Oregon’s Unexpected Achilles Heel for 2021

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 13 Comments

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This is a ponder-point that I’d love your feedback on, because it has so many dimensions to it and has such wide-reaching ramifications for the team. If you are starting an inexperienced corner … even a highly rated one, you are in trouble. And in the pass-happy Pac-12, that is especially true. No matter how good the rest of the defense is–if an opponent can pick up easy first downs on a newbie corner–you are toast.  Sure there are things you can do to offset the problem, but at crunch time–there is no avoiding it.

I am not advocating for the immediate return of DJ James to the line-up, because the facts (as we know them) look really serious. Your culture has to be the most important component of the team, even over players, and even if you have to lose a game or two because of it. Every team will pick on the new corner at Oregon, and they would be foolish not to. If our OC passed on that opportunity, you would see some Op-Eds from you-know-who about it!

The heck of it is–James was ready for the challenge, and a play in the Pac-12 Championship demonstrated it for me. USC QB Slovis was running around looking for an opening to throw for a touchdown and a Trojan receiver snagged the ball at the back of the end zone and was falling down. It sure looked like a touchdown to me, (that could have changed the game) but at the last millisecond…DJ James ripped the ball out and prevented the TD.

UO Athletics

DJ James breaks up another pass in the Pac-12 Championship.

He had been beaten, but used great technique and strength to save the day for Our Beloved Ducks. Plays like that bring confidence to a corner, a swagger that can help a newbie starter. But all for naught now…

This could be the factor that close games revolve around this fall. Thoughts?

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo from Oregon Football Twitter

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Isn’t Cliff Harris the one who let the team down with hi speeding tickets and got kicked off the team before our opening game against, I think it was LSU? And his replacement fumbled the opening kickoff.

These 2 young men acted more like thugs driving around shooting people. They need counseling to understand how they made such a poor decision and how reprehensible it was.

I’m 62 and a life long Ducks fan. But I cringe when I read that at some point they’ll be allowed back on the team. As much as I want to see my beloved Ducks win, I think these two went too far and we’d be doing them more harm in life to let them come back this year, if ever!

What will parents and recruits think? Just MHO. It will be interesting to see how MC handles this situation.

You bet Sandy. That dress makes you look a lot thinner. Get your act together young man. No taking plays off. Season is right around the corner. Fake a little Covid and enjoy some home days.


Jamal Hill also had a pretty good game in the Pac12 Championship. It’s really unfortunate that those two decided to display such poor judgement. Though I feel that the DB room is stacked, missing these two, with their experience, is a serious takeaway from that position group.

Let us trust in MC, and hope these young men learn from their mistake, so they may continue as Ducks the better for it.

J Duck

We have had corners so good that as Freshman they were impressive…Cliff Harris was highly regarded and came in and said first day in the locker room “I’m Cliff Harris and I’m here to lock S#!+ down” and he did. We have some highly regarded recruits right now at corner, Fr or better yet RFr. Your right Charles that is a position where the yougins’ can get burned…let’s cross our fingers

The pure fan wanting to see the best players start and who kind of wants this overlooked and argues; “Toy gun” “kids will be kids” and “teachable moment” “misdemeanors” is opposed by the long time gun owning hunter and law abiding citizen that says you don’t point a gun at something you don’t intend to destroy. At night? From a car? At strangers? STUPID Just plain DUMB.

I would never allow kids to shoot at one another with toys guns. Nerf, pellet, or other. It’s bad training.

Adults can choose to shoot at each other with various less than lethal rounds but shooting at strangers from a car at night is a far cry from voluntarily playing paintball.

It borders on terrorism as it certainly is terrorizing to have a realistic looking gun pointed at you from a car at night.

I’m not sure what the punishment should be but waiting to see what the DA has to say is step one. The legal process must be clear. Due process matters.

Personally I’d make each shooter do 50 hours of community service for EACH VICTIM, make them take a gun safety course, and apologize publicly to the team, the victims, and obviously deal with the outcome of the courts.

So long as any possibility of jail time might exist they can’t play or practice. If jail is off the table then punitive measures by MC should suffice.

Toy guns or not. The optics are really bad. MC is in a tight spot.

FYI. Announce yourselves loudly before coming up to my van down by the river or ya might end up floating down it and really not amount to Jack squat.


I tend to be an optimist in this situation. If the corner is a highly gifted athlete then I will expect him to rise to the occasion. We have seen this occur often against us.

I recall a freshman quarterback from Auburn who rose to the occasion to defeat our beloved Ducks. Oregon has had numerous youngsters do that for us – DeAnthony Thomas, Royce Freeman, Justin Herbert…

I’m confident our young players will have considerable impact this season!