In an interview for FishDuck.com on Wednesday, I spoke with Oregon’s offensive coordinator Scott Frost at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.
The Ducks initiated spring practices last week, and while they’ve only been back on the gridiron for a few days, coaches have seen quick and precise improvements amongst the players. Frost has enjoyed working with the new faces on the offensive line and he believes that the running backs have excelled in practice, as well; however, with the NFL Draft right around the corner, the Ducks’ offensive coordinator chimed in on some of the national misconceptions about Marcus Mariota.
“It’s going to take him (Mariota) a lot less time than people think it is to get ready for that level (NFL),” Frost said after practice on Wednesday. “Anytime anyone has seen the guy for so long, they start to nitpick at him. The kid is the smartest football player I have ever been around. Whoever gets him is going to be shocked at how fast he picks everything up.”
Frost also mentioned that Mariota’s athletic and throwing abilities will allow him to thrive under any NFL system. No one has ever really downplayed Mariota’s accomplishments at Oregon. The Ducks’ Heisman winner had a legendary run during his time in Eugene, but the biggest concern has been whether or not Mariota can succeed in a pro-style offense.
“All you’re really going to have to do is teach him whatever footwork you want and he’ll be able to do it,” Frost said. “That’s going to be easy for him.”
There’s no doubt that Mariota’s successor will have tough shoes to fill next season, and with various different quarterbacks fighting for the coveted position, Frost believes that Jeff Lockie, who many consider to be the front runner for the starting quarterback job next year, is ready and willing to learn.
“Jeff has looked as good at the quarterback position as I’ve seen him look since he’s been at Oregon,” Frost said. “He’s operating well; he’s throwing the ball well and he understands it. The young guys are playing catch-up trying to get up to that point.”
The Ducks will return to the practice field this Friday.
Top Photo by David Pyles