Dan Lanning assesses the growth of Oregon's inside linebackers through five games
With some injury concerns at inside linebacker over the last few weeks, Jeffrey Bassa has gotten a chance to be on the field in more of a featured role.
In their first two games, the Ducks’ linebacker played fewer than 60 combined defensive snaps. In Week 3, he saw that number bump closer to 40. In Week 4 against Washington State, Bassa led the defense in tackles and was on the field for nearly every defensive snap.
He’s getting better, and coach Dan Lanning explained why on Wednesday.
“He’s just becoming more and more familiar with his purpose and what we’re trying to get accomplished,” Lanning said. You know, there’s some rules and things that have to take place in this defense, and I think he’s becoming very comfortable with how to execute those rules within the defense.”
The 6-foot-2 sophomore is currently second on the team with 23 tackles.
In general, the Ducks have gotten more production from their inside ‘backers of late. Noah Sewell has come on strong in recent weeks as well.
“He’s making the plays that come his way,” Lanning said of Sewell on Monday. “You can’t force yourself to make plays and operate outside the system. Noah’s doing a good job of taking the plays that come his direction. I think he would tell you there are some things that he’s improved on. I think he’d also tell you there’s a lot of stuff he can continue to work at. He’s a good player, and when the ball comes his way and he’s in a situation where he can make a play, he’s going to.”
After missing the BYU and Stanford games, Justin Flowe could also be back in action this week as well.
“I think things are trending in the right direction for Justin,” said Lanning.