Oregon football practice report: Ducks kick off practice in San Antonio

Oregon sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) and running back Byron Marshall (9) wait for the next rep during warmups. The Oregon Ducks practice for the Alamo Bowl at Alamo Heights High School on Dec. 26, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Oregon sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) and running back Byron Marshall (9) wait for the next rep during warmups. The Oregon Ducks practice for the Alamo Bowl at Alamo Heights High School on Dec. 26, 2013. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)

Posted by Beth Maiman and Victor Flores on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 10:08 am.

With songs such as “All My Exes Live in Texas” blaring, there was a Texas flare at Oregon’s first practice Thursday in San Antonio.

Media got a glimpse of the Ducks practicing for 10 minutes at Alamo Heights High School.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has been facing a knee injury since before the Stanford game on Nov.7, didn’t wear a knee brace at practice.

In the 10 minutes media had access, the offense ran various drills, practicing fumble recoveries and ball security, before breaking out into a passing drill. The kicking unit worked out with strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe. Head coach Mark Helfrich was present on the offensive side of the field, giving directions to both the wide receivers and running backs.

The defense practiced on the south end of the field. At first, a group of defensive backs, linebackers and defensive linemen stood in four lines and practiced strip drills (one player held that ball and jogged forward while another player ran behind him to rip the ball out of his arm). Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti yelled throughout the drill, sometimes to encourage his players and reward them for their effort, other times to scold them for not performing how he wanted.

After the few minutes for the strip drill ended, Aliotti yelled, “Okay, we’re moving to individual drills!” He directed the cornerbacks to the west side of the field, the linebackers to the south and the linemen to the east. The cornerbacks worked on jamming receivers. One defensive back (usually in an orange jersey) played the role of a wide receiver, while another (such as starters Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell) lined up in coverage. The cornerbacks would jam the receivers about five yards into their routes, just like they would in a game.

Tight end Pharaoh Brown, who was suspended for the Alamo Bowl due to his actions in the snowball fight on campus, was at practice sporting an number 34 orange jersey as part of the scout team unit (note: there is number 34 listed on the active Texas roster).

Several players, including junior linebacker Derrick Malone, wore red non-contact jerseys over their regular green ones. Malone injured his knee against Oregon State on Nov. 29.

After practice, selected Oregon team members will go over to visit the Center for the Intrepid.

Follow Beth Maiman on Twitter @bethamaiman
Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415

 



  • THE COMMISH

    thanks for the report, go ducks