Year two of the Andy Avalos era in Eugene, Oregon is underway.
Oregon began fall training camp Friday ahead of the 2020 college football season and after months of zoom meetings, Avalos got to finally coach his players on the practice field.
But what does year two exactly mean to Avalos? For the Ducks defensive coordinator, it is an opportunity to advance the culture even further.
"Our mentality has to grow. The culture of our defense... is always got to be growing forward," said Avalos.
"Our mentality has to grow forward with the culture. And now what does that mean? That's our operation. That's how we prepare. Guys understand what it means to prepare now and not only to prepare but to do it consistently and those are the things you want to see in the growth in year two."
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon Football receiver Keenan Howry].
In Avalos' first season in Eugene, he needed to instill a lot of fundamental work as well as the system. Now with both of those being second nature to his players, year two could be better than the first.
"Year one guys are trying to learn and figure out not just the schemes, the fundamentals, the techniques but also the process of how we prepare whether we're in camp, whether we're in season. And now in year number two, you would hope that those would become habits and we would continue to emphasize those things in our preparations so that the consistency will show."
Not that year one was any slouch. Avalos' defense led the PAC-12 conference in both interceptions and forced turnovers in 2019.
But with the defense losing starters Troy Dye, Lamar Winston Jr., Thomas Graham Jr., Jevon Holland and Brady Breeze, the 2020 defense will run some things differently to play to the strengths of the Ducks on the field.
"Obviously, schematically year to year, you're always going to adjust a few things. You're going to do some professional development. You're going to look and say 'Okay we got to get better at these thing. Hey maybe we can add this or maybe we don't need to do this. Maybe this player who is going to step in this year will be better at doing this so we'll adjust some of those things again, always to fit personnel."
Oregon fans will get their first look at year two of the Avalos defense on November 7th when the Oregon Ducks host the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium.
Listen to the Talkin' Ducks Podcast here.