Oregon ducks are adopting these approaches from alabama and the patriots chicken marinade for grilling

With chip kelly and mark helfrich, you could always tell that they were holding back — they weren’t telling you everything, instead choosing to give vague answers.

Willie taggart was a “rah-rah” guy, who generally spoke in broader terms when he spoke about the oregon program and expectations, and he did it in a charismatic way.

Cristobal is a straight-shooter who lives for the details.That becomes immediately apparent when he starts talking about the ducks, like he did tuesday on the eve of oregon’s spring practices.

Cristobal said the program, including the players, wants to “establish a culture of excellence,” and “develop an intolerance for anything or anyone that does not uphold the standards of our culture.Cristobal said it’s important to our guys to make being a duck a very important, a very difficult club to be a member of, because of the sacrifices we make and how hard we work.”


Cristobal knows what it takes to win a national championship — he won titles both as an assistant coach at alabama and as a player for miami.

Now in charge, cristobal is bringing in new strategies to help the ducks utilize the offseason workouts and practices to better their chances for success on the field.

The first step he did was bring in an entirely new strength and conditioning staff, led by coordinator aaron feld. The goal is to use an intense training program that not only increases strength and mobility, but does it in a position-specific way.Cristobal said the program is based on what alabama did while he was on nick saban’s staff.

“the oregon fourth quarter program, as we call it, has really taken off. It’s had a significant impact on the way our guys are developing,” cristobal said. “we do so much functional training, we do so much mobility work. Everything has a carry-over either to position-specific stuff, football movements, acceleration-deceleration work. You name it, we’re doing it.”

“we need to show consistency in performance. We were up and down, more specifically on the road,” cristobal said. “we have to be a better football team when the environment changes and everything isn’t perfect.”

He’s saying the right things.Willie taggart the challenge now for cristobal is to turn his popularity into victories on the field, and on tuesday he outlined his recipe for doing it.

In december, after willie taggart left for florida state, the oregon players rallied around cristobal. They used an organized and effective social media campaign, using the hashtag #cristoballin, to help get him hired as the full-time head coach.

That movement reminded me of the scene in the movie “rudy,” when rudy’s teammates go into coach dan devine’s office to give up their jerseys for rudy to play.

Oregon quarterback justin herbert (10) loses the football after being hit by boise state safety kekaula kaniho. (photo: stephen R. Sylvanie, stephen R.Boise state sylvanie-USA TODAY sports)

Then in the las vegas bowl against boise state, the ducks’ performance was a complete dud. The team looked lethargic, and if it wasn’t for two late first-half defensive touchdowns, oregon’s 38-28 loss would have been even worse.

It was a chaotic time for the program, no doubt. With taggart’s departure, cristobal’s hiring and the bowl game coming right before the early signing period, the preparation and focus were not there.

“I don’t think you blame it on a whirlwind. I think you assess it for how you played, how you prepared,” he said. “must do a better job, and you move forward. For us, it’s important to beat good football teams, whether we’re at home or away.”

cristobal said

In his three months on the job, cristobal has done many things the right way — he’s drawing on his championship experience to make changes to the program, and after going 11-14 the past two seasons, change is needed.

Cristobal also delivered the 16th-ranked recruiting class in the nation, which was impressive considering the program was coming off an abrupt coaching change.