“It Is Different Now Than It Ever Has Been. We Were Fortunate That Guys Wanted To Come Back” : OSU Kicks Off Spring Practice With A Different Feeling

The Cowboys return nearly every starter, and several key backups. The OSU coaching staff also has 10 returning coaches.

Wednesday, March 27th 2024, 12:14 pm

By: Scott Pfeil


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The Oklahoma State football team kicked off spring practice on Tuesday at the Sherman E. Smith Training Center. Unlike past springs, there isn't much uncertainty right now in Stillwater. The Cowboys return nearly all their starters, and several key backups. 10 of the 11 members of the coaching staff are also back.

Head coach Mike Gundy met with the media to discuss Ollie Gordon, Alan Bowman, the backup quarterback situation and several other key topics.

Head Coach Mike Gundy

 On the advantages of having an experienced quarterback:

“He’s been really good from day one and even more during the last few months. More comfortable. I’ve always said, in my opinion, there’s not really any substitute for experience and maturity. We had a lot of success with Brandon Weeden and he was 28 or 29, so these guys bring a lot to the table from experience.”

 On Alan Bowman’s improvement in his second year:

“He should just do reps. Our systems don’t really change much. The more you do something, the better you get at it. Familiarity will be good. We’ve got quite a few wide receivers coming back, so he’ll have a little bit of a feel working with those guys. He’s worked hard and gotten better. I think he’s lost six, eight pounds, something like that, looks good.”

 On the returning experience this spring:

“Last spring, we had 28 new players. This spring, it’s around 12. Somewhere in that area, so less than half. More retention from the team in general. We have seventh-year guys. Sixth-year guys. Fifth-year guys. So, it’s considerably different from an installation standpoint. We’ve got a few players that we’ll have to bring along slower that are new, but the majority of them can move along pretty quick this spring.”

 On defensive schemes:

“We've had a lot of discussions and meetings and conversations about defensive philosophy. We'll be able to play three down and there’s times we’ll play four down. Just different things that I feel like we need to do to be successful in trying to create confusion for quarterbacks. Very similar to the conversations that we had with Coach Knowles. We get in a room and try to decide what's best for Oklahoma State based on the personnel we have. There's a lot of ways to be successful, scheme- and concept-wise.”

 On progression in Bryan Nardo’s second season:

“He will improve his concept and his play calling and his coaching ability. He's still very young, so he will improve. He's got great work ethic and he's willing to listen. Our team, we have a number of guys coming back, which makes a difference. We should be able to move along a little quicker than what we did last spring.”

 

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