EUGENE- Could the Ducks be even faster this year? Well, it appears they're preparing that way. According to tight end Colt Lyerla, the Ducks ran 10-percent more plays in fall camp than in 2012.
"Faster. Faster every day," Lyerla said.
The Ducks took a break from that Thursday, in what coach Helfrich calls the "no sweat" walk through day. So on a day when the Ducks aren't moving at warp speed, what are they doing?
"Just [focusing on] the mental standpoint of the game, making sure we are on the same page offensively…it's basically more of a mental day," said quarterback Marcus Mariota.
A lighter Lyerla has helped the pre-season Mackey watch list member excel this fall. Lyerla said Thursday that his weight ballooned to 275 pounds during the summer, but is now down to 255, leaving him to "feel a lot quicker".
Lyerla delivered a little good news and a little bad news as well Thursday, although neither piece of information is too dramatic.
The bad first. According to Lyerla, Pharaoh Brown is not still not practicing. I reported earlier in the week that he was still on crutches with a walking boot. Lyerla says he's "taking mental reps."
Lyerla, like everyone else I've spoken with, raved about the play of true frosh Johnny Mundt. Lyerla focused specifically on his ability to "pick up the offense," saying that he got the majority of it down before fall camp was over.
A rare nickname note. Helfrich says he refers to starting guard Mana Greig as the "sea turtle." Mariota, a former high school teammate, insinuated that it hasn't picked up quite as much with the players, however.