Those were the messages Oregon St. head coach Gary Andersen was delivering post practice today. With no opportunity to formally watch practice, and too much work to do to get systems working before the season starts to even effectively have time to spy, we have to rely mostly on post-practice comments until Saturday, when we get the next extended chance to do what the coaches are doing daily; evaluate everyone and everything about the program.
Today's Andersen observations started with the fact that the rest of the running backs beyond Storm Barrs-Woods are getting a lot of the work. We discussed the job running backs coach Telly Lockette has been doing to balance the work yesterday, and Andersen amplified on that, noting "We are not going to run Storm Woods to death in camp."
Andersen even alluded to Victor Bolden getting rushes, and not just in fly sweeps, though that may have been mostly to make the point, rather than to divulge a game plan component.
On the injury front, while nothing was said about Tim Cook's season ending injury, the fact that he's walking around with an arm in a sling tells us its a shoulder area issue.
Of more immediate concern, WR Jordan Villamin did not practice today, but no indication was given that its a long-term deal.
Isaac Seumalo continues to do selected work, but Kammy Delp is at right guard for most of the 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 drills. Gavin Andrews' status is uncertain.
Chris Brown is still being limited, and that's contributed to Andersen's observation about Bolden at RB; the position is thin, at least from a practice stanpoint, if not necessarily on game days.
Oregon St. will practice in full pads tomorrow, but were sans the hip and leg pads today, though Andersen said that doesn't really make much difference to what they are doing in practice.
Andersen also spoke to questions about JC transfer CB Treston Decoud, easily the newcomer on the defensive side of the ball most of the media is most interested in, noting that Decoud has progressed from being largely a spectator last Saturday to competing with Dwayne Williams for the second corner job. Again, we should learn more Saturday, but the important thing I think for both Beaver players and Beaver fans to take away from Andersen's comment is that he means it when he says "We have to be 2 deep at every position."
Obviously, in the event anything happens to anyone, there can't (and with a 105 player roster, there shouldn't) be a big dropoff. But there's a ring of credibility to what Andersen says in terms of his commitment to both run an up-tempo system, and also take on the up-tempo systems that abound in the Pac-12.
That of course is the popular approach everyone is trying to do, but we have seen this approach get USC in trouble due to a lack of depth caused by NCAA sanctions, Washington in trouble due to a lack of quality depth, and California in trouble due to a lack of quality starters, especially defensively.
And with one of the least experienced squads in Oregon St. or Pac-12 history, it could get Andersen and the Beavers in trouble too. Except its evident Andersen intends to at least try to find enough players to do it anyway, and as a side affect, make sure that there's no division on the team, because a lot of people are going to not only get a chance to contribute, they are going to get a chance to share in the responsibility for what happens this season, whether good or bad.
If Andersen accomplishes nothing else this season, I suspect he will draw things out of a number of his players they didn't even realize they had in themselves.