If there was ever a year in which the Oregon Ducks would not play up to snuff, 2020 is that year.
This year brings about plenty of baked-in excuses as to why a team like Oregon might not play up to its lofty expectations. Lack of a full off-season, several key starters sitting out, and a shortened season that just doesn’t quite feel as if it matters as much. The list goes on.
A non-Duck friend of mine mentioned that perhaps the Ducks were “rebuilding.” Which for an outsider makes for fairly logical reasoning. But, given the way the Ducks have recruited the past three years, rebuilding should be a thing of the past. The Ducks are now a “reloading” program, not a “rebuilder.”
Although our reloading talent is young (the oldest of which are now sophomores), one might conclude that the raw talent alone should have the Ducks playing much better, particularly on defense. But, painfully, that’s not the case. The defense just seems a step slow on most plays. An old high school coach of mine once said, “You can’t think, you have to react. If you’re out on the field thinking, you’re going to get beat.”
The 2020 Ducks seem to be thinking a heck of a lot more than reacting.
It’s because of this that I consider 2020 to be a “practice season.” It’s not a rebuilding year because the Ducks aren’t rebuilding, they’re underachieving. The Ducks need this year’s reps and experience so that they’ll be a lot better in 2021. So far, the Ducks have played all fairly mediocre teams. Could you imagine if they had played Ohio State this year? It would have been ugly.
So, c’mon Ducks, please improve so that next year in Columbus, it won’t be ugly.
What do you think? Is that a fair sentiment to hold over this youthful team? How accountable should the defense be of the Ducks’ lackluster 2020?
Top photo credit: Tom Corno
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