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December 29, 2012Oregon completed their second practice session in Arizona on Friday. Head Coach Chip Kelly and several offensive players answered questions afterward.
Oregon Coach Chip Kelly:
Q: How does it help a head coach to keep his staff together for as long as you have?
A: "It always helps. Our meetings are a lot shorter; we're all on the same page. Everybody understands the vision we have for this football program, and it makes things go a lot smoother."
Q: Who are a couple of defensive players who have improved since the beginning of the year?
A: "I think a lot of them have. Dion Jordan, Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso, Taylor Hart, Troy Hill, Terrence Mitchell, Brian Jackson, Erick Dargan - I mean, there's a whole ton of them. That's why we've played really well on the defensive side of the ball."
Q: Who are a couple of offensive players who have improved since the beginning of the year?
A: "Marcus Mariota, Kenjon Barner, Colt Lyerla, Tyler Johnstone, Kyle Long, Hroniss Grasu a good list."
OL Kyle Long
Q: What's it like to finish your career on a team that has had a season like this?
A: "Being a part of something like this is very rare. You look around the locker room and I love every one of these guys. Those two guys over there, Tyler (Johnstone) and Marcus (Mariota), are great examples of just great teammates, great people, guys you want to go out there and execute for and with. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I've really loved it here, playing under Coach Kelly."
Q: How has the experience of the bowl been so far?
A : "I was really giddy about it the first few days. The first day we got here, running around, but you kind of settle in. This is my first bowl game. But for a lot of these guys, they're vets when it comes to this. You just try to look to the older guys like Dion (Jordan) and Isaac Remington, and you lean on those guys for guidance and kind of look to see where they're going, what they're doing, and you follow suit."
Q: Are they all business right from the start?
A: "Oh yeah. Guys like Dion and Isaac are 100 percent business."
QB Marcus Mariota
Q: Talk about the big stage of the BCS?
A: When we come in, it's 100 percent football when we're out on the field. It's just the time also to enjoy a little of this. Not a lot of guys get to go through this, but for me, this is my first time playing in it and I'm just really excited. I really can't wait. But I can't get overanxious because I'll play outside of my game. My focus is just to go out there and to play my game."
Q: Does K-State resemble any teams you played this year?
A: "They're very disciplined. That's one thing that stands out to me. They're a good defense. They all hustle to the ball. It's all the minor things that they're really good at. They like to funnel their stuff to Arthur Brown. He's one of those guys who's an All-American. He's one of those guys that really just makes a lot of plays for them."
TB De'Anthony Thomas
Q: Does anything stand out on film of K-State's defense?
A: "They're a very physical team, very disciplined. Our offense is great, so we've just got to do what we do and make plays and we should get the win."
Q: Do you look at the Baylor game (a 52-24 victory over K-State)?
A: "Not really. I don't really watch too many other teams. I only focus on the Oregon Ducks."
Q: What was it like getting back to practice after holiday break?
A: "This is our second day. I feel like everyone's getting their motors back. It's great. I just feel like we've got to get better and better every day when we're out here."
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