Tight End: Oregon’s New Elite Position

Ryan Robertson Editorials 13 Comments

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Oregon Head Coach Mario Cristobal was an offensive lineman. He loves to recruit and coach the big guys in the middle, often giving the Ducks one of the better units in the country. He is improving at recruiting pass-catchers, and what would an offensive line coach love more than pass-catchers who can block?

The tight end room at Oregon might be the most talented in the country. From Spencer Webb, who recently tweeted that he loves blocking more than catching at this point, to Moliki Matavao and Terrance Ferguson, two four-star, true freshman tight ends, all the way to Cam McCormick, who has yet to make an impact in college due to injury but constantly comes in to the season as the starter: it is clear the room is great. Add to that equation Patrick Herbert, who reportedly has tremendous chemistry with expected starting QB Anthony Brown, and the room suddenly looks elite.

In a year where Oregon will be searching for an identity on offense, having such an elite position group should go a long way to proving who the Ducks are. How are you feeling about Tight Ends at Oregon?

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
Top Photo By: Pac-12 Video

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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Oregon Baseball Ranked No. 10!

D1 Baseball has the Ducks in the Top-Ten again, and the Ducks are the highest ranked Pac-12 team. (although Oregon is No. 2 in the official Pac-12 standings) It is going to be tough, but Oregon does have a chance to win the conference title.

Gotta have a sweep at Utah later this week!

(Robert Ahlstrom was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season, tied for the most for any Duck hurler in history.)

Santa Rosa Duck

Thanks Ryan. I don’t remember seeing DJ Johnson in the Spring Game. Perhaps he was hurt but he can be a force as well.

UtahDuck

Johnson is injured. I haven’t seen any time lines on his return.

Haywarduck

My question is why do we have 6 guys on scholarship for one position? This question is based on the little use our TE’s get. If you compare the NFL stats on use, compared to Oregon we have way too many TE’s. We also have two walk-ons who have talent.

Maybe if we utilize the TE more the numbers can be justified. Right now it makes no sense to put that many scholarships towards a position used so infrequently.

This has been a beef of mine for a while. We send TE’s to the NFL and they start catching passes. Dontae Rosario is a perfect example. He caught 15 passes as a TE, but every catch was impactful. He then went on to catch more balls in the NFL.

Maybe we have these guys to play special teams, but it makes no sense to have this many guys at TE.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

My guess is what is being projected in the new offense, hence the TE numbers are needed. Besides, we had a boatload of TEs last year and we still were short due to injury.

Jon Sousa

It’s 6 guys for 2 positions. There was a lot of 12 personnel in the spring game. Also, it is a position that has been totally plagued with injuries in the past.

Take a look at 2019 when McCormick was pegged as the starting star. He never saw the field. Breeland stepped up and was named an all-American for the first half of the season. But that was all he played because in game 6 he had a season ending injury. It was tough sledding after that for the TE room.

I don’t even want to think about the horror that happened to Pharaoh Brown.

We now have a lot of 4* in the room, but that doesn’t mean they will all be NFL TEs.

Haywarduck

And our number 1 TE was a DE. While I agree the elite NFL TE is an elusive creature, there are plenty of college TE’s. We have too many and could use more DT’s. One of the walk-ons looks like a very good TE, by the way.

Our DT’s look like children next to our OL. We have one guy who is over 300 lbs and he is 6′ 6″ way too tall for a DT. Well maybe he can turn into a Buckner, but I doubt it. When we have elite talent competing for starting time at DT I’ll stop criticizing the focus on TE accumulation.

Jon Sousa

Totally agree about the DLine. We need more DLine. It’s pretty obvious that the coaches know it too. I don’t think it is for lack of trying. I can see them really putting an emphasis on it this year.

Logger29

Hayward, agree on the DT or DL in general. Ducks are lacking in this position. Maybe players will emerge or a defensive scheme will compensate but all last season and into the spring game there was no line push, no disruptive penetration. More than any other single factor I am of the opinion it is subpar D line play which will cost the Ducks the big prize.

smith72

Good discussion started Ryan!

My question: who on the current roster has the speed to get open, the strength and toughness to block the edge, and good hands to catch the ball.

In other words who is similar to Travis Kelce KC and George@ Kittle SF? I really don’t know much about Oregon TE’s.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Well, Spencer Webb, and Terrance Ferguson sure looked good, and have the potential being All Pac-12….IMHO.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

The position of Tight End was one of my concerns going into the Spring Game, but it was one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the game. Coach Aliotti noted on the broadcast how having TEs and H-Backs, (so many of them) can create formations and matchups that boost the offense.

Having five TEs is going to open the playbook for Coach Moorhead, and I congratulate Coach Cristobal for such great recruiting!

FishIceCream

I like that point from Coach Aliotti. I feel like with the game as it is now, the prototypical tight end is sort of a hybrid between H-Back and tight ends when I grew up.

Someone tall, able to block, but also able to go out and run routes like what I’d call a possession receiver. I look at the Gronk as an obviously great example of that at the next level.

I’d never say you could have too many of those guys, especially around the goal line, but it would be up to the coaching staff to call plays that take advantage of the mismatches they can create.