Willie Taggart won't open spring practice this late again

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday April 10, 2017

Oregon was the last FBS team to open spring practice this year, and Willie Taggart says that won’t happen again.

The Ducks are annually among the last teams to start, in part due to the school's academic calendar. But Taggart says that will change next year.

We’ll move it up further. It won’t be this late,” he said. “I thought it was good for us this year with a new staff to get together and understand each other before we present it to our players. It actually worked well for us. But I really don’t like it this late.”

There’s another reason he doesn’t like it: The spring recruiting evaluation period begins on April 15.

We’re going to miss about two weeks of recruiting. You can’t do that,” Taggart said. “You have to be able to go out, recruit and evaluate some guys.”

There’s been a trend of more teams opening earlier, to keep momentum from the fall season and allow more conditioning and healing time in the summer. Nearly 20 schools finished spring camp before Oregon even opened. Last year, Taggart’s USF program opened on March 23.

Could Taggart move Oregon’s next spring camp to February?

“It depends, but it’ll be a lot earlier than now.”

As for the actual work on the field, everyone wants to know about the offense. Taggart says the style shift will take some time, and he won't rush it.

“We’re taking it slow and easy,” he said. “It’s new, so we don’t want to put too much on them and not get anything. We’re going to put it in slowly, make sure our guys know what they’re doing and be able to do it the right way. Coach it before moving on to the next. It’s like accounting. You have to know the easy steps first, or you won’t be able to do the thing you want to do later on.”

Oregon’s spring game will be on April 29.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.