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Oregon St. Starts Spring Practice

Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley put his troops through their paces on the first day of spring football practice today.
Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley put his troops through their paces on the first day of spring football practice today.

Oregon St. has started spring football practice, and no, there's no word on whose' the early leader in the quarterback competition. Not that there would be any meaningful progress in today or tomorrow's sessions, which are no-pads, helmets only sessions, per NCAA rules.

In fact, head coach Mike Riley has put off daily questions about the process to choose either Sean Mannion of Cody Vaz as the starting quarterback by announcing that he won't make a decision this spring, and probably through most of fall camp, preferring to split reps between both. It's not unprecedented for Riley to defer such decisions, allowing events to make the decision for him, or at least to gather as much data as possible.

Barring a major injury, it won't be until we have seen several practices before we know if Mannion's knee is sound enough for him to stride into his throws, and confident in doing so, in order to regain the velocity necessary to not float the ball, inviting a convention of defenders to gather by the time the ball comes down. Or to see if Vaz's ankle is both strong and flexible enough for him to regain the mobility that made him effective initially, as opposed to the sitting target he became once it was sprained.

With players off limits for interviews so far, the biggest thing attracting attention on opening day was the hovering remote control helicopter carrying a camera to get a new view of the technique of the linemen. Who says Riley doesn't stay in touch with technology and other modern football techniques. (What's next? Spread formations?)

Here's Coach Riley's remarks to the media post-practice. There is some useful information on the growing role of graduate assistants, including Lyle Moevao, who has been able to share his experiences from a quarterback competition with Sean Canfield with Mannion and Vaz.

Practice continues from 11 AM to 1 PM Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays the next 3 weeks, before shifting to Monday and Wednesday before the Friday evening spring game April 26 at 7 PM. All sessions are open to the public.