Before they even say anything, a point is made. The dramatic physical transformations of players like Thomas Tyner, Tyson Coleman and Arik Armstead show how serious the Ducks are and provides compelling evidence that the Ducks are going to slam the Judge Judy gavel of whoop ass on the PAC-12.
Some key players went to work in the off season. Tyner particularly impresses. He came in with 10.38 speed in the 100, and to that he’s added powerful shoulders, arms, and a neck like the trunk of a Douglas fir.
That, and his increased understanding of the playbook and improved intensity in practice, signal how serious he is about becoming a great running back.
Backfield mates Byron Marshall and Royce Freeman are pretty good too, all three with the ability to power through people when necessary.
As good as it has been, the Oregon offense could find a Mr. Fusion turbo overdrive this year, because they’ll have improved matchup options in key situations, particularly short yardage and in the red zone.
Tyner, Marshall and Freeman won’t be denied often. And Dwayne Stanford (6-5, 201, a former all-league basketball forward) and Darren Carrington (6-2, 191, a slick-shooting state champion point guard) have the hands and athletic ability for what Marcus Mariota calls “the jump balls.” Carrington’s twisting, diving catch in the end zone during the Spring Game was a great trailer for the blockbuster fall hit, “The Monster That Ate the PAC-12.” Stanford has good ball skills, and in the coming attractions category, Jalen Brown is as good with the ball in the air as any high school receiver you’ll ever see on video, tremendous body control. He’s another high school hoops star in Matt Lubick’s stable.
Oregon fans are also buzzing with courtroom bombshell humma hummas about the Ducks potential to blow by people on the deep ball this season. Line up four out of Tyner, Devon Allen, Carrington, B.J. Kelley, Tony James, Charles Nelson and Keanon Lowe to run four verticals, and watch safeties heads explode like martians listening to Slim Whitman.