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Coach Taggart encourages players to spend more time together off the field

Coach Taggart says he's repairing a fragmented program and encouraging teammates to play for one another. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. – It may seem like football season is a long way away on the calendar, but the spring game will be here in two months. Plus, there’s a new sheriff in town.

The Ducks’ new Head Coach Willie Taggart has lofty expectations for his team. He sees the talent, but said he needed to stop the downward spiral the program was on.

From what he said, it didn’t take long to get the teammates to buy in.

After getting off to a good start, there was a little adversity. But Taggart is looking at the positive and believes it brought this team closer together at a faster rate.

He said when he arrived, the program and the players were fractured.

“I don't think we had a team here that liked each other, you know? And when you watch it you can see it on film that you don't see guys playing for one another, you know? And it's not going to work unless those guys learn to play for one another and the way they play is like a gift to their teammates,” Taggart said.

Oregon had a historically bad defense last season. Taggart said fixing that is up to the players. He’s holding them accountable on and off the field.

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