Football Gossip from Coaches: Vernon Adams, Nelson and Freshmen

Featured of Adams

We love Oregon football gossip, as that is the basis of most message boards where fans share their opinions of current and incoming players for the Ducks. As FishDuck, I get the privilege to talk to small college and high school coaches around the nation on a regular basis. They might know a coach who attended a practice, or know another coach of a player at Oregon.  They might just be Oregon football junkies learning our offense, and by studying our games develop opinions about our players and team.

It IS just their opinions, but their views have been correct so much more often than we schmucks who are just fans and don’t teach the game to others as they do. These coaches range from New York to Texas, and from West Virginia to Hawaii, but they do wish to keep their identities quiet on this input. So — I offer this football gossip as if it was my opinion, and you can discuss or attack from there.

“Vernon Adams will have a better statistical year than Marcus Mariota last year. He will complete a higher percentage of passes with more yards per completion at Oregon than ever seen before.”

Whoa! Better than Marcus? He was patient with me as he offered his explanation as to why: “Marcus often threw the ball a little late to the receivers, and they had to wait a bit for the ball, and thus had a nice completion, but not as much YAC (Yards after completion) as if he had timed the pass better so that the WR did not have to pause.”

Vernon Adams

From Video

Vernon Adams

Vernon Adams is a more accurate passer who will hit wideouts in stride more often, which will produce more explosion plays, and YAC will go upwards impressively. Oregon’s play-action does create openings for receivers, and Adams can capitalize on that much more than what he had to work with at Eastern Washington.

“Think about the games against two Pac-12 opponents in Oregon State and Washington; he had no running game to balance the EWU offense, and everybody knew he was going to be throwing the ball just about every play. Yet he made plays and threw for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in those conditions?  This quarterback is a big-time player at any level.

“When Adams has the very real threat to an opposing defense of a running game with Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner to keep the defense in the box?” (The coach is shaking his head) “He has not experienced his top-end potential yet. Give him those weapons for balance in the offense, and no one knows how good he can become.”

What about running the zone read, coach? “He will do fine with it, but remember Vernon does not have the speed of Marcus Mariota, but he is more elusive than Mariota in the open field. He is very Russell Wilsonish…and it is almost spooky. They are both small, accurate playmakers who wear the number “3”and use good judgment to help their teams win.”

Charles Nelson

Kevin Cline

Charles Nelson

A coach offered his view of Charles Nelson going to cornerback as, “a bunch of young corners just got passed by Nelson. McGraw, Seisay, Oliver, and maybe even Springs just got passed by Charles as he looks natural at corner, as if he had played it every practice for years.” (A coach got to view them at a spring practice and this opinion was based upon just that one viewing.)

The coach continued, ”Watch his tackling form on special teams. You will see better technique than some acclaimed starters of last year.  He is a natural who will flourish and become one of the best corners ever at the University of Oregon.”

It is interesting listening to coaches talk about the correct positions for players and how their progress can surprise everyone. One coach felt that Henry Mondeaux came to Oregon as a tight end and linebacker/defensive end prospect, but has grown out of nearly all those positions. “Look for him to be playing some nose tackle as he is up to 290 pounds and has the quickness to be playing inside.” That made me pause thinking about that athleticism in the middle. Henry could make an impact if he can master the new position.

Rex Manu applying the pressure...

From Video

Rex Manu applying the pressure…

Speaking of nose tackle — the subject of incoming freshman Rex Manu came up with a contact in the islands and he told me that the short description of this young man was, “unblockable.”  ”You have to remember, Charles, that most of the linemen playing in Hawaii are Polys, (Hawaiian, Samoan,etc) and they are all big and talented. Yet among them he was unblockable.”

I pointed out that we have some nose tackles in upperclassmen, and I hope he is open to redshirting?

“You didn’t hear me, Charles….I said he was unblockable! He will be playing …”

Wow … was all that juicy enough for you? I do offer all the disclaimers as before and while it is just their opinions — I’ve learned that these wise educators of the game have insight that is usually more accurate than those on a typical message board (mine included). I hope you had fun and learned a few items as I did, and this new Gossip Column might be a new article on!

Top Photo from Oregonian Video

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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...

  • MuttvilleDuck

    This is going to be fun, Charles. Looking forward to next article. Go Ducks!

  • TBoneDuck

    What I don’t have to pay for gossip?!? What a concept

  • PeteBayArea

    Great read, Charles! Can’t wait for Sept!!

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    this is what i love to read. wild duck optimism.


    I said from watching VA play that he would actually be better than Marcus from the start and this offense will be better because I really don’t see Oregon having the same ridiculous amount of injuries to so many starters. Also Charles Nelson is clearly a Football player and I new he’d be good and seriously don’t understand how on earth Florida let him go. He clearly should of been a high 4 star maybe even a 5 star. Remember Spring’s at one time was a 5 star rated CB. Show’s you just how freaking good he can become. All in all people this is one of the most talented Oregon rosters to date and I hope they all play with attitude this year and I also predicted they would play again in the playoff and hopefully against OS. Would love to see Urban Meyer on the losing end to this Ducks team and then that 1st loss wouldn’t sting so badly.

    • disqus_Zh8hDRwXyI

      Dream on maiitai, the rumor Fish said was so outrageous he didn’t write it might just be…..Ducks are given the death penalty by NCAA for blatant and numerous violations of it’s rules….or not.

      • Nice try Bob. (Yeah…I know your name and IP address)

        The crazy comment was in reference to Vernon Adams–but we have enough written about him that is not believable to many.

        I will be doing an analysis of Mr. Adams for next week’s Tuesday article, and I cannot fully process all that I’ve seen thus far watching games of him.



        • disqus_Zh8hDRwXyI

          Hi FIsh,
          T minus 10 days or so, how you feeling about Mr. Adams at this time ?
          Best regards,
          B Chuey

      • titusduck

        disqus: Your name should be disqust_Zh8h…….. More appropriate!

        • disqus_Zh8hDRwXyI

          Ruffle your feathers titus ? All good in good fun jeffe.


    OH yeah thanks Charles always love your write ups ! Go Ducks.

  • DJ Quinn

    Great article, and yes please make this a regular column. Very interesting

  • Boggs

    I’ve been saying this about Vernon for a while now. Mariota is a great quarterback, but Vernon also throws a better timed and more accurate deep ball. We’re going to see the field stretched in ways it hasn’t been for a very long time.

  • You know…I thought this might be a good new article idea since very few people have the coaching network developed that I have, but this went over much better than I figured. And it is FUN!

    My friends….I did not publish the most outrageous quote as it is SO over-the-top that some heads would have exploded. But the reasoning of this coach was solid, so I am looking to do an article about it next week…when I get time this week to research and prepare it.

    Fun stuff, and a perfect time of year to ponder and fantasize about our beloved Ducks!

  • Ted

    Sorry… I take issue with the Vernon Adams observation. I watched about 1/2 dozen of his games over the last couple years on TV. Both vs 2 Pac 12 teams and vs. big sky and playoff teams.
    Adams many times threw the ball up for grabs often when scrambling around like a mad Fran Tarkington or Archie Manning. He also threw late passes, sometimes over the middle…(you rarely get away with that at the PAC 12 level). He is NOT “fast”, not even close to MM’s speed. But he IS very quick and elusive on the scramble. Adams DOES throw a much better deep ball than any QB We will have seen since Dan Fouts…he throws it when it should be thrown…not when he see’s the WR open.
    Vernon Adams might have a very good year…But he will NOT make anyone forget Marcus Mariota any time soon.

  • John John

    excellent gossip!