Eugene, Ore. -- As the final days of the final week of fall camp tick away, the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers seem to feel pretty good about where they're headed. The Ducks wide receiver room continues to improve and benefit from the upperclassmen presence of players like Jalen Redd and Johnny Johnson. Meanwhile the Beavers defense, the lone question mark on this team this late in camp, is focusing on their fundamentals while their defensive line is ready to replace the lost production created by Isaac Hodgins' injury. You can find interviews with Oregon wide receiver coach Bryan McClendon and Oregon State defensive lineman Cody Anderson above.
The Ducks have a lot of young guns in the wide receiver room eager to prove themselves. But upperclassmen like Jaylon Redd are still the tone setters in Eugene. Redd retained an additional year of eligibility and even though he feels most comfortable playing in the slot he's willing to move anywhere. And his development in all areas has been helped along by his new receivers coach Bryan Mclendon and the connection those two have built.
"What's helpful for them all is just getting him a bunch of reps," said McLendon of Redd. "And so right now that's the process that he is and you see growth in him and every single reps that he takes. The more reps that he gets up to that point will be beneficial."
"He's the same person 100 percent of the time," Redd said of McLendon. "So whoever you're gonna get out there on the field is the same person you'll get in the meeting room or the same person that you're gonna get if you're walking by him. He brings this role as to where a player just feels more comfortable asking him questions and he gives you the answers and you're happy to listen. Giving you game."
After 18 days of fundamentals, schematics and running play after play the Beavers defense feels ready to attack week one of game prep. When reflecting on camp, Defensive Coordinator Tim Tibesar said he is pleased with the Beavers level of tackling. But he believes there is still some room for improvement on the defensive line.
"Obviously playing football on Saturdays is fun but if you really love the game, I mean you love the grind of camp and trying to get better every single day," said defensive lineman Cody Anderson, a Thurston grad. "I think that's one of the things when it comes to taking strides. Our whole team has embraced the grind. Knowing that it's going to be tough, but any thing that is easy isn't worth doing."