that post for 15 seasons.
This is an important offseason for Oregon football, and a few particularly noteworthy points of emphasis during spring and into the summer will lay the foundation for yet another successful year in Eugene, Ore.