Look, I could go position by position like all the other tools out there. You want to know who's gong to make a difference on the Oregon defense then you come to me. Yeah, I'm like the Don of Oregon schemes. These otherr guys that give you big words and try to diagram crap have no idea how to convey the ability of this current Duck team. F them, and F you if you think I'm full of it. I've gone to more games than I ever played, and oh, I played. I've gone to 2 practices this fall (summer, and it was freaking hot) and I saw some things that I'm sure coaches don't want everyone spouting around. The defense really IS that fast and quick. A walk on D-line man that can bench more than you and your wife weigh (I hope), might actually get some PT as a senior. BTW (for you non electronic folks BTW= By the way) Eddie Pleasant's move to the backfield gives the rest of the 2nd level of D a chance to work in some reps, and that is exactly what should excite any and all Oregon fans. The overall team speed of this defense is unparalleled in the history of Duck defenses. The "GangGreen" D of the '94 was all heart, and you have to love them forever, but this new team has the ability, and may even have the heart to be something special. Ok, I got a little crazy att he beginning there, but is true, I know football.
I'm an offensive guy, but this defense is scary good. They are quick off the ball up front. I've been convinced after 2 practices (that I've seen) that the D-line has actual depth, which is always a big fear for any true Duck fan. Until today, Zac Clark had been limited in practice because of back problems and, as far as I saw, gave a lot of these youngsters a chance to show that they can compete at the highest collegiate level , almost right out of high school.
DT-Brandon Bair may be the best DT in the league. Say this to any Duck fan 13 months ago and they'd say you are crazy or a USC mole trying to make us think we are better than the Ducks D-line truly is. Kenny Rowe is for real and has been since he played as a true frosh at DE. He was seriously undersized, but the man is super QUICk and fast to go along with that. Ricky H.(true frosh) and Wade K. (RS frosh) look to be important cogs in the Defensive front.
LB-May be the best EVER LB crew in Oregon history. The leader is Casey Matthews, grandson of an NFL player, son of an NFL player, and brother of an NFL player. Oh yeah and nephew of an NFL player. Casey is the lone Duck, really, in this family. In this family USC is king, and I believe it is a big deal that this kid came to the UO a few years ago. Not only for his play on the field, but his family's name recognition when it comes to football history in the US. Casey has the Mike position locked up from all accounts, but Lokombo (RS Frosh) and Kaddu are battling for playing time at the SAM position since Pleasant has moved to safety.
DE- Kenny Rowe is fast.The defensive player of the game in the Rosebowl in January is looking to have a great senior year. On the other side, I believe Dion Jordan, a convert from TE, will show that his ability to rush and his size will give a lot of tackles a tough time in the Pac-10.
DB- Eddie Pleasant has moved into the backfield as a rover. He may be the fastest player on the team and has never shied away from contact, so giving him another 5 yards to get a run at someone will be very interesting to see this season. John Boyett, is only a sophomore, but played extremely well as a freshman last year and has the FS position locked up and will make a lot of big plays this season. Talmadge Jackson III has one CB down, while the other is up for grabs between a number of players. Cliff Harris lead the team in pass break ups last season, but doesn't seem to get mentioned a whole lot as a possibility as a starter this fall. Patterson, Mitchell, Gildon and more are all competing for this position, and no one at this point is sure who will come out on top.
From a depth standpoint, I believe this defense is in the best preseason position it has ever been in. There is a lot of experience across the board, and the way the coaches have been able to sub in players in the past, many more players will get much experience quickly. The overall team speed and quickness of this defense will likely overwhelm a lot of offenses this season, and I look forward to seeing where the pressure will be coming from this fall.