With the challenge of replacing of dynamic offensive starters such as Marcus Mariota, Hronis Grassu, and Jake Fisher, offensive coordinator Scott Frost has plenty on his mind going into spring practice. Our reporters met up with Frost at Oregon’s spring practice to pick the former national championship quarterback’s brain.
Naturally, the quarterback battle was brought up. “It’s a new day for Oregon football. There is a little bit of a learning process for the younger guys. I think all of them have done some really great things.”
Frost addressed his relationship with junior Jeff Lockie:
“Really comfortable with Jeff, I trust him. I know he is always going to know what to do. Usually when he is in, we’re in cleanup mode, so he hasn’t had a chance to run our offense that much. He usually treats his reps like practice reps, and those are different than game reps. We want him to treat them like game reps. Go full speed, take off with the ball, be dynamic.”
When asked about Georgia Tech transfer Ty Griffin‘s transition from a triple-option to a zone read offense, Frost displayed some reserved optimism in his voice. “Ty Griffin is a great athlete, he was really raw when he got here, and he’s getting better every day.” Frost also commented on Travis Jonsen‘s process of adapting to the offense. “Travis did a great job of coming in here and already having an idea of what he was doing, through hard work that he did before coming to campus.”
Needless to say, the starting quarterback battle at Autzen Stadium is quickly turning into a Battle Royale. For those wondering why there is no mention of Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams, Jr, it is because Adams is not allowed to practice with either the Ducks, or EWU. Check out this this article by USA Today that explains the whole situation.
The other elephant in the room for the Ducks offense was fixing the offensive line. Oregon lost three starters on the left side of the line this offseason (Andre Yruretagoyena, Jake Fisher, Hroniss Grasu). Frost, however, is not worried about the future of the Ducks O-line. “It’s going to be great having Tyler Johnstone back, because that’s where he lived before he got hurt a couple years ago.
We’re going to need (Matt) Pierson, as well as a couple of others, to play more than one spot. It is going to be a little bit of a shuffle for awhile, until we figure out who is going to manage a spot. The more roles guys can play, the better chance they have of being on the field more.”
Frost seems more than confidant that he can uphold Oregon’s ”next man up” mentality, even before the Spring game.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline