One might even say he was angry.
After pressing pause for Spring Break, the Cats resumed practice this morning, but I think somebody forgot to tell the players. Stoops was not shy in describing his discontent, “There are no excuses. We have to be mentally tougher.”
The effort and energy simply weren’t there today. The Quarterbacks were inaccurate, the receivers dropped passes and there weren’t enough pads popping. The effort was absent, and Stoops believes that falls on the shoulders of the team’s leaders (or lack thereof), “I called them out a little on that too because honestly, we don’t have the leadership we need right now. We need to continue to see who emerges in that leadership role.”
Leadership, consistency and most importantly, competition. The beautiful part about having some additional depth is reaping the benefits of competition. Unfortunately Stoops isn’t seeing it right now. After watching the basketball team’s competitiveness in practice earlier this week, Stoops wants to bring more of that to the football field.
“Our football team needs to compete. Every single position, we need to compete. I did have the opportunity to go watch basketball — it’s impressive to watch them practice. It’s great to see the competition and what Coach Cal does. That’s a well-oiled machine. To see those players work exceptionally hard and to see the competition that’s out there, that’s what we need to get to. To some level of that. That’s what stood out to me today.”
Stoops isn’t silly enough to hold his team to the same standards on the field, but he’s smart enough to ensure they play with a competitive sense of urgency like Cal’s Cats.
Stoops’ Troops know exactly what’s expected of them after a stern speech following today’s practice. Hopefully the Spring Break rust is shaken off before things start getting serious this weekend.