Stoops discusses spring drills

Spring practice concluded and the Wildcat coaches hit the road recruiting. Head coach Mike Stoops was back in town Monday and took some time to address the local media and wrap-up his first spring practice.

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My observation of spring football, I thought overall I was really pleased with our effort and out attitude. I think we got a lot accomplished. I'd say we got at least 75-percent of our offense and defense in. I thought the guys were getting more comfortable towards the end. We need to play and execute a little better than we did at times, but putting in a new system in on both sides of the ball was difficult for them to learn so we're still feeling our way around. Hopefully by the time we start next fall we can keep moving forward and the speed of our football team will improve from an execution standpoint and from an ability standpoint. I think that those are goals for us over the summer, just to get to be a stronger, faster, quicker football team so we can execute with a more violent attitude as me move closer to the season.

Overall we're happy with the improvement of the defense. I thought we did some good things, made the offense execute for long periods of time. Our position on the ball seemed to be good thoughout most of the spring. They (the players) understood the concepts well, we put a lot in. We have parts of every form of our defense that we want in, so obviously we've just got to build on the foundation that we built throughout the spring. I think we're moving in the right direction.

We're trying to develop depth at some positions and we'll release a depth chart hopefully by the end of the week, once our coaches get back to formulate a depth chart. Obviously being on the road recruiting since right after the spring game has prohibited us from putting a two-deep together.

I thought our defense did a good job, we still have a ways to go, but I think we have a chance to be pretty decent if we play as a unit which we did most of the time. I was pleased with their attitude and their ability to learn and play. They're developing some pride and we've made strides and we're going to have to if we want to have some improvement. Obviously when you're last in the Pac-10 in scoring defense and total defense we've got a lot of work to do. Hopefully we're moving in the right direction.

Offensively, I was really pretty pleased with the last week or so, you could see some things coming on. We were able to get Mike Bell loose in a couple of mini-scrimmages/team setting types of deal. I think a lot of the offense will be formed around Mike and his ability to see holes and us getting him some running space and that's going to be a big part of what we do. I think that will have a chance to help (quarterback) Kris (Heavner) and our throwing game out a little bit. A lot of our success will be predicated on our ability to run the football.

Some of the negatives when you look at the offense, our inability to have Tanner Bell, John Abramo, Brand Phillips, guys like that, really hurt out continuity as an offense line and that's an area we need to be much more physical and play with a little more violence up front in moving people off the ball. I think that's an area, that when we get our group back together, that we'll have a chance to be a strength. Having three guys out that we're desperately counting on was tough on our offensive line this spring. We didn't have much of a rotation and that's why we did the spring game the way we did. We just don't have two full lines right now and that really hurt us throughout parts of the spring. The biggest thing we have to do offensively is get healthy over the next month when we start back in June with our summer conditioning. Getting those offensive lineman back and healthy will be a big bonus for us.

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