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…
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.
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)
Top Photo by Nancy Paiva
Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks, a season ticket holder at Autzen Stadium for 35 years and has written reports on football boards for over 23 years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, have a daughter Christine, reside in Eugene Oregon, where he was a Financial Advisor for 36 years and now focuses full-time on Charitable Planned Giving Workshops for churches and non-profit organizations.
He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More…
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.
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.
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!