The Rundown: Mike Gundy talks Spring Game, Nick Saban, Linebackers

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STILLWATER — Spring training is going fast, with the Cowboys’ spring game just a few weekends away.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy meets with reporters ahead of the team’s practice Monday. He discussed the upcoming spring game, spoke at the Alabama practice clinic and more.

Opening statement

“We are in the same routine. We are doing very good. Two weeks away from the spring game, but all is well.

Lit if everyone came back from the flu

“Yes. We only missed one practice. Nobody really had any problems. Luckily we didn’t spread it and we are in good shape.

On if they’ve started putting together a format for the spring game

“Very, very little. I really want to play a game. I don’t know if we have the offensive line to do it. I don’t want to risk setting it up this way and someone spinning their ankle and almost having to shut it down. It wouldn’t be fair to the fans. So we’ll try to do that by Wednesday, figure out what to do as these practices move forward.

“We’re going to do 7v7. We’ll do a team race. We’re going to do some individual. We will do a lot for the fans. We just have to make a decision on how much 11 vs. 11 we would do, with the exception of doing it at the end so we get an hour’s work and then hope we can stay healthy until the end. ”

On Gunnar Gundy and Garret Rangel

“I think they are doing well. They learn. Our offense is taking time for the quarterbacks. The only way to learn it is to participate in live drills as we practice them and make mistakes and they see it. Then come up with a plan to fix it and put that plan in place. I think these guys are doing a good job with it right now.

On the learning curve, Gunnar Gundy and Garret Rangel have to cross

“It’s a lot harder to play quarterback at this level than it’s ever been – it’s the first time. Second, I think our defense is good at what it does, and it’s creating some confusion for our quarterbacks. So not only do we see the results of that on game day, but we see the results of that in practice every day, especially a young quarterback trying to play at that level against the defensive structure that we use on a daily basis .

About what he’s looking for at the Spring Ball

“Competitiveness, the desire of the guys to let themselves be coached, to work hard, to improve every day. Our systems are in place. We are preparing for the first game in September right now. We just keep getting quality reps. We compete, we play hard, we respect the basics of football on both sides of the ball, and ultimately we deliver a package where you don’t fight. Play hard, you give yourself a chance.

If anyone has stood out so far

“Oh, there were a number of guys. There have been a number of guys who have made games. The young people and this second group which must play next year to help us win, they are doing well. They make plays, then they make mistakes. A little about what the spring ball is.

On the development of linebackers

” They are fine. I like their speed. I like their competitiveness, and I think they’ll hit you. Now it’s just a matter of getting them more reps. They face the same obstacles as a quarterback. A linebacker has a lot to do. He must play the race; he must play the pass. We play fast. We’re pretty multifaceted on offense, so they kind of face the same picture a quarterback will face on the other side of the ball.

On Kendal Daniels, Ty Williams and Lyrik Rawls

“They are all in the same boat. They’re over there. They get good quality reps. They are in competition. They are improving and I expect that over the next two weeks.

On how the Alabama coaching clinic was

“It was a very good experience. Gave me quality time with Coach (Nick) Saban. Talked to their clinic. Gave us the opportunity to go and see some of their facilities and see where they are at, what they are doing, what they think. You learn a lot in these situations. As we improve our facilities here, it gives you ideas that we may want to implement here at Oklahoma State.

On her relationship with Nick Saban

“Well, he and I have had quite a few phone conversations over the years. We’re never in the same place at the same time, so we don’t have one-on-ones, but we had a good quality hour together and I enjoyed it. I hope I liked it. I learned stuff. I would guess he learned a few things about what we do. So it was good to meet him.

On anything different from what Saban said

“There’s just a lot of similarities in what they do and what we do behind the scenes and the beliefs and the things that we think our cultural things that we feel are important for long-term success. He feels the same in many areas that are important for success.

About Mason Cobb

“Well, I think he’s fast. I think he will hit you. I think he has good football sense and I think he is learning.

On how much he gives during a coaching clinic on the non-huddle offense

“There’s not a lot of terminology that actually takes the game into account, but behind the scenes of what we do offensively is no secret. It just takes total commitment to achieve that. So there’s nothing earth-shattering really, but to accomplish what we’re doing on offense, and what we’ve been doing now for at least 10 years, it takes total commitment, you can’t really dive into it and dive in. There’s so not much to hide from the clinic’s point of view.

There’s excitement for the spring game

“They’re just training right now. They wouldn’t even know – I don’t think they know it’s two weeks away. They don’t focus on much more than that. Once it gets closer to that, I know they’ll be more excited about it.

Lit if he senses excitement from the fans

“I don’t see any. I do not see anyone. I’m here or a high school baseball game. So that pretty much suits me.

On whether there will be autographs with the players after the game

“I don’t know. I don’t know what they’re doing. I know it’s a great day. I know we have the spring game, I know we have baseball. I think we have to softball, I’m not sure, but I think there’s a lot going on.

On defensive coordinator Derek Mason throwing the first pitch for baseball

” I think that it’s good. I think the more people around Coach (Derek) Mason will understand why we brought him here and realize that he’s a really good guy when it comes to building relationships and a really good person .

On freshman running backs Ollie Gordon and CJ Brown

“Just young guys, they are trying to find their way. They do good things, break good races and get some things wrong. Typical young guy stuff, both really good for high school players.

On how Joe Bob Clements is adjusting to linebacker practice

“I spoke to him a bit last week. It is comfortable. I like his individual work, I like his approach in the exercises and I think he is doing very well. I think it was a good decision.”

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