After Saturday’s practice, Oregon running back Byron Marshall talked about running backs coach and mentor Gary Campbell, the high expectations of Ducks fans, his team’s visit to Sacred Heart Medical Center on Thursday and his thoughts on suspended Ducks tight end Pharaoh Brown.
What has running backs coach Gary Campbell meant to you?
“Coach Cam’s a great guy, not even just as a coach but a great man, in general,” Marshall said. “I’ve got so much respect for him. Just all the stuff he had going on earlier in the year at fall camp (dealing with his son’s death). … He really just doesn’t take life for granted. He’s been here for so long and still just tries to do something to make the program the best. Every day, he’s has a different coaching technique or a different point to make or a different conversation, just to see how everybody’s doing. He’s hands down one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met.”
What’s Campbell’s style like?
“Smooth,” Marshall said. “Coach Cam’s an OG, for real. That’s the best way to explain it. He’s just smooth and handles everything. He’s always calm, for the most part.”
Many Ducks fans look at this 10-2 season as a disappointment. Do you think expectations are too high for you and your teammates?
“You have to strive for perfection in the NCAA if you want to win a national championship,” Marshall said. “You have to be. That’s the only way. I mean, 10 wins by any means is not a bad season at all but we needed those extra two wins just to get to where we wanted to go.”
On the team’s trip to Sacred Heart
“That was great,” Marshall said. “I’m not too good with hospitals, really. They just give me a weird feeling. But sometimes you’ve just got to put that aside. Those kids in there, they seemed to love it. We gave them some gifts and everything like that. It feels really good to give back. We saw a man, who didn’t have much longer to live, with cancer. They said this was the first time he’d smiled in a couple of days, so it kind of makes you feel good that someone cares about the team that much to where you show up and it can kind of lift their spirits.”
How the visit was set up
“It was organized,” Marshall said. “They sent out a text a text saying we could all go out to the hospital and give back. We were like, ‘Yeah, we’ll do that in a second.’”
How do you think Pharaoh Brown feels now after the snowball fight drama and subsequent suspension?
“I know how he probably feels but you’d probably have to get him to give you that exact answer,” Marshall said.
On negative comments online to the football players’ role in the snow controversy
“We’re all getting some negative stuff, you’ve just … all that stuff does not matter,” Marshall said. “These people don’t know you, what kind of person you are. They don’t know your background, where you come from, how you are. They see one thing and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s how he is.’ If that’s how they want to be, then so be it. It’s irrelevant, really. They just don’t know you at all. They can have their opinions like that and just (reply), ‘Alright, I hear you,’ and just brush it off. In one ear, out the other.”
Impact Brown’s suspension will have on the field
“It’s gonna hurt,” Marshall said. “Pharaoh’s a huge part of our team. A great blocker, a good receiver out there. That’s definitely going to hurt, we’re going to miss him, but I think Johnny Mundt and Evan Baylis will be able to step up and play well.”
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