Anonymous coaches worry about Dan Lanning

The Oregon Ducks then begin a new era in program history Mario Cristobal went to Miami and hired Georgia defense coordinator Dan Lanning to replace him. While Lanning has a strong resume and looks like an excellent contributor for Oregon, some people may not find him an ideal fit. An opposing coach, who spoke anonymously to Athlon for his preseason magazine, explained in more detail.

“With Mario and Willie (Taggart), the blueprint was clear,” said the coach. “They wanted to try to be a Northwest SEC program. With these two guys gone, one has to wonder if Oregon has any regrets going all-in on national candidates with no PNW ties.

It’s easy to see why Lanning was a top candidate for Oregon when the job was advertised. In 2021, Lanning led a defensive lineup that ranked first nationwide in goal defense (10.2 points per game), second in total defense (268.9 yards per game), second in rushing defense (78 .9 yards per game) and 13th 190.1 yards per game). But there’s good reason to be concerned about its history with the area.

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A native of Kansas City, Lanning has served college in Arizona State, Sam Houston State, Alabama, Memphis, and Georgia. Oregon obviously has a strong presence in the Northwest that Lanning could bite again if he doesn’t put down roots. But fortunately he’s inheriting a solid situation.

In Year 1, Lanning will inherit players like Star Linebacker Noah Sewell and defensive end Brandon Dorlus. The Ducks should have a talented roster to start the Lanning era, but going forward it will all come down to recruitment. A second opposing coach expressed concern about how Oregon will recruit going forward, also emphasizing the importance of owning the West Coast.

“Nobody knows what Lanning’s long-term personnel plan will be,” said the second coach. “In the (Chip) Kelly era, they did a really good job in California and Texas in the PNW. This staff will need to double down on West Coast work if they are to remain consistent in the Portal era. It’s getting harder and harder to keep guys from three time zones out of Eugene when they’re getting national attention.”

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After a 10-4 season that ended in a loss in the Pac-12 title and the Alamo Bowl, Oregon is looking to take another step forward as a program. The Ducks open the season September 3 in Atlanta against Georgia.

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