The FishDuck Minute #8: Oregon’s Pulling Center Changes the Spread Offense

A big part of offensive success this year was Hroniss Grasu, #55 pulling and leading the way on outside “Stretch” plays, as coaches will call it.  A center has to be extraordinarily FAST to snap the ball and beat the RB to the corner and lead him into the secondary.

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Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
Oregon Football Analyst for
Eugene, Oregon

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Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks for thirty years and has written reports on football boards for over a dozen years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, a daughter, Christine, and their dog (Abbie) reside in Eugene, Oregon, where he has been a financial advisor for 30 years serving clients in seven different states. He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More...

  • wouldn’t it just be considered pulling??? A stretch generally infers that it is a zone blocking scheme (to the outside) where as in the videos there are two linemen pulling. Or are you insinuating that because all but the two linemen pulling are zone blocking, it simulates a stretch play with merely two lead blockers in space? It just seems like this would be better classified as a Lombardi sweep than a stretch. seems more like a stretch play but once again, there are pulling linemen.

  • FishDuck

    Chris…it doesn’t matter what I call it–coaches disagree.  I’ve had three coaches call the same play three different things, and all their logic on it made sense.  There is quite an on-going debate as to what that play is called, which I will address in a future video.

    E-mail me and I can provide more info as you can.  Thanks.


  • sjb

    If this video doesn’t dispel the “stars” myth, I don’t know what would.  Hroniss was a consensus “three-star” guy who didn’t have a ton of attention during recruiting.  Turns out he’s smart, fast, really good at what he does, and fits perfectly in Chip’s scheme. In the future I am going to try my hardest to ignore the recruiting hype and hysteria and adopt the mantra — “In Chip We Trust.” 

    • Charles

       Amen sjb.  The heck of it is…I of all people was worried at first at our recruitment of Grasu.  Why?  He was reported at only 250 lbs when we first recruited him…and stayed between that and 260 lbs for a long time.  Then he comes in, works hard and now is 290 lbs…and fast.

      I’m learning that the difference often times in recruits between a three star and and a four star is–the four star already is 290-300 lbs and ready to go NOW.  A three star needs a year or so, but they perform as four star later in our system.

  • joe in sacto

    awesome minute as usual.  thank you.

  • Fish, only thing I would add is you say “we haven’t had that around here for years..”  Well, we haven’t had that around here since 2008, Max Unger’s last year.  Max was awesome at doing just what Grasu does.

    Go Ducks!

    •  Unger was certainly special, starting as a freshman and playing every single position on the offensive line before settling eventually at center. One of the most mobile offensive linemen I’ve witnessed, he could do it all.

  • Charles

    Yes, Greg it has been four years since Unger, hence my reference.  Now the question is…can Grasu do some of things that Unger did by his senior year?  I have a clip of Unger in 2008 against Stanford, where he doesn’t just blow the LB up, but FLIPS him head over heel! 

    One of the greatest pull-blocks ever, although Hroniss gave us some great highlights this year.