Cowboy Practice Report

Every player and coach goes through different periods in preseason camp. The first several days are full of anticipation and the adrenaline is high causing for energetic and enthusiastic practices. Then teams usually slip into drop. Older players are aware of the upcoming grind and younger players may feel the first twinge of home sickness.

After that the routine does set in and how players handle it often dictates how the season might go for them individually and as a team. At Oklahoma State with a head coach that is now able to completely monitor attitude and body language, and feels strongly about it, players had best handle this "hump" week for the preseason with plenty of energy. Tuesday's practice was part of the grind going two hours and 45 minutes and representing the longest practice of camp.

"We'll have some walk-throughs this afternoon and get back after it tomorrow," Gundy said of the schedule for today and the rest of the week which includes two-a-days on Wednesday and Friday. "We've got about four or five more difficult days where we're really going to push them hard and get them through the scrimmage and then next week get them into more game-plan situations and not as much time on the field.

"We wanted to push our guys," Gundy continued. "We're however many days out from our first game and we wanted to push them. Even though we don't do a lot in the evening practice we wanted to get them out there and extend them and see if we could open their lungs up a little bit. I think it'll be good. We've had a plan the last few years of how we approach our first game and I'm confident our guys will get the work they need in preparation of the first game."

Tuesday's practice included plenty of scrimmage time and it was just the opposite of Saturday's major scrimmage where they put the ball down and played it. Today it was working various situations and the action was scripted, which caused offensive coordinator Todd Monken to deflect the compliment on the faster tempo of the practice.

"Reading off a script, today was quicker because I was just reading off the damn paper," Monken explained. "Now certain situations are going to slow us down like in critical situations like red zone, short yardage, and coming out. those kind of things are going to slow you down because you want to get the right play. It doesn't do any good to go fast if you don't call the right play."

Monken saw the running game work well with both Joe Randle and Jeremy Smith. the passing game was good at times, but the pass rush and the secondary played well too. It wasn't much different from Saturday, which featured a lot of give and take. Tracy Moore had a good day catching the ball and Justin Blackmon was his usual self making some tough catches. Hubert Anyiam had a touchdown grab. In the secondary, Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert at the corners and starting safeties Markelle Martin and Johnny Thomas were stingy.

Gundy continues to be impressed with what he is seeing for the defenders, but he is guarded still in his comments.

"We're getting good effort from those guys. Your interior tackle spots and the absence of Orie Lemon still concerns me, but from an effort standpoint our players are giving us everything we need to have success," Gundy said. "As a coach you would like to see maturity happen a little faster and it's going to, but as we mentioned the last few weeks we are very athletic. Now it's just a matter of quality repetitions and those guys buying in."

Wednesday is a two-a-days day as the team will go in full pads in the morning practice at 8 a.m. and then come back in the afternoon in shorts at 6:30 p.m.

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