Observing Oregon’s inaugural spring football practice, defensive coordinator Dan Lanning remarked on the new-look Ducks squad.
“It was impressive,” Lanning said. “I thought the energy and the enthusiasm that our guys brought to the field was really special.”
The Oregon Ducks opened spring practice on Monday, with first-year head coach Mario Cristobal leading the charge. Lanning, who joined the Ducks in December, served as the defensive coordinator for the Georgia Bulldogs last season.
The Ducks have added several new coaches, including six on the defensive side of the ball. Lanning has already begun to implement his defensive schemes and strategies.
“We’re trying to create a physical, aggressive style of defense,” Lanning said. “We want to be a hard-nosed, physical defense, but at the same time we want to be able to utilize our speed and athleticism to make plays. We want to be able to play fast and be disruptive.”
Lanning’s arrival has also brought a renewed focus on fundamentals. The Ducks are focused on mastering the details and playing with proper technique.
“The biggest thing we’re looking for is guys who have a good understanding of the fundamentals,” Lanning said. “We want to make sure that our guys are playing with proper technique and that they’re playing the game the right way. We want to make sure that we’re playing with an attitude and enthusiasm that makes us successful on the field.”
The Ducks are also looking to build depth on the defensive side of the ball. Lanning is confident in the talent and potential of the current crop of players, and has high expectations for the defense.
“We have a lot of talented players on our defense,” Lanning said. “We want to create a culture of competition and accountability. We want to be a defense that plays with intensity and passion, and never gives up.”
As the Ducks continue to install their new defensive system, Lanning has already seen the team making strides.
“I was very pleased with the way the guys responded to our coaching,” Lanning said. “We have a long way to go, but I think our guys are starting to learn and understand the new system.”
The Ducks will continue to practice throughout the spring, with Lanning and the rest of the coaching staff looking to build a culture of success and develop the young talent on the team.