Mario Cristobal

Mario Cristobal gives statement amid coronavirus situation

Mario Cristobal gives statement amid coronavirus situation

After the Oregon Ducks canceled the Portland practice at Hillsboro Stadium for March 14, Mario Cristobal spoke with the media briefly to give a statement around the current coronavirus crisis.

Here's what he said.

Good morning. I wanted to come out and get with you guys in light of everything that's going on. Certainly there are a lof of things happening while we were at practice... First this is that the Portland scrimmage has been canceled. Obviously making sure that we are aware of all the developments that are going on and making sure that player safety and everything else that goes with it is at the forefront of our decisions. So now we'll make sure and get with the administration, gather all the information necessary to take the next steps necessary to ensure that our student athletes are taken care of. And that their health..is at the forefront of our decisions so that's what I'll like to do. To be able to get that and then get that to [the media] immediately as well so that [the media has] accurate information on the next steps on our process and procedures, and we can roll from there.

No questions were allowed by the media. Originally assistant coaches and student-athletes were going to speak with the media, per Erik Skopil of DuckTerritory

Here's the full exchange on video.

 

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal is blocking college coaches on Twitter, but why?

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal is blocking college coaches on Twitter, but why?

Ever since Mario Cristobal took the head coaching position at the University of Oregon, the Ducks have embraced social media to the nth degree to enhance their brand perception and recruiting prowess.

Using photoshoots with recruits on visits to post to their social channels and see themselves in an Oregon uniform or ensuring all coaches are active on social media, including Cristobal.

The 2016 National Recruiter of the Year, in particular, is active on Twitter, even if it's as simple as wishing each player a happy birthday on their special day or taking pride in the university in general.

However, not everyone can see what Cristobal's up to on Twitter because he has blocked numerous staff members of opposing schools, such as Beau Davidson, Director of Player Personnel at Virginia Tech.

Gavin Morris, Director of Player Development and Assistant Atheltic Director at USC, also tweeted he's been blocked by the Ducks' head coach.

Now, the question is why?

There could be numerous reasons. The most obvious one would be so that these people can't track which recruits the Ducks are targeting since you cannot see who they're following if they block you. Also, both schools have recent history with Oregon.

USC and Oregon have battled over the same recruits for years, especially as of late with Cristobal calling California the Ducks' "home state." Cristobal has landed the top-rated recruit out of California for back-to-back classes: Kayvon Thibodeaux and Justin Flowe. 

Virginia Tech doesn't have the history that Oregon has with USC but they did pick up former Ducks quarterback Braxton Burmeister from the transfer portal last offseason. 

There may be more coaches Cristobal has blocked, but that remains to be seen. 

The step may seem extreme, but then again, so is being a college coach in the current college football landscape.

Report: Oregon Ducks and WR coach Jovon Bouknight "are expected to part ways"

Report: Oregon Ducks and WR coach Jovon Bouknight "are expected to part ways"

There's some more changes coming to Mario Cristobal's coaching staff.

According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, the Oregon Ducks and wide receiver coach Jovon Bouknight "are expected to part ways". 

The report comes just two days after the beginning of spring football practice for the reigning Rose Bowl Champion and Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks.

Bouknight, a former receiving standout at Wyoming, was hired by Mario Cristobal last offseason to replace Michael Johnson. He spent ten years as the wide receiver coach at Utah State before heading to Texas Tech for a season. He had primarily coached receivers, but at one point held passing game coordinator and co-offensive coordinator titles.

Following the firing of Kliff Kingsbury in Lubbock, Bouknight headed to Eugene to join Cristobal's staff. He inherited a receivers group that dropped a nation-leading 52 passes in 2018. Therefore, improving in that area became a point of emphasis as Juwan Johnson spoke about last offseason heading into the 2019 campaign: “There has definitely been a change in dropped passes. The difference is that now the guys have confidence. (Coach Bouknight) is all about the details, his middle name is details.”

Despite progress in 2019, Cristobal told reporters following the first spring practice of 2020 that the Ducks still needed to improve their catching.

The way we throw and catch, particularly on third-down, has got to improve. -Mario Cristobal

 

Mario Cristobal adds Cooper Petagna to Oregon football recruiting staff

Mario Cristobal adds Cooper Petagna to Oregon football recruiting staff

Mario Cristobal loves recruiting. Players, coaches, you name it and he's good at it.

With the loss of cornerbacks coach Donte' Williams to USC, one may ponder how this would effect recruiting as Williams was the No. 1 recruiter in the Pac-12 conference. Well, not only did Cristobal go out and hire away Rod Chance from Minnesota, but he also added another weapon in recruiting on Oregon's coaching staff, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg:

Petagna comes down five hours south on I-5 highway from the University of Washington, where he served as Director of Player Personnel at UW. He has a taste of west coast football and knows how to recruit which is advantageous for the Ducks after losing Williams to USC, another Pac-12 school.

According to Rittenberg, Petagna has experience recruiting at LSU, Michigan and Alabama, three big power-5 schools with lots of football talent. So if you add Petagna's recruiting skills plus Oregon brand and its national relevance plus the recent success of the program and this seems like a good recipe for the future of the Oregon program.

Oregon Ducks fans give new cornerbacks coach Rod Chance a warm welcome back

Oregon Ducks fans give new cornerbacks coach Rod Chance a warm welcome back

The newest member of the Oregon football coaching staff is coming home.

Rod Chance, who served as an Oregon football analyst in 2018 and then the cornerbacks coach at Minnesota last season leading the Golden Gophers to second in the BIG 10 Conference in interceptions (14), is returning home to Autzen Stadium as Mario Cristobal's newest hire to coach the Ducks cornerbacks.

[RELATED]: Former Oregon analyst Rod Chance returns as cornerbacks coach

Chance replaces Donte' Williams, who was hired within the Pac-12 Conference at USC.

[RELATED]: With Donte' Williams hired at USC, Oregon better be ready for a dogfight for Los Angeles

Here is how the Oregon football community responded to the news:

Your first look at the new coaching hires as well as Oregon's 2020 recruiting class will be the Spring game on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. (PT) in Autzen Stadium.

Oregon football projected to have nation's 2nd-best defense in 2020

Oregon football projected to have nation's 2nd-best defense in 2020

It's never too early to start looking forward to next season.

Especially when the reigning Pac-12 Champion and Rose Bowl Champion Oregon Ducks are returning so much talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

ESPN's Bill Connely published his preliminary SP+ rankings for the 2020 college football season that had the Ducks ranked 13th overall, but their defense was projected to be second in the country. Oregon's offense ranked 51st due to replacing four-out-of-five lineman and quarterback Justin Herbert.

SP+ ratings take into account returning production, recent recruiting, and recent history of performance on the field. The Ducks excel in all three categories. 

Oregon will return eight defensive starters next season after four juniors (Jordon Scott, Thomas Graham Jr., Austin Faoliu, and Deommodore Lenoir) forwent the NFL Draft to return to school.

Troy Dye, Lamar Winston Jr, and Bryson Young all graduated and will not return. However, Mario Cristobal netted two five-star linebackers, Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell, in the 2020 recruiting class to fill into those spots. Sophomore Mase Funa will look to make a second-year leap as well.

The secondary will excel next season with starters Graham Jr, Lenoir, Breeze, and the best slot cornerback in the country according to Pro Football Focus, Jevon Holland, all returning. Sophomores Mykael Wright and Veronne Mckinley III will provide much-needed depth as well. Last season they were second in the nation in interceptions with 20. New cornerbacks coach Rob Chance will have some weapons in the secondary. 

The Ducks defense last season led the conference in both interceptions and forced turnovers. 

Look for Andy Avalos' unit to repeat that performance, or improve upon it, next season.

Here's what Connely wrote about Oregon.

The narrative early this offseason is that the Pac-12 race is Oregon vs. the field. Mario Cristobal's recruiting is strong, and the Ducks are the defending conference champions. SP+ never got fully on board with the 2019 Ducks, however. They finished just 15th thanks to inconsistency on both sides of the ball, and now they have to replace not only star quarterback Justin Herbert, but also five of their top six offensive linemen. The defense is deep and experienced and is projected to leap into the top five in defensive SP+. The offense, however, is projected 51st.

He went on to say that Oregon may have upgraded at offensive coordinator by hiring former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead as Marcus Arroyo's replacement. 

The first time you can see the 2020 Ducks in action will be during the Spring game on Saturday, April 18 in Autzen Stadium.

REPORT: Oregon, Mario Cristobal working on contract extension

REPORT: Oregon, Mario Cristobal working on contract extension

Fresh off a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl victory this season, the Oregon football program is reportedly looking to lock up head coach Mario Cristobal in Eugene for years to come. 

According to John Canzano of The Oregonian, "discussions are ongoing" on a long-term contract extension between Cristobal and Oregon. Canzano cites a University of Oregon source.  

Per USA Today, Cristobal's salary is listed at $2.6 million in 2019, 56th overalll in the country. 

These talks are no surprise to the Ducks community, who have seen the impact Cristobal has had on the program since his arrival in January 2017, as a member of Willie Taggert's coaching staff. Following Taggert's departure to Florida State in Dec. 2017, Cristobal took helm of the program, leading the Ducks to a 9-win season in 2018 and a Redbox Bowl victory over Michigan State. 

In his second year, Cristobal received Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors after Oregon went 12-2 overall, winning the Pac-12 North, beating Utah in the championship game and securing a victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. 

None of these successes even account for his accomplishments on the recruiting trail. For the second time in program history, the Oregon football program signed the No. 1 recruiting class in the Pac-12, which included five-star linebackers like Noah Sewelll and Justin Flowe. 

Mario Cristobal deserves a victory lap for his work at Oregon, hopefully the school feels the same and rewards him with a contract extension that makes since for the future of the program and Cristobal's continued success. 

Oregon Ducks make final push for 4-star DT Alabama commit Jayson Jones

Oregon Ducks make final push for 4-star DT Alabama commit Jayson Jones

After a massively successful early signing period, Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks are looking to fill the final spots of their 2020 recruiting class with elite talent as they approach National Signing Day this Wednesday.

Their main target? Four-star defensive tackle and Alabama commit Jayson Jones, who declined to sign with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide during the early signing period.

Since then, the 6-foot-6, 340-pound defensive lineman has taken official visits to Baylor and Oregon.

Well, Cristobal and company made their final push Sunday night with an in-home visit, which was tweeted out Monday morning by Jones himself.

Head coach Mario Cristobal, offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and defensive line coach Joe Fagaofe Salave'a all made the trip to try and secure a commitment from the 6'6", 340 pound defensive tackle.

If they can convince Jones to flip from Alabama to Oregon, it'd be further validation of Oregon recruiting with the elites in college football, and would bode well for their defense for years to come.

Given his massive size, Jones would demand double teams in the trenches which would greatly help five-star linebacker signees Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell as they clog up the other lanes. Cristobal has clearly prioritized collecting elite talent and bringing an SEC level of physicality to Eugene. Getting a player like Jones aligns with that philosophy. 

Despite still being considered an Alabama commit, Jones tweeted out last week his final four was Alabama, Oregon, Baylor, and Georgia Tech.

He will announce his decision Wednesday, February 5th at 1:00 PT in the Calera High School Auditorium.

Will Jones flash the "O" on signing day? We'll find out soon enough.

Mario Cristobal unexpectedly gets roped into Antonio Brown drama

Mario Cristobal unexpectedly gets roped into Antonio Brown drama

Antonio Brown, one of the most talented receivers in modern day history, has been making headlines for months, but for all the wrong reasons. 

Let's try to get you caught up:

- After a falling out with the team, Brown was traded by the Steelers to the Raiders in March of last year.

- Brown butted heads with the Raiders staff and the NFL. He had a very public dispute with the league over the use of his preferred helmet, and was later fined $40,000 by the Raiders for failing to participate in team walkthroughs Irritated, Brown took to Instagram and asked for his release. On September 7th, the Raiders granted his wish. 

- Later that same day, Brown signed a one-year deal with the Patriots. That marriage didn't last, either. He played in just one game and was cut from the team on September 20.

- Now, without a team and a lot of free time, Brown has used social media as an outlet. However, it wasn't a creative outlet. Instead, he used it to voice his displeasure with the league, teams around the NFL, and to air his dirty laundry. He even posted multiple live videos showing him getting in verbal altercations with the police outside his home. The latest being posted on January 13 (WARNING: The linked video contains offensive language).

That is the super short, Cliffnotes version of the Antonio Brown saga. So, what does all of that have to do with Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal?

Well, early Tuesday morning, Brown managed to rope the Oregon head coach in.

Good morning, coach...

Back in 2007, Mario Cristobal was starting his first season as head coach at Florida International. As for Brown, he was looking to latch on with a D1 program. Brown initially planned to attend Florida State, but his admission was denied due to "academic concerns."  He then tried to enroll at Alcorn State, but again, academics prevented him from admission. He instead spent one season at North Carolina Tech Prep, where he would catch the eye of FIU and Cristobal. 

FIU offered Brown a scholarship, which he accepted, but he never played a snap for the Panthers. Why? The aforementioned "cop chase" Brown tweeted... but it wasn't really a cop chase at all. 

According to ESPN, "One night in February 2007, before he officially joined the team, he was walking on campus with a friend, who got into a dispute with another student. When security arrived, another argument broke out, this time including Brown, who panicked and fled. When FIU found out, the school rescinded his scholarship."

It wasn't so much a cop chase as it was a student-athlete running away from campus security. Cristobal responded to Brown's off the field antics by cutting him from the squad.

12 years later, Brown used the altercation to rope Cristobal into the never-ending AB Saga.

Now is a good time to remind you that Cristobal played football at Miami, where he was teammates with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Due to six-degrees of separation, there is a chance Brown will rope the Jumanji star in next. 

As candidates emerge, here's how Jedd Fisch, Will Hall may fit as Oregon’s offensive coordinator

As candidates emerge, here's how Jedd Fisch, Will Hall may fit as Oregon’s offensive coordinator

The search is on for the next offensive coordinator under head coach Mario Cristobal and the 2020 Rose Bowl champion Oregon Ducks.

On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported a list of the potential candidates to watch:

JEDD FISCH

With the L.A. Rams (2018-present): According to the team’s website, the Rams finished the 2018 campaign ranked second in the NFL in points per game (32.9) and scrimmage yards per game (435.1) while posting the most total first downs in the league (399) lifting the team to a 13-3 record and an appearance in Super Bowl LIII. With the help of Fisch, the Rams’ passing attack finished among the top-10 in passing yards per attempt (8.33, 4th), passing yards per game (295.6, 5th) and touchdowns (32, tied for 8th). Third-year QB Jared Goff set career-bests across the stat sheet, amassing 4,688 passing yards, the second-best single-season output in Rams history.

With the UCLA Bruins (2017): Fisch took over as interim head coach after UCLA fired then head coach Jim Mora. Fisch was in his first season with the Bruins as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. That season, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was the conference’s second-leading passer (3,756 yards) behind USC’s Sam Darnold (4,143 yards).

With the Michigan Wolverines (2014-2016): According to Michigan Athletics: Under Fisch’s guidance in 2015, quarterback Jake Rudock became the second quarterback in school history to pass for 3,000 yards (3,017) and Jake Butt, Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh became the first trio of receivers in school history to eclipse the 50-reception and 500-yard receiving mark in a season.

Fisch also spent time with the University of Miami, University of Minnesota and Florida early in his collegiate coaching career.

WILL HALL

With Tulane (2019-present): According to Tulane Athletics, Hall joins the Green Wave coaching staff after he spent the 2018 campaign as the Associate Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach at the University of Memphis where he helped guide the Tigers to the American Athletic Conference Championship game for the second straight season and helped the Tigers to their fifth straight bowl appearance. 

With Memphis (2018-2019): During his lone season at Memphis, Hall helped guide the Tigers to a school record with 42 rushing touchdowns during the regular season. In addition, Memphis finished the regular season with 3,311 rushing yards, setting a new school record. Memphis' offense ranked in the nation's top 10 in rushing (No. 5, 275.9), scoring offense (No. 6, 43.8) and total offense (No. 6, 530.3) under Hall's assistance. In addition, Hall helped four Memphis offensive players earn All-AAC honors.

Before Memphis, Hall was the offensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette after spending time in division II football.

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal has stated his criteria in what he’s looking for in his next offensive coordinator:

You want a guy that understands everybody’s assignment, what to do, how they do it, why they do it that way because at the end of the day he does have to install and he does have to get in front of everybody and do everything and make corrections and adjustments if they’re not done exactly right. Precision is important. -- Cristobal

Cristobal said late last week there's a short list he's working on and that he was on the road working on said list. Filling Oregon's OC position will be top priority for Cristobal in the coming weeks, and Ducks fans eagerly await the news.