Ducks Plant Roots With First Spring Practice

Ducks Plant Roots With First Spring Practice

EUGENE, Ore.-Oregon's new head coach led the team in his first practice under the new position Tuesday. Mark Helfrich and the Ducks completed the first of 15 spring practices and for Helfrich, the players weren't the only ones that required monitoring.

EUGENE, Ore.-Oregon's new head coach led the team in his first practice under the new position Tuesday. Mark Helfrich and the Ducks completed the first of 15 spring practices and for Helfrich, the players weren't the only ones that required monitoring.

"It was weird a points. I was making sure everyone is in the right place, me first," he said. "I was good being at the right spot. Position A was good."

During his introductory press conference in January, Helfrich was adamant that very few noticeable changes would be made under his leadership and that appeared to take shape Tuesday. Quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De'Anthony Thomas said they recognized no changes in the Ducks' first practice, including the tempo at which they participated at.

"We had pretty good tempo overall, had a little bit of sloppiness here and there… but our effort was really good," Helfrich said.

"We've changed a little bit how we've done some drills, which happens at every school in America. Nothing drastic at all."

Helfrich singled out tight ends, linebackers and both lines as positions that he and his staff will be focusing on most closely this spring, along with all young players who are in need of experience.

"That's the fun thing about this time of year, seeing Pharaoh Brown develop, seeing Terrence Daniel develop. DeForrest Buckner looks bigger. Arik Armstead looks bigger. That kind of development is the fun part," he said.

The staff will also take the spring as an opportunity to consider possible position changes, as in past years players like Kenjon Barner and Dion Jordan have been moved following the spring.

"Maybe you have two or three guys stockpiled at one position and you need to make a move," he said.

Helfrich gave one answer that might resemble his predecessor, when asked if he would throw the ball more this year, he said "I have no idea."

The Ducks will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday Saturday this week and Monday through Friday for the remainder of the spring, culminating with the Oregon Spring Game on April 27.

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