Fun and Games

Did Roderkus Wright catch a punt?

Football practice most often means work, sweat, hustle and sometimes it means unbearable pain. On Tuesday morning though practice was fun and lighthearted as the Ducks held a Football Olympics. The events for this less than serious break in the action was such competitive endeavors as an egg catch, a tug-of-war, offensive and defensive linemen catching punts and a football team's version of Sumo wrestling -- the ring-toss. Players like Roderkus Wright (97) are preparing for the first game.

Practice on Tuesday morning for the Ducks was actually a light workout followed by the fun and games. The Ducks are in their second week of practice and the pressure put on the team by the coaching staff has been stiff and constant. The routine breaker on Tuesday helps keep tempers cool and helps the players focus on their task at hand -- preparing for the season opener against Mississippi State on August 31, at Autzen Stadium.

Junior Siavii (94) tries unsuccessfully to catch a punt. That's O.K. big guy, Duck fans will be looking for you to plug up holes or stop opposing running backs at the line of scrimmage. At 6-4 320, the junior transfer from Butte College is an imposing figure. Imagine if he did catch a punt and rumbled downfield toward the goal line, and if you were the one trying to stop him?

Coach Mike Bellotti has indicated the Oregon defensive line may be the best that has been at Oregon since he took over in 1995. The Ducks only lost two players from last year's defensive line rotation due to graduation and one player, senior defensive end Quinn Dorsey in not playing this fall due to injuries.

Junior linebacker Kevin Mitchell (39) is known as a big hitter and has been mentioned several times this camp by Coach Bellotti for his play and leadership. Mitchell reportedly threw some eggs to his teammate and fellow linebacker senior David Morietti, who allegedly ended up with some broken eggs.

Mitchell was a third team All-American (Football News) last season and led the team in tackles in four of the last six games last season. His career high was against Oregon State when he recorded 17 tackles, including eight solo tackles.

The tug-of-war pitted the white (offense) against the green (defense.) So far during the camp, Coach Bellotti has indicated the defensive unit is a bit farther along in their progress, though Bellotti did allow for the size and speed of the defensive line as a factor in effecting the offense's play. In the tug-of-war on Tuesday though, the white prevailed.

The Ducks' win in the Fiesta Bowl last season was a culmination of great coaching, talent, execution and physical conditioning. Most of the team stayed in Eugene over the summer months to attend summer session and to participate in team-led conditioning. Success in November most often is a result of what happens in the weight room in May. All indications reveal the coaching staff is very pleased with the team's physical condition this August.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Justin Andrews (37) locks up with an unidentified offensive player in the ring-toss. No results of the match were uncovered by eDuck Sports, but we do have it on good authority that junior offensive lineman Adam Snyder (72 in the background) was one of the few lineman to actually catch a punt. Also in the background is sophomore tailback Kenny Washington (20) and sophomore offensive lineman Nick Steitz (74.)

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