John Baker

Helfrich Lauds Progress Of Ducks WRs

Created on Apr. 13, 2013 10:34 PM EST

While the engine that fuels the Oregon offense may be the ground game, the guys who play outside are capable of making teams pay — and pay dearly — when a defense's attention wanders to the Ducks running game.

Two weeks into spring practice, coach Mark Helfrich said Thursday he's happy with the way the receiving corps is progressing. He noted that a large core of the returning receivers saw playing time last year and pointed to two guys that have impressed so far, Bralon Addision and Josh Huff.

"We've got a good competition going on there," said Helfrich on Thursday. "Bralon Addison has been excellent this spring and Josh Huff has continued to play really well."

Quarterback Marcus Mariota said that the Ducks receiving corps is getting contributions this spring from B.J. Kelly.

Helfrich agreed, saying Kelly has come a long way this spring, noting that his young receiver always seems to find away. A year ago he'd make mistakes and find a way to score. This spring, he's doing things right and making big plays. That, said Helfrich, is a big step in the right direction.

As for the rest of the receiving corps, Helfrich said there's a bunch of guys "scratching and clawing. It's a good situation right now."

The guy throwing to Oregon's receivers said he's continuing to work on things. Thursday was about improving footwork and working on things the film is showing, particularly in the recent scrimmage. 

He's also working on continuing to be a vocal leader, something he admits isn't particularly in his normal wheel house. But it's something he says he needs to work on.

Helfich said the change is coming, but it will take time. "He's not going to become a motivational speaker overnight, but that's okay," said the coach. "His voice is so valuable. We'll just continue to develop that part of him."

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