FishDuck, Why Are You Giving Away Oregon’s Secrets?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

We have not been learning from the Sportscasters on TV, radio, internet, or newspapers about the offense up to this point.  They have mentioned the “Zone Read” because it is the catchword, but NONE yet (as of August of 2011) have identified or explained the two basic plays of Inside Zone Read, and Outside Zone Read that the offense revolves around during the six years of running it.  What has been evident to me as I watch the games is how the opposing coaches CLEARLY know what we’re doing, our coaches (of course) know what they’re doing, and the only who don’t are the sportscasters and the fans!  I hope to help with that.

People concerned about me giving away information of the Oregon Offense should know that Chip already has a document on the internet describing the basics of his Spread from a presentation he gave to a Nike Coaches Clinic in 2008. It is on many websites for coaches and fans to learn from, and a USC Football Analysis website is where I found it!  (It is now on this site as well) Much of what I am reviewing has been available for three years to everyone on the internet through various sources.

Much of the information about the Spread Offense is widely disseminated across such websites as Spread,, and a host of websites dedicated to High School and College coaches as well as intense fans.  My presentations are not as in-depth as what you will see on these websites, as I am sharing with other fans and not coaches.  I am trying to be a bridge between knowing nothing about the offense, (as I was-not that long ago) to the extreme coaching types.  There is no middle ground presently, and I am trying to pull the two parties closer together.

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

People ask me frequently about whether I am helping our opponents with my reports, and I would remind them that Pac-10/12 teams have faced the Oregon Spread Offense for TEN seasons now.  Opposing coaches have all our plays organized within their database and broken down into the fine points already.  They know our tendencies, and our inclinations as to when we run particular plays.  We are not surprising them with anything new, as usually when something is new to an opponent—it is actually something we had done before and pulled out of the playbook from a few years ago.

A Defensive Coach at Washington was asked about the Oregon offense in the last year and he stated his admiration and how, even though the Huskies know what we’re doing—they have difficulty stopping it.  They admire our Zone Read Offense so much that they have added Zone Read plays to their offense in the last two years, as has Stanford, and now UCLA with the Pistol.  In a Civil War Game in 2008 the Defensive Coordinator for Oregon State was heard to scream at his defense, “it’s the same fricking play!”  We run a couple of plays extremely well and there IS a way to defeat our offense.  It is the same for any offense; defeat the blocks and you stop it cold.  Any one of the five major blocks on a particular play can be defeated, and thus blow up the play.  It comes down to execution by both sides….

My reports are pretty basic, as I am just a fan learning and sharing like so many of you.  Below is an example of a REAL football site to go to learn if you are a coach or type A intense football fan.  My stuff is pretty basic by comparison…….

Below is a reprint from another article on the internet referring to defense……not as easily understood as the aspects I’m covering!

The “Rip” / “Liz” call will alert the OLB to the call side that he has a safety coming down who will be assuming the Curl/Flat responsibilities. With the Rip/Liz declaration, the backers away from the call will alert to “Match” (“Rip – Match Left”) their quick away from the call, and how the corner to his side will match their receivers. It is all premised on controlling #2 deep in the seam, by catching and carrying #2 vertical or outside past 12-15 yards (this should start sounding familiar to BRONCO/SCIF technique). If there is no threat of 2 verticals to a side, it really becomes your standard fare Cover 3. If #2 crosses / goes inside, he communicates with an “Under” call (alerting the backers inside to cut the receiver) and turns his focus to rob #1 underneath (like standard Curl/Flat Cover 3, robbing inside and underneath #1).

NCAA Runner-Up Trophy

NCAA Runner-Up Trophy

How could I help opposing coaches in advance?  If I knew what plays Chip would call and WHEN he calls them—it would help any defense.  The problem is, when they see an Outside Zone Read formation—does that mean we are running that play or the Double Speed Option the other direction?  Or are we running a Play-Action Pass off that formation?  Knowing the playbook doesn’t help anyone; you have to know WHEN the plays are coming at you.  If I could tell you how Chip will react when he sees any particular defense, then THAT would be valuable to Defensive Coordinators around the league, but alas, I cannot.

I have withheld a ton of information about injuries and formations used in scrimmages as I do not report them until Chip unveils them in a game.  For the 2011 Spring Scrimmages-it was killing me to see the “ACE” formation being used which is a big addition to the offense, and yet I would not write about it until we saw it on ESPN in the 2011 Oregon Spring Game. For an Xs and Os guy like myself—it was tough sitting on that big Duck Egg for that long!  I only report on plays that everyone else sees on television or the internet.  We are not giving away new stuff here!

Charles Fischer  (FishDuck)

Top Photo from Bob Wilson

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

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