Instead of Nick, I’m going to be Frank: this practice might’ve been the most uneventful of the Stoops era. When the Coach took the podium there was an awkward pause when nobody from the media had anything to ask the Coach. Now that quickly changed, but the media and coaching staff alike are tired of the same ole same ole, ready to watch the Cats play instead of talking about how they’re practicing. Below are a few quick-hitters that should make you hungry to watch the Cats perform on the field Saturday.
– The Cats had a solid hour and a half of work in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) today, tidying things up with situational work.
– After receiving another great commitment this week from big WR Blake Bone, Coach Stoops keeps adding very talented players to his roster. After working with his first class for an entire pre-season, he really likes what he sees (and it’s not just the highly touted WRs), “I’ve said it before, but I’m very pleased with the whole freshman class and the Junior College transfers. I feel like they’re all going to be players. When? I’m not going to put a time on all of them but I like that class.”
– Since the team formally ended camp last week, practices haven’t been ending once the team breaks the final huddle. Two tennis ball ‘guns’ are placed on the near sideline, with a variety of players taking turns working out their hands. It isn’t just wide receivers; guys like Avery Williamson are taking every opportunity to improve their game. Coach Stoops likes the additional work players are putting in, “Coach Mainord told me the other day, between now and game time – I don’t know what it is exactly- but they’re going to catch thousands of those balls, without a lot of running, just working the hands.”
– Neal Brown will be on the field for his alma mater for the first time Saturday, a situation that would make most very emotional. Brown doesn’t quit see it that way though, “I’ll think about it more before the game. When that time comes (walking onto the field) I’ll really be thinking about our first series. There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ in this game so I don’t know if I’ll have time to self-reflect…it’ll probably happen more for the first home game.”
– Neal Brown on the quarterbacks: “We’re keeping things simple, so they’ve been sharp the past two days.”
– There are many different ideologies when it comes to play-calling. Randy Sanders was a guy that preferred to stay away from a script, basing his decision making off of the flow of the game. Neal Brown’s perspective is like most coaches, only slightly modified, “We’ll have an opening script that we’ve practiced most of this week that we’ll open the game with. We’ll have a script when we get into the red zone and when on 3rd downs and those things, but it’ll be really flexible. It’ll (the script) be a lot fewer plays this week because we don’t really have a great idea of what we’re going to see.”
– There are many advantages to having a defensive-minded head coach. One of them that hadn’t crossed my mind until today, is how Neal Brown can use Coach Stoops to critique his offensive scheme, “I ask him a lot of questions. When he pops in our meeting room I’ll say, ‘you’ve watch us quite a bit now, where do you see our weaknesses and how would you attack our protection?’. There’s a lot of those questions and it’s been a big benefit to me.”
Not the Hump Day commercial, but a much better Dirk rendition.
Only 2 more days! #DontGeek @RoushKSR