Do Oregon Fans ‘GET’ How Special the 2023 Team Is?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

A high percentage of Oregon fans and media sources outside the state do not truly understand how special and unique this 2023 team is in terms of experience. Nothing beats playing time and experience, as that can often be the difference at key moments in games. The savvy players make smart plays, while the newbies still have to learn the hard way, much to the chagrin of the coach. I know that many of you are aware of this top-heavy-of-experience group in 2023, but even I was surprised when I looked into it further.

It takes veterans on a team to make it special as the AT&T Customer Service team was for me over the years, for both my needs as a businessman, and on my personal accounts. Developing a team of so many experienced veterans is hard, and rare to achieve. In short, I expect that nearly an entire starting team from both offense and defense will be leaving after the 2023 season. This group of 21 players are the core of Oregon’s success thus far, and will be making big plays down the stretch of what could be a very special season for Our Beloved Ducks. Let’s take a closer look at them…

These are the major players propelling the 2023 season. (Screenshot by Charles Fischer)

When you look at all the players above and begin to recall all the plays they have made over the last two years–it is astounding to think of their impact on the program. In my view, the 2024 season will not be a “reload,” but truly a “rebuild,” because of all the players that will be departing Eugene. Forget about next year, as you rarely have so much experience stacked into one season as we do this year.

Look at the list above and consider how many games were needed to acquire the football wisdom, the refinement of technique, and the appreciation of the opportunity. Note also how many are blossoming under the Dan Lanning coaching staff, and thus are a shot for the NFL draft, when such a thought would have been unlikely going into this season.

Tremendous pursuit by experienced players such as No. 0 Tysheem Johnson. (Photo by Nancy Paiva)

When I ponder about the vast experience of a Taki Taimani, or a Steven Jones, or a Bo Nix? You just don’t easily plug a new player in and say, “we’ll be just as good,” because it will not be the same. For many on that list above, this is their last shot at the college experience, and the chance to make an impression for the NFL Draft, hence a heightened sense of making the most of this 2023 season. They are giving it their all.

And because Coach Lanning has built so much depth, it allows these seasoned players to show their skills, and not get worn down through the grind of the season. This kind of confidence built by tons of game-time plays, is simply not going to be replaced going into the 2024 season. Clearly the future is now…

My point to all this is not to declare the 2024 season a disaster in advance, because with the way Coach Lanning recruits the portal, and with the talent in the lower classmen–I feel the Ducks can be competitive in 2024, and especially in the years after that season. But you simply do not have this many experienced players stacked into one year as we do for 2023. Thus my advice to all my Duck-Buddies is to savor this year, and appreciate it for the special moment that it is.

Do you think most Oregon fans “get-it?” Share your thoughts on the only free Oregon forum-with-decorum because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Nancy Paiva

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

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