Anne M. Peterson | The Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — There is much talk about a culture change at Oregon, and it seems as if the players are taking it to heart.

Quarterback Justin Herbert was thrown into the starter’s role last season as a shy freshman. He’s since put 15 pounds on his lanky 6-foot-6 frame and new coach Willie Taggart joked that he’s been strutting around without a shirt on.

Then there’s running back Royce Freeman, already a physical force, who Taggart said has changed both his attitude and his approach.

Taggart is about to embark on his first season as Oregon’s head coach and he’s pleased with the attitude shift he’s seen in his players since his arrival. Fall camp opens on Monday and the work begins in earnest.

“It’s go time. The honeymoon is over,” Taggart said Sunday. “We are ready to roll.”

Just two seasons after playing in the first College Football Playoff championship game, the Ducks’ run of 11-straight winning seasons ended with a thud — a 34-24 loss to the rival Oregon State Beavers. Oregon finished 4-8 overall and at the bottom of the Pac-12 North standings at 2-7.

Three days after the season the Ducks dismissed Mark Helfrich.

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Taggart’s last two head coaching jobs have also been rebuilding projects. He was coach at South Florida for the past four seasons, guiding the team from a 2-10 record his first year to a 10-2 mark and a spot in the Birmingham Bowl last season.

“Anytime you come into a new program, changing the culture is probably the biggest thing and the hardest thing to do because they have been doing it a certain way for a while,” he said.