Erik Spoelstra attends Oregon Ducks Practice (Learning from the best)

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Erik Spoelstra attends Oregon Ducks Practice (Learning from the best)

Posted by Rob Moseley


The Ducks were back out on their grass practice field this afternoon for their third workout of fall camp.

Some general thoughts from Chip Kelly:

HEADLINES: LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, along with Brandon Hanna and Wade Keliikipi, were again late arrivals due to academic commitments. This is the final week of summer classes at the university, and both James and Barner are expected to be full participants in practice as of Thursday.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is spending the day with Kelly, and watched practice from the sideline. "We talked about the 1-2-2 trap," Kelly quipped. "We're going to implement it in third-down passing situations." Kelly indicated that Spoelstra, a Portland native initiated contact between the two, paving the way for today's meeting.

The Ducks continue to add elements of the offensive and defensive schemes as the week progresses, but have yet to get into real specific scenario work such as red zone or goal-line situations. The two-deep is relatively unchanged from the first day, with some shuffling here and there, particularly on the offensive line and at linebacker, where Derrick Malone got a few first-team reps, moving Michael Clay over to MIKE, and with Anthony Wallace getting some second-team reps.

(In most of those situations, a guy will get those reps for a series, or one of the 22 or so periods in practice. If it's more substantial, that will be made clear.)

Among the most versatile performers of the first week has been offensive lineman Ryan Clanton. He took at least a few reps with the first team at left tackle, left guard and right guard today, and figures to be a regular contributor even if he doesn't earn a starting nod, which remains a possibility. Also, Jake Fisher continues to get a few reps as a second-team left tackle here and there.

At least six Ducks were limited to non-contact status: Ricky Heimuli, Tra Carson, Carlyle Garrick, Avery Patterson, Curtis White and Christian French. I don't have any more details on them than that.

PLAYS OF THE DAY: With the team still only in helmets and jerseys, the only element that really merits much attention is the passing offense. Eric Dungy did a nice job of gaining separation on one deep ball, and Josh Huff made an athletic play to haul in another. Colt Lyerla continues to impress with his hands. Early in the day there was an interception by freshman defensive tackle Koa Ka'ai after Troy Hill tipped a Bryan Bennett pass into the air. Terrance Mitchell also had at least two interceptions during a 3-on-2 passing drill. For the most part, the more veteran backup receivers like Dungy and Nick Cole stood out more than the new recruits today.

UP NEXT: The Ducks will be back at it Thursday, for the first of two days in shells (shoulder pads, essentially) and will be in full pads Saturday, also the first double-day session.

Erik Spoelstra is originally from Portland, as his dad, John, worked for the Trail Blazers for years. Well, if there is one coach out there I would want to be taking tips from, it is Chip. This guy has gotten our team to perform at an incredible clip, he really knows how to get the most out of his players. If the Heat could acquire the right personnel at the 1 and 5 (or even the 3 and 5, if LeBron and Wade would be taking PG duties), than they could honestly be the most dangerous transition team the league has ever seen. Along with the defensive capabilities of their players, it could lead to them becoming an unstoppable combination. As much as people hated on Spoelstra, and he went through his growing pains, I like his calm demeanor and think that it could lead to success. Just because he is collected does not mean that he does not care. As I recall, Phil Jackson was one of the most calm coaches I have ever seen and he was pretty damn successful. Obviously, Spoelstra is no Phil, but I would still give him a chance with this team. We will see how he does in year 2, anything less than a title will probably mean the Heat look for a new coach.

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