New position coach brings experience, expectations to corps

EUGENE — If Scott Frost is the patriarch and Josh Huff the older brother, does that make new wide receivers coach Matt Lubick the fun uncle?

Well, maybe not quite.

But how about teacher? Perfectionist? Detail-obsessed?

Those are words Lubick’s players have used to describe him after two-plus weeks of spring practice in his new role with the Oregon Ducks.

And while Lubick’s approach might differ slightly from that of Frost, who held the position for four years before being promoted to offensive coordinator this January, not much has changed.

“Nothing’s different,” says Huff, a veteran starter who looks to be the leader of a young unit. “He doesn’t set the standard low for us ... he just brings the bar higher so we can achieve higher.”

According to Huff, the one major change with Lubick as position coach is how the receivers approach video. Rather than watching themselves day after day, Huff says Lubick instructs them through watching video of their favorite NFL wide receivers. This helps them to learn technique from the best in the game.

“He definitely is a great technique guy, and I feel like we’ve gotten a lot better technique-wise,” receiver Bralon Addison says. “He’s critiquing us a lot, but it’s constructive criticism. I think that’s the biggest thing about this team — everybody can take constructive criticism and make it into a positive thing.”

Lubick has the distinction of coaching for the man, Frost, whose position he filled.

“He’s been very helpful and understanding to me as far as answering questions,” Lubick says. “He built up a lot of respect and mutual trust with those players. They can still lean on him for advice, and he’s great at giving it.”

Huff admits he has found himself turning to Frost with questions in practice only to remember Lubick’s now the man in charge of the receivers.

“I just miss those guys personally,” Frost says. “But I still see them every day.”

At 41, Lubick has 18 years of collegiate coaching experience, most of it with receivers. The last three years were at Duke, where he was named the national wide receivers coach of the year by FootballScoop, which has a website with job information for football coaches.

While Lubick’s pedigree is impressive, he’s not the only one making good first impressions this spring. He says the receivers look out for one another.

“They know if one guy’s hurt or if a guy is winded or someone needs to jump in for him,” he said.

“They’re the first ones, too, that will coach the other. If, on a play, they see something wrong that the guy didn’t understand, they’ll go explain it to them. That’s pretty impressive, when you’ve got players that care about their teammates the way they do.”

While the position group has veterans Huff, Daryle Hawkins and Keanon Lowe, it’s true freshman-turning-sophomore Addison that has impressed Lubick the most this spring.

“Even though he’s a young guy, he’s playing like a veteran,” Lubick says of Addison, who is likely to see action at all three receiver spots next season. “He’s working on all aspects of his game, not just making plays in space, but blocking, which is extremely important here. He’s turned that into a strength.”

Addison is one of three Texas natives who play the wide receiver position at Oregon; Huff and Chance Allen are the others. Huff describes the two as his “little brothers,” but admits that Addison’s play this spring has surprised him, as well.

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