In an interview for FishDuck.com on Wednesday, I spoke with Oregon’s offensive coordinator Scott Frost at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene.
With three weeks of spring practices under their belt, the Ducks have seen vast improvements from their young quarterbacks. Frost mentioned that the team is competing at a much more intense pace and he also believes that the rust is starting to fade away.
“This is the time of year when guys start losing the excitement for spring ball and they just feel like it’s a grind,” Frost said after practice on Wednesday. “I thought our guys came out and had really good energy today; it’s good to see.”
As Frost continues to work with the young nucleus that Oregon will have intact for next season, it wouldn’t be a normal day if the Ducks’ offensive coordinator wasn’t asked about Marcus Mariota. With the NFL draft looming right around the corner, Frost believes that most NFL executives have all the information they need about the Ducks’ former quarterback.
“I’m just excited for Marcus and can’t wait to see where he’s going to end up,” he said. “I just think it’s ridiculous for people to think that Marcus is too nice to play football. If that was the case, he wouldn’t have won so many games around here (Oregon). The kid can do anything you ask him on a football field.”
It’s no secret that the Ducks lost a plethora of key players after the season ended, and while there may be a temporary void in the leadership department, Oregon’s coaching staff believes that one of its returning players can step in and fill that void. Royce Freeman, who was responsible for 20 touchdowns while also being named a freshman All-American last year, has been more vocal in practice this spring. Frost believes that his running back is ready to take that next step.
“Early on last year I think Royce was still feeling his way. Later on in the year he really started to let it rip,” Frost said. “He’s playing faster right now than he did last year. I think’s he’s probably gotten a little faster, but he’s also playing faster because of confidence. He’s starting to be a real leader for us, too.”
The Ducks will return to the practice field on Friday.
Top Photo by Dave Peaks