Select Quotes From Opening Weekend Of OSU Football
Monday, August 4th 2014, 11:01 pm
Oklahoma State hosted its annual media day in Stillwater over the weekend and has been underway with practice the past few days. Here is a compilation of select quotes from the Cowboys to catch up on what they’ve had to say so far:
Coach Mike Gundy
Opening statement at Media Day:
"It's great to get out there and start getting involved with practices. There's a lot of enthusiasm out there, and the guys are excited to be back. We don't have any shoulder pads on at this point, though, so we're just out there running the plays without much contact. It's good to be back. It's good to have the guys out there and be around them. It's a fun time of the year for us where we can spend time with them and watch them develop each day. We're just looking forward to getting some pads on and playing real football."
His take on the leadership on a young and relatively inexperienced team:
"As a team, we've had a really good summer. That leadership will start to show up in the next seven to ten days, but we have enough guys on both sides of the ball to lead. The difference with this team will be how the young players adjust, monitor themselves, prepare and work hard through the middle of August in order to be ready to play. We're obviously playing a very good football team for our first game, and that'll be an adjustment we go through as a team this year. I feel good about [Ryan] Simmons, [Jhajuan] Seales and those guys. It's the young guys who are learning to play the game really fast."
Gundy’s take on the quarterback situation and whether or not he will play multiple QBs:
"Whoever we play, we hope that, most of the time, they'll play at a solid level. I think, as coaches, we're responsible for that. Our quarterback situation this year is a little bit different than what it has been in the past. We vary our style of offense based on who's in the game. We expect that player and that style to be involved enough to score points … It's a very good possibility (that they will use more than one)."
On opening the season against No. 1 Florida State:
"I'm sure the guys are excited about the game and are building it up, but we've got a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of us. We have to stay focused over the next 20 days until we get into a pattern and can back off. We also have to start a little earlier this year and get a little further into camp before we can back off, mainly because of our opening game."
On the benefits of having the new indoor practice facility:
“We have a tremendous facility. The last few days, it’s been still kind of wet with the rain we've gotten and everything, with the heat and humidity rising, the moisture comes up through the grass. We were almost finished with practice today, and we used the turf field since it was still really wet out there. We have the flexibility now to stay on turf, and we don’t have to change fields. The Sherman Smith Center has been tremendous for us for that reason. We can go in and out. Obviously, our first game is indoors, so we practice quite a bit indoors because that’s the type of surface and environment that we’ll play our first game in.”
On the influx of youth on a team that lost 33 letterwinners from last season’s squad:
“Honestly, there’s so many new guys out there, I don’t even know who they are,” Gundy said. “A couple guys would make plays and I would ask who they are.”
On if he expects the offense to pick up the pace after a slowdown, by OSU standards at least, from years past:
"Well, it depends on the skill players, not how we respond up front. There are ten guys out there that have to function based on whatever the quarterback tells them to do. We won't really know unless we have a really experienced quarterback and a veteran group. We want to play as fast as possible, but we also don't want to extend ourselves out there and make ourselves vulnerable."
His stance on whether or not they plan to redshirt star-studded incoming quarterback Mason Rudolph:
“We’re not sure yet. We’ll have to let it play itself out and see how those guys develop. I watched him a little bit today, and I thought he was considerably better than he was when we finished in the spring.
On the Big 12 using a female official for the first time this season:
"I think it's awesome. I don't know who she is or where she came from, but Walt Anderson's in charge, and if she made it through, then I'm sure she's qualified to get out there and do it. You know we live in a world today where people from all different backgrounds are doing things differently than they ever have before. The way I see it is, if it's important to her, which obviously it had to be because it probably wasn't easy for her to get to where she is now, then she must be really good at what she does. The consistency of the officiating, no matter who they are, is what's most important for all of us. We always just want them to get it right, but they're human and they're going to make mistakes. Honestly, I won't even know because you know how I am. I'm sure she'll have a hat on probably and her hair tucked in, and I won't even know who it is out there. If she can do the job, then more power to her."
Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich
On if the offense is where he wants it to be at this point:
"I think we're doing just fine. It's too early to sit back and say that right now. A few more practices, we'll try to sit back and evaluate and see where we're at at that point."
Wide Receiver Marcell Ateman
On the depth and versatility of the receiving corps:
“Everybody in our unit, from the ones to the fours, you can see the talent and you can see that each one of us can go. There’s no limit to any one of our receivers and our unit is strong, so we’re going to surprise a lot of people in the country.”
On the progression of junior quarterback J.W. Walsh:
“He’s grown tremendously. He worked with us for timing during the summer and making sure our routes are precise. He’s a hard worker. He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen. He finishes first in everything and that just shows his leadership and it’s going to show in the game.”
On the state of the offense:
“At the end of the year we looked back at how we played and how we’re going to progress and how we’re going to make ourselves better. So, playing fast is one of our main things that we do and this year we’re going to try to up that.”
Wide Receiver Blake Webb
On the goals for the team heading into the season:
"For the team, we always want to win a Big 12 Championship. We would love to make the College Football Playoff. That would be cool. Our biggest goal is to come together as a team and play the best that we possibly can."
His take on the receiving corps:
"We look great. We have a lot of depth. This could be a special group of receivers and I'm excited to see what we do."
Wide Receiver Jhajuan Seales
His take on the chemistry between OSU’s quarterbacks and receivers:
“The chemistry with all the quarterbacks is great. We hang out with all those guys really well and so getting with them and getting to know them really well really helps with getting on the field.”
On the progress of J.W. Walsh since last season:
“J.W. is great person and a great leader. Also, Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph are all great leaders who know how to construct the offense and really work around us.”
Offensive Lineman Devin Davis
On what the team needs to work on most before the season opener:
"It's just a lot of young people. I just think we need to get everybody on the same page. We've been working on a lot of different things that help us to really get better as a team, because there is a lot of new faces since we lost so many people last season."
Cornerback Kevin Peterson
Discussing the challenges week-in and week-out in the Big 12:
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. In the scheme that Coach Spencer has set up for us, we press a lot. We play press man a lot so there’s a challenge every week. Whether it’s in practice or against Baylor or OU or anybody, we love the challenge. That’s what we live for. That’s how you get to the next level.”
On him stepping into a leadership role after the loss of seven starters on the defense:
“I’m just trying to be more of a mentor to guys. The team philosophy is ‘You play for the man next to you’. You can’t be selfish and think so much about yourself. So you just really try to make everyone around you better … We have some young guys that are going to have to step up and play this year. We lose guys every year; it’s just unfortunate that we lost a lot of guys this year. We have to rebuild and get our guys rolling and able to play fast.”
Linebacker Demarcus Sherod
On his recovery from an injury that limited him last season and in spring football:
"I feel pretty good. I feel like I've been getting better since my injury. I've been rehabbing and getting my legs strong. I feel pretty good so far."
His take on preparing for the season opener against defending national champion Florida State:
"Right now we're just working on understanding and knowing the plays. We have a bunch of young guys so we're working on understanding the defense and the plays so that they know their assignments. That's what we're focusing on now."
Defensive End Sam Wren
His take on the first few days of practice:
"We've got a ways to go, but things are slowly being put into motion and progressing like we wanted to. We just have to stay focused and stick to the game plan that the coaches have for us. Perfection is the key, so that's what we're shooting for."
His take on the defensive line, which should be a big strength for OSU in 2014:
“We have guys with a lot of experience. We have a lot of guys that played last year in Jimmy (Bean) and James (Castleman). They're true leaders on our defensive line. They're the ones that keep us in line. Myself, I also step up and have to lead to make sure that the guys understand their assignments and their technique. I really feel good about our defensive line. I think we're going to step up to the challenge."
Defensive Tackle James Castleman
On the Cowboys defense, and Big 12 defenses overall, catching up to the fast-pacedoffensess in the league:
"Yes. I think it's starting to. We do it in practice all the time. Most of the teams we played this past year, their offenses were crazy fast so I feel like they're slowly starting to catch up."
On being the underdog this year after being preseason favorites a season ago:
"I feel like it's a true motivator because what underdog do you know that doesn't like to prove someone wrong? I love the fact that they make up underdogs all the time. I've been like that ever since I've been here. They always either talk bad about the team or about the defense. So I love being the underdog because I love proving someone wrong."
Defensive End Jimmy Bean
On the chemistry of the defensive line:
"The defensive line has great chemistry. A lot of people think we're just a young team, but everybody already knows everybody, has fun with everybody and I feel like our team chemistry is really getting close."
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On Sunday’s practice:
“First day with shoulder pads, so we had a chance to see how physical we are. There were times that I thought we did well and then there were times we just got to demand more out of them and expect more. They’ve got to see it on tape where they have a chance to deliver a blow or they have a chance to run through a tackle, and we just didn’t finish good at times. We kept the big plays down today, which was an improvement; a lot of missed assignments. Fortunately, it was the younger guys more than the older guys, which is good.”
His take on if the defensive newcomers have more of grasp of the system and competing at this level than in previous years:
“It’s a wait and see. Until we see what practice looks like, and until we get in a scrimmage situation, you really don’t know about those guys. Are we pleased with some of them physically? Yes. Do some of them need some work physically? Yes, but nobody’s counting any of them out right now and nobody’s definitely sitting there counting on them right now. That’s going to be left to be seen in the next several practices.”
Kicker Ben Grogan
On what he’s doing to prepare for the season:
“I’ve worked a lot in the weight room. Coach Glass has got me on a kicking workout. It’s helped me build a lot of strength during the offseason and I’ve gotten a lot better.”
On the difference between his first and second years of camp:
“I guess I feel a lot more prepared this year just because I’ve had a lot more time to work with the guys during the offseason. I was here longer. Last summer I was here for only four weeks before the season started so I didn’t really have much time to prepare. I didn’t have the whole offseason with Coach Glass before, as well, so I definitely feel better prepared this year.”