Oregon St. football head coach Mike Riley is back at work after having some gall stones, and his gall bladder, removed over last weekend, and he's got a number of things shaking as the Beavers get ready for spring football as soon as they finish finals this week, and get back from spring break next week.
The biggest changes are the several moves on the offensive line, where only right guard Burk Ellis is where he was when the 2010 season ended.
Tackles Mike Remmers and Michael Philipp will switch sides, with Remmers, a senior with three years of starting experience, now on the left, and Philipp moving to the right.
"Remmers was moved because of his experience," Riley said. "He's our best pass blocker and we have a right-handed quarterback. We wanted to do this last year, but we figured they can get comfortable with the move during the spring."
The moves are designed to give quarterback Ryan Katz more security in the pocket. Katz will ease into spring practice as he recovers from the wrist fracture he suffered in the Civil War. Katz has a final doctor evaluation scheduled next week.
With the graduation of center Alex Linnenkohl, someone had to take over, and Josh Andrews, last year's backup and long snapper, was expected to be tabbed. However, Riley and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh have decided to move Grant Johnson over from left guard, with Andrews moving into that guard position.
"We'll know after that," Riley said. "I think he's making progress. My guess is he'll practice this spring. He might not be full speed right off the bat."
"Our philosophy on moving players is that we do it if it's best for them, and best for the team. It's usually done in a very positive manner (when not forced by emergency)," Riley added. "When the players see it like that, they usually buy in, and that's the case here. "I did not note anybody that was disappointed.''
Johnson originally came to Oregon St. from of Baker City as a center. But with Linnenkohl established at center, Johnson was moved to guard in order to get him in the starting lineup.
"We think Josh is going to be a heck of a player," Riley said. "We wanted to break him in where he didn't have to worry about his blocking assignment and snapping the ball. This move is a product of both Grant's experience and Josh's ability."
News From Receiving Corp
James Rodgers is recovering from his second knee surgery at his family's home near Houston, but is expected back after break.
"James is full speed ahead and wants to show everyone he can play again," Riley said.
Rodgers will also be counted on to provide guidance to the rest of the receiver group.
Rodgers also announced that there will be a #1 to watch on offense this season, as he is switching from jersey #8, which he has worn since arriving in Corvallis, to the number vacated when younger brother Jacquizz Rodgers left for the NFL draft.
"I told him if he wants to wear No. 1, let's let him do it," Riley said, "though it will be strange seeing him out there wearing No. 1."
The only major change in the receiving corps going forward is the graduation of Aaron Nichols, but one shuffle has been made to the areas of primary focus, as junior Geno Munoz will focus on slot back.
Starting slot back Jordan Bishop will miss the on-field work during spring while he rehabs after ankle surgery for an injury suffered in January playing basketball. Riley said Bishop could have waited to see how it healed, but the decision was made to fix it now.
"Hopefully, he'll be back to have a good summer workout," Riley said. "It was just one of those accidents."
One other significant injury involves defensive tackle Castro Masaniai, who will continue to rehab the shoulder he had surgery on after being injured in the California game. Riley indicated recovery has gone according to schedule, and after continuing rehab through the spring, Masaniai should be ready come the fall.
Backfield Depth Chart Moves
In addition to the need to find a replacement for ‘Quizz, some additional roster shuffling has happened.
Senior fullback Will Darkins has decided to not play football anymore, and concentrate on school. Darkins, a reserve linebacker his first two seasons, has been at fullback the last two. To compensate, redshirt freshman Tyler Anderson moves over from cornerback to fullback to fill out the depth chart. He's behind junior Clayton York, sophomore Dylan Parsons and redshirt freshman Westly Meng.
Riley also indicated that a new running backs coach could be hired by the end of the week.
With the several players sitting out contact in the spring, or working in a specialty role, here's the depth chart for day one, which will be March 28.