Dan Lanning: Oregon still looking for 'willing tacklers' on defense
Dan Lanning has Oregon off to a 2-0 start after avoiding a road upset against Texas Tech in Week 2. While the outlook for the Ducks is positive, Lanning knows the team must improve on defense, particularly in tackling.
During his Wednesday press conference, Lanning admitted the tackling has been “hot-and-cold” to start the season. Oregon continues to drill it a lot ahead of Week 3, but Lanning said the team is also trying to find those players who want to be willing tacklers.
“Hot-and-cold. Really good Week 1, not as good Week 2, so we’re drilling it a lot in practice, want to make sure those show up,” said Lanning. “It’s also about finding the right tacklers to put them in position to make tackles. The guys that are going to be willing tacklers.”
Asked if Oregon has a better idea of what players will fill that distinction, Lanning says Oregon is “still finding it. It’s still too early to say.”
Oregon was opportunistic on defense against Texas Tech, recording 3 interceptions and 4 total takeaways. However, the unit allowed 456 yards of total offense and a 7-for-12 conversion rate on 3rd downs.
While the Ducks are heavy favorites against Hawai’i, Oregon will need to improve defensively for Pac-12 play beginning in Week 4. We’ll see if Lanning and his staff are able to get a better picture of the right pieces after Week 3.