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Week 1 Press Conference, and We Have A Depth Chart

Gary Andersen met the press for his weekly conference today.
Gary Andersen met the press for his weekly conference today.
Image by Andy Wooldridge

Monday's have been a media dark day during summer camp at Oregon St. but with the coming of the regular season, that changes, with the weekly conference required by the conference.

We learned that coach Gary Andersen is a "follow the guys out the tunnel" guy, not a lead them out guy (which might be a really good idea if someone in the front has a running chain saw).

We also learned that the starting quarterback has been decided, but you likely won't find out until the team takes the field Friday night against Weber St. Nor should you read too much into it, the coaching staff plans to play both freshman Seth Collins and red-shirt freshman Marcus McMaryion.

Andersen explained that the one that starts will be the one who they feel best runs the play they plan to run first against the Wildcats.

That would suggest its a game time decision; after all, we have no idea what the field position will be for that play.

But Andersen later admitted that offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin knows who will start, and that Andersen is sworn to secrecy. Not that this nugget is probably that useful to a Weber St. team coming in off 3 consecutive 2 win seasons in the Big Sky.

We also learned that Baldwin will call all the offensive plays, as Andersen proclaimed that if he has to call an offensive play, we are in big trouble.

There's probably nothing earthshaking in that, and really nothing that should surprise Beaver fans, though the old bugaboo of time out and clock management might still be an issue if the decisions are coming from upstairs. Time will tell.

Following the press conference, the game notes, including the depth chart, for the opener was also released, and it does have an "OR" on it at the quarterback position.

There are a number of other "OR"s, such as Storm Barrs-Woods or Chris Brown at tailback, Lavonte Barnett or Jalen Grimble at left defensive end, and Rommel Mageo or Manase Hungalu at the "Mike Linebacker" position. But its expected that both sides of the or were going to play extensively anyway. And depending on how the game goes, the minute distribution may or may not mean much.

It was interesting, in light of recent conversations about using a lot of nickel defenses, that the depth chart shows 12 starters, in a 3-4-5 grouping. But then the offense lists a dozen starters too. Maybe this is Andersen's plan to overcome some of the inexperience in key positions; use 12 players at once, and hope a CFL officiating crew is assigned, and won't notice.

In all seriousness, its more an indication that while someone won't start on each side of the ball from that chart, the multiple formations philosophy means at least that many players will be used with regularity.

The chart doesn't really have a lot of surprises, but it was interesting to see that Treston Decoud has in fact been named the starter at cornerback, with Dwayne Williams behind him.

Also of more than passing interest, junior Devin Chappell, a corner, has been named the starting "Nickelback", with Naji Patrick behind him. I wonder if Williams, a starter until suffering an injury in camp, will even see the field that much. Certainly something to watch.

Jordan Villamin, Victor Bolden, and Hunter Jarmon are listed as the 3 starting wideouts, and all as "Wide Receiver", with no commitment of anyone as the "slot", or any semblance of the X, Y, Z roles from the Mike Riley era.

Each has a backup, and it remains to be seen who will be the 4th WR in such sets; that may even depend on field position.

Rahmel Dockery is listed as the first punt returner and kickoff returner, though Bolden is the second name listed there, and Oregon St. will probably use split backs, rather than a primary and a blocker, as some teams do. We saw precious little special teams work in summer camp, but that was what was seen in the handful of such plays.

The o-line is the familiar front wall of Sean Harlow, Fred Lauina, Josh Mitchell, Isaac Seumalo, and Dustin Stanton, left to right.

Kammy Delp, injured last week in practice, is shown as Seumalo's backup, and is expected to be fully ready to go.

It also looks like freshman Paul Lucas won't red-shirt, as he's on the chart, 3 deep at WR, and the only 3rd stringer at any of the 3 WR spots (probably not an coincidence), but still on the roster. Watch to see if he's on the field early on special teams or not.

The Beavers will have a short week of preparation with the Friday game, and will spend Thursday night in a hotel, probably watching the Michigan-Utah game.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com