Fentress 3 & Out: Cal
EUGENE – So what does the head coach of the No. 2 team in the nation do during his off week?
He becomes an armchair quarterback, what else?
UO coach Mark Helfrich and the Ducks (3-0) returned to the practice field Monday after having a few days off during their bye week before hosting California (1-2) on Saturday.
Helfrich said that during his time off he watched plenty of football – including some CFL action – and while doing so observed as a fan just how many things can go wrong for teams in a given game.
“The couch is a good place to make decisions from,” Helfrich said. “I’ll tell you that.”
Now it’s back to making decisions for his team, one that made easy work of its three nonconference opponents. The bye week fell at a convenient time to re-energize the players for conference play. The trick during any bye week, however, is to not lose any competitive edge created by the routine of a season.
“You just try to manage that as best as you can,” Helfrich said. “Our guys have worked and worked and worked tremendously hard. (You do) worry about staying sharp, staying crisp a little bit. But we tried to do that last week. Just maintain timing.”
Oregon practiced last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before taking the weekend off.
Maybe benefiting the most from the off days, Helfrich said, were the linemen.
“Anytime you can give your big guys some time down off of banging…it feels good,” he said. “I thought on both sides of the ball they looked fresh today.”