Defense Ahead Of Offense As Oregon St. Ends Week 3

DJ Alexander and Dylan Wynn shut down a run play at practice. The Oregon St. defense definitely got the better of the offense today. - (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Oregon St. wrapped up week 3 of their spring football practices today, and there was a "guest" in attendance, as Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, and father of transfer quarterback Luke Del Rio, joined the good sized contingent of other fans at the open practice.

The elder Del Rio should have been happy to see the newcomer continuing to show progress. Don't be surprised if he shows up as the #2 QB on the depth chart behind Sean Mannion coming out of spring ball, as a combination of name brand, politics, and perceived higher ceiling seem to have Del Rio gravitating to the spot over redshirt freshman Kyle Kempt.

At this point, it appears that defensive coordinator Mark Banker, and his assistants, defensive line coach Joe Seumalo, line backers coach Trent Bray, and defensive backs coach Rod Perry, are in a happier place than head coach Mike Riley, offensive coordinator John Garrett, offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh, and WR coach Brett Brennan are, in that the defense appears to be pulling ahead, at least as long as the offense can't get a WR isolated on a safety.

When that happens, at a minimum, the result is a field flipping play, with a good chance of making the next sport report highlight sequence.

But otherwise, there were a lot of balls thrown to the crowd, quarterbacks scrambling out of the pocket, and checkdowns in 11 on 11 and 7 on 7 drills.

Part of that could be relative health, as the defense is mostly healthy, with the continued absence of CB Larry Scott due to a hamstring strain about the only shakeup to the depth chart.

The offense on the other hand was missing TE Connor Hamlett again, and also RB Storm Woods and Grant Bays, who has made the bulk of the snaps at center this spring, with Isaac Seumalo out until summer camp with his ankle still in a boot.

JC transfer DT Bobby Keenan was in uniform, but working with the 2s today, with Dustin Stanton, formerly a TE, now sporting #74, and working at left tackle with the 1s.

The move is makes some sense, as Stanton was one of 6 "quality" tight ends on the roster, more than even Riley can employ. At the same time, at only about 260 lbs., Stanton is light for the position. And whether his working with the 1s means anything, next week will tell. Wednesday, the Beavers gave long snapper Andrew Maughan some reps at the position, so it could be just an exercise in searching for added depth.

The Beavers have 5 more practices, each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of April, followed by the Spring Showcase Pac-12 Network filler on Sat., May 3, at 1 PM.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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