Cowboy Football Report, April 11

Mike Gundy

Mike Gundy

April 11, 2014

STILLWATER – Dressed in full pads, the Oklahoma State football team held its 15th and final practice of spring ball Friday at the Sherman E. Smith Training Facility. After the approximately two hour-long session, coach Mike Gundy and selected members of the team met with media. Their comments:

Coach Mike Gundy

Opening statement:
“We had a really good practice today, a good finish. We had an about 80-play scrimmage. We pushed our players more this spring – this week – than we have since I’ve been the head coach here. From a scrimmage standpoint, we’re so young that we needed enough work. We said they don’t have enough days to get these guys ready, but their effort was good. I asked them to max themselves out today, because obviously there is no tomorrow. We’re healthy, and the defense made plays. The offense made plays. Tyreek (Hill) made a few plays. Kevin Peterson and (Ashton) Lampkin made a few plays. It was really a good spring and a good practice today.”

On where Tyreek Hill is in the development Gundy wants to see:
“He’s about halfway. To play at a high level in this league and compete for us in the tempo and style of our offense – if we’re going to throw it to him, hand it to him or whatever we decide to do in the fall. He made strides. He was with us about 75 percent of the time – you know he was running track for a little while. He’s made some strides, but he has a long way to go.”

On the receivers possibly being better this year:
“I think we have more numbers and experience. We have quality young people we’re developing. We’re certainly going to miss Tracy (Moore) and Charlie (Moore), but we have some young players. In fact, several of them weren’t even with us in the last four or five practices this spring. Just little injuries, they’ll be back with us in a week or two. I think from a numbers standpoint, by the middle of the season we can be better as a unit.”


 

 

On Jimmy Bean’s development:
“We have a lot of faith in him. He’s now become a mature, veteran player. I like our defensive line. I think that we could potentially be better on the defensive line than we were last year. We’ve got some speed and some strength and some maturity. Jimmy Bean has come a long way. A couple years ago, he wasn’t sure if college football was for him. There were a lot of issues with structure and discipline and accountability that he wasn’t sure if he fit the role of a college football player, but he’s done very well. He understands the importance, and he has an important future at Oklahoma State.”

On the offensive line improvement over spring camp:
“They’ve made strides. Again, we have a long ways to go. We have a couple of starters that weren’t here all spring, and we have a couple of young guys that really competed and improved. Coach (Bob) Connelly did a great job with them. He came into a tough situation, when you take two units of 10 people and eight of them have never played any college football. So he did a great job with them, and they’ve made strides. The toughest aspect of the development that they make on the offensive line is where we’ve had success at Oklahoma State in my 10 years here. We’ve brought guys in who some other people may not have thought were good enough to play at this level, and they become tough and physical and end up being good football players.”.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On scrimmaging in spring practice:
“It was fun because you get to call plays – from a coaching perspective. At the same time, we had to keep it pretty tight in the amount of plays that we were running – not numbers-wise, but different types of concepts that we had. We wanted to make sure that we just kept on running the same plays over and over, so from that standpoint I think our players got a lot of reps at the things that we were trying to focus on improving.

On how much he learned about Tyreek Hill this spring:
“Quite a bit. He’s really nice to be around. He really wants to do well in the film room. He works really hard when he hits the field, so he has those intangibles. He has, obviously, that God-given speed that we all see, but he also has a hunger deep inside. You don’t know about that until you get to know somebody and get around them and get 15 practices in. It’s good to see his hunger and drive inside.”

On what the biggest accomplishment for the offense in the spring was:
“I think we limited turnovers. Minus one scrimmage, we really did a good job of securing the football and understood tempo, and improving those two things was really important.”

On if he learned about players’ toughness:
“That’s what you’re hoping to accomplish throughout spring practice. There’s certain regulations where you can’t go hard every day, but when you do want to turn it up a little bit you get to evaluate that and that’s what counts.”

On having a lot of receivers who can make plays:
“It’s a luxury we do have. The thing we talk about is just continuing to be better and to improve ourselves, because we can always step it up and we can always improve. We have talent, but the great ones continue to have that hunger inside and continue to get better.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer

On what they got done in spring practice this year:
“We got a lot done. I’m still not happy, but we got a lot done. There was some improvement made – a lot of it – mostly in the tough situations we put them in, some adversity that happened and watching and studying and seeing yourself on tape and realizing what you think you’re doing and what you’re actually doing doesn’t match up sometimes, our perception of what we are and then what we are accomplishing is a lot different. Those things were huge and we took a big step toward that. To me, we’re just taking a little break before we start practicing again. You can either say we come back to camp and that’s the first day of fall camp, or that’s the 16th day of spring practice. It’s just one more practice and then hopefully we’ll keep making some gains.”

On if he will need to rely on new arrivals at linebacker
“It’s kind of whatever’s out there. If it’s the guys that are here now, we’ll get it done with them, if we get some extra help that would be great too.”

On his opinion of Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lampkin being the starting cornerbacks:
“Good. They made a lot of nice plays. Kevin had a great scrimmage yesterday. He had two picks. Ashton’s got so much better. It’s just, again, do we need more gains before we line up? Yes, yes we do. They need every practice we can get, but I was impressed with what they did.”

 

Cornerback Kevin Peterson

On the cornerbacks’ development during the spring:
“Coming in, we were all kind of raw talent, because I know me and Ashton (Lampkin) probably had the most snaps coming in, besides Miketavius (Jones) and Darius (Curry) and Taylor Lewis. But coming in, the first day is probably raw, but as they’ve progressed they’ve kind of gotten in their own skin. We’ve kind of grooved together as a family, and try to learn, ‘Hey, we’re going to need you next year. We’re going to need everybody as a group, as a family.’ We’ve just progressed as we could. So far, it’s been really good.”

On his role as one of the older, more experienced members:
“We’ve got – even though they’re young guys, they’re really mature. You can tell them something once and they’ll catch on to it. So what I did myself, I try to lead by example. I try to go out there and practice hard and tell people, ‘You got to get it. You have to practice hard.’ I’ll tell them what’s coming and what’s not coming. I try to be the guy that they can come to and things like that. Not so I can gripe on them, but so I can be a figure they can look up to and things like that.”

On his expectations for next season:
“We expect not to miss a job next season. I know we lose Justin (Gilbert), but we have good athletes everywhere, so we’re going to try to do what we do and try to pick up where we left off last year.”

 

Receiver Jhajuan Seales

On his feelings as practice comes to an end for the spring:
“I’m kind of excited and kind of sad at the same time to see that spring is over. We don’t get to come out here and compete with our brothers every single day, but I’m also kind of excited we get to get our legs back.”

On if the offense feels more cohesive after 15 practices:
“After 15 practices, today we really got after it. After 15 practices, it felt like it was the first day. We were out there moving, flying around, and our defense really helped.”

On what they have to do between now and August:
“Keep conditioning, working with Coach (Rob) Glass is great. He does the strength and conditioning stuff, so that’s a big one.”

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