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Biggest Takeaways from Pac-12 Media Day

Oregon and Oregon State enter 2018 in transition while South Medford alum, Chase Cota, has a very real chance to get playing time at UCLA his freshman year.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 2:58 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 7:29 PM

HOLLYWOOD, Cal. -- The PAC 12 Conference held its annual media day on Wednesday, making head coaches of all 12 teams as well as two players from each team available to the media. Below are some of the top takeaways from the event. 

Oregon: 

1. They might have a former offensive line coach as their new head coach, in Mario Cristobal, but the Ducks' run-and-gun offense isn't going anywhere. 

"I think people automatically assume, ‘Oh, it’s Alabama of 2013.’ No, it’s not. We’re a fast-paced, tempo offense. I think the biggest difference you’ll see is up front, at the line of scrimmage, we’ve invested in physicality," Cristobal said about the offense. 

2. The offseason conditioning program, largely created by strength and conditioning coach Aaron Feld, has been the biggest difference the Ducks players and coaches have seen between this offseason and last offseason.

A lot of people on our team have gotten bigger, stronger, faster. I feel like that's going to contribute a lot to our success," senior defensive end Jalen Jelks said. 

"I think one of the biggest differences has been the weight room. The hire of Coach Feld has been a great addition to the program," junior quarterback Justin Herbert said. 

"Our guys immediately saw the benefits. They saw the challenges, and felt the challenge of it, but they immediately saw the benefits of having such a program and that's going to be the investment required to have success when it counts," Cristobal said. 

3. There's no replacing Royce Freeman, but Tony Brooks-James is ready to be the team's featured back. 

"Tony Brooks-James has had an unbelievable spring. He has pushed himself to be a big weight room guy, so he’s changed his body," Cristobal said.

"Tony is a really athletic guy. He's put on a ton of weight this offseason and he looks really good. I can't wait to see what he does this season," Herbert said. 

Oregon State: 

1. There wasn't one "root" problem that led to last year's 1-11 finish and the team is trying to press the reset button. 

“We haven’t had a ton of focus on last year. Obviously, we weren’t here, those reasons that took place and things that went on, that was so out of the ordinary," head coach Jonathan Smith said. 

“We haven’t really talked a lot about last year, because we’re focused on this year," senior offensive lineman Blake Brandel said. 

2. New head coach Jonathan Smith's experience as the Beavers' quarterback during their most recent successful stretch gives him instant credibility in the locker room. 

“It makes it a lot easier that he’s a former Beaver, he’s been in our shoes, and he’s played on the same football field we’ve played on," junior linebacker Kee Whetzel said. 

“Having Coach Smith around is really cool, because he’s been at Oregon State before as a player. He knows Corvallis really well and he knows how to win. It’s a big deal," Brandel said. 

Chase Cota: 

1. Cota has a leg up on other freshman and has a very real chance to play in his first season with UCLA.

“He picked things up really quickly, so you could tell he’s a really smart football player. He’s obviously very well coached from where he played in high school. The good part for him I think he’ll realize next Friday is that he won’t really be a freshman. He’ll have a leg up on some of the other freshman that just came in. They’ll be all starry-eyed trying to figure out where to go in practice and even though he has nine practices under his belt, he’ll be a wily veteran," UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. 

“He did a great job in the spring coming straight out of high school. He’s a bigger, taller receiver, but he has great hands, he runs good routes, and he’s fast. His dad also has a history of playing football, so I’m sure he’s going to do just fine," UCLA junior wide receiver Theo Howard said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5105427

Reported Deaths: 74781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153243027225
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
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