Gundy To Visit With Blackmon, Weeden

Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy sounded very relaxed Thursday evening as he spoke with the beat media in the final teleconference with the noise of his sons playing in the background. Gundy is now, for one season, the winningest coach in Oklahoma State history as the Cowboys took advantage of Arizona mistakes, played really solid defensively, and leaned on senior kicker Dan Bailey.

"We won the game on defense and special teams last night. There is no question about that," said Gundy.

"We hit the one big pass play to (Justin) Blackmon and then we took advantage of the turnovers and the big plays we had on special teams, especially with Dan Bailey and his ability to punt the ball and make long field goals. That is why we won the football game.

"I thought that we had a very good game plan, and Coach (Bill) Young has fared well when he has extra time to prepare for games. I liked the plan that they had. In bowl game you never really know haw things are going to pan out," Gundy added.

Gundy was asked about the state of the program and that if he had looked into a crystal ball six years ago when he took over as head coach and saw last night, knew about an 11-2 season, and was aware of the talent in the program and the recruiting going on, he would say that the program was where it needed to be and that he and his staff had done a good job.

"You're asking me to critique myself, and obviously, we've won 9, 9, and 11 games and so I don't think anyone would question that we've had a tremendous amount of success," answered Gundy.

"I'm not going to blow up my own tires but I'm awfully happy with where we're at. I said a couple of years ago that I thought we were ahead of the game, and then as we progressed last year in the top 10 of the country for most of the season, again, I said I thought we were ahead of the game.

"These guys overachieved this year. We had some key players that were very good and could make some plays, but this team overachieved because of the inexperience we had on defense. We are in a great situation in that we have talented players returning and we have recruited well," he continued.

"We are about to start this indoor (facility) and build some new practice fields. Our goal is to keep our coaches intact, unless we have a coach leave for a head coaching opportunity or an assistant coach leaves for a coordinator position ... we keep our coaches intact and continue with our system then we are going to do good. We have things up and running right now."

There is little time to rest as the recruiting period opens again on Monday.

Gundy also discussed the two major issues that he will deal with in January. First, the futures of All-Big 12 quarterback Brandon Weeden and Biletnikoff Award winner, All-American, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, and last night Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP Justin Blackmon.

"It really comes down to whether they want to be on a college football team again," said Gundy in discussing the NFL labor issues and the pros and cons on each player. Gundy believes both will be back.

"(I think) Weeden needs more experience and Blackmon needs more repetitions. Do you want to continue to experience the college life? Do you want to work towards your degree or do you want to enter that game? That is more important in my opinion more than the lockout," Gundy said.

"I think the college football experience that (former Cowboy All-American offensive lineman) Russell Okung came back for and (former tight end) Brandon Pettigrew came back for," continued Gundy. "Those guys were very happy that they came back for another year of college football and it worked out well for them.

"I don't know for sure, but I'm going to sit down with these guys in the next couple of days or so. Sit down and talk to them and see which direction we are going. We will sit down and talk about it."

Gundy said he felt like he had stated before that Weeden really needed more reps, and that Blackmon also needed another year of polish to help prepare him for the NFL.

He said he really hopes to find out from those two players in a short period of time what they will do. He said hopefully they will return to Oklahoma State and further load the Cowboys opportunity for a huge 2011 season.

Second on the postseason issues list is the vacancy on the staff of an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Gundy was less concrete on that, other than to say it is highly unlikely he will call plays again and he will strive to keep the offensive philosophy and even the scheme the same.

"Any information that I would give you right now would be one, not true, and then leading people in the wrong direction," said Gundy. "I think it is a very small chance that I would do that (call plays). I like the role that I played this year and I think it helped our team. I don't see that happening.

"I don't know that you always be exactly the way that you are each year. I would like to see our philosophy stay the same but that doesn't mean that we couldn't look a little different the next season."

Two developments directly out of Wednesday night's 36-10 victory over Arizona were discussed by Gundy

The Cowboys second touchdown, a beautiful 71-yard scoring strike from Weeden to a wide open Blackmon, who found no deep safety back there when the corner cut him loose. Blackmon then did his best impersonation of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson on his cut across the field approach to the end zone on the winning touchdown punt return in Philadelphia's "Miracle at the Meadowlands II" win over the New York Giants a couple of weeks ago.

"There really isn't anything for me to comment on because I still haven't really seen it," said Gundy. "I've had people tell me. I didn't see it during the game because I had turned my back and started to talk to Joe (DeForest). That is something that I will just discuss with him."

Another issue was a lot more "fun" as the defensive line used a new technique where the entire defensive line starts from a standing position with nobody using a three- or four-point stance. It started at Western Illinois, and the Cowboys have been one of several teams to show it in the bowls.

Young and his staff call it "fun." It was part of a pressure package that rushed Arizona quarterback Nick Foles all night long.

"We talked about it maybe 10 days ago and the defensive coaches liked it as a change up and the players had fun with it," said Gundy of the concept. "It is one of the aspects that the offense has to prepare for in between series. It gives them (the defensive line) a chance to have some fun and the offense has to look at it and find a way to pick it up."

Fun, just what this season has been. Intriguing, that is what the early stages of the offseason looks to be.


GoPokes Top Stories