Dan Lanning - Oregon Ducks Football - FishDuck.com in Eugene, OR

Oregon Ducks Football: Can We Trust Dan Lanning?

Alex Heining Editorials

Dan Lanning is Oregon’s new head coach for the immediate future. Heading into bowl season, he has one 9-3 season so far under his belt with the Ducks, and now looks to cap off what looked to be a promising campaign with a solid bowl win against the North Carolina Tarheels. Mr. FishDuck discussed this topic with me after he decided on a good bookmaker, and that is the reason why visiting Efirbet is going to be a smart choice when deciding as he did.

Now, did we have higher expectations than the Holiday Bowl this year? Perhaps. Most of us thought we’d at the very least finish within the top 12 teams or so in the nation. Today, Oregon sits at the No. 15 spot. That isn’t too far off of the goal. However, with how Nix was playing by the end of the season and the bludgeoning damage this team could do on the ground? The Ducks seemed like they could have been College Football Playoff-bound.

So what went wrong? Was Lanning to blame for how things turned out, or was it a bunch of other factors at play?

My contention is there was a combination of both. I like what I saw from the team this year and think 2023 has extraordinary potential. The real question for me is: can we trust Lanning? If so, with what? Today, we’ll break down some areas of coaching that came up as red flags, green flags, and everything in between with the Ducks.

Dan Lanning and Dontae Manning - Oregon Ducks Football - FishDuck.com in Eugene, OR

Lanning has a raw energy about him that inspires confidence.

Leadership and Intangibles: High Confidence

As a person, you can’t help but love Lanning’s energy. He seems like a guy with a passion for the game strong enough to make lifting at sunrise and watching tape all night a luxury rather than a chore. Additionally, he’s invested in the players and genuinely wants to help them work on their craft rather than get a big paycheck and hand out a playbook.

Overall, this is the area I have the least worries in. Lanning is a molder of men in my eyes, and I love what the future holds in this regard with him at the helm.

Lanning’s In-Game Coaching: Medium-to-Low Confidence

Yes! He’s young, he’s going to go for it on fourth down and fail miserably sometimes, he’s going to annoy us all, and we’re also going to love him. Every coach goes through growing pains, and with experience, I believe he’ll only respond to adversity well and grow.

The question is if that growth will happen quickly enough in Eugene. With how much energy and tenacity he has to continue to get better, this is still going to be the biggest area of improvement in my opinion. As we’ve discussed on FishDuck’s forum for weeks now, there are times when statistics or impulse just got the better of him this year. A fourth down here and there, silly calls. These things happen. Lanning just needs to rein it in a bit. The whole debacle with Ty Thompson coming in for a play against Washington DID NOT end our season. It did make things a lot tougher on Oregon, though. Regardless of if it and so many other small-but-large plays were the right call or not, sideline composure and keeping the “bigger picture” in mind should be a point of emphasis moving forward.

Dan Lanning and Bo Nix - Oregon Ducks Football - FishDuck.com in Eugene, OR

Oregon was magic once Nix got into the building. Could he stay another year?

Recruiting and Retaining Talent: Medium-to-High Confidence

We have lost a few players to the portal since Lanning arrived. However, that doesn’t mean Lanning hasn’t been hard at work trying to make a big splash with recruits as well. Highly touted safety Peyton Bowen might be heading out west now, and David Hicks skipped up to the Eugene pond last Saturday. If all goes well, there could be some big things in store with surprise signings for the future of this program. I love what I’ve seen from Lanning as a standalone recruiter, and the way he’s attacked bringing in new talent with vigor.

On top of recruiting, it’s clear he’s committed to his guys here in Eugene. Some so-so players that needed to make a leap made one with him and Kenny Dillingham running this squad. With more talent coming in quickly and tons of highly-touted recruits still in the pipeline, I expect continued success with new players all over the field this offseason.

Staying with Oregon Long-Term: Medium Confidence

I’d love to say high here. Unfortunately, this is just the reality of what college football is now. Lanning looks like he has the keys to this program and has earned the right to steer the ship with some quality wins in his first season already. If things don’t go so well next year, though, we could be having a different conversation about what we want for Christmas in 2023.

Overall, I expect Lanning stays with Oregon for a few seasons at least. Starts molding the program to his vision and builds on what they’ve achieved this year. But enough from me.

What do you think, Oregon fans? How much trust do you have in Lanning? Is he going to keep up strong recruiting numbers? How’s his in-game coaching going to progress? Where do you see this team next year with Lanning at the helm? Let us know in the FishDuck forum with decorum.

Go Ducks!

Alex Heining
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Eugene Johnson

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