Cowboys Football: What To Watch For This Week

Last week was more about the players and less about the plays. This week that will morph into more focus on both and a lot of focus on the path to success. In a teleconference arranged by sponsors of the Advocare Cowboys Classic both Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State made a statement on the conference call and then took questions from media members.

During those questions, Fisher was asked about fall camp and preparing for Oklahoma State. He said right now the preparation was centered on his own team and that they were embarking on the process. For Fisher, the process is the path his team must follow to ensure they have success on the season.

Gundy doesn't use the term process, but this week his team will be going through the same steps.

Last week introduced all of the Cowboys players to each other, to the coaching staff and support staff, and to the routine. Gundy is very much a routine-style coach and there is one followed now. Buit when school starts the program will adjust into a routine that will stay similar all season.

It was also designed to see where all the players were in returning. How much had they grown on the field? The coaches were able to work with the newcomers and the freshmen for the first time.

The returning starters from spring had an obligation to prepare themselves over the summer with Rob Glass and his staff, while the new players had the chance to show their abilities in strength and conditioning and also establish a reputation for work ethic.

Playmakers were looked for and found. The names like Tyreek Hill, Desmond Roland and Jhajuan Seales were givens from the spring. Add James Washington, David Glidden, Brandon Sheperd, Marcell Ateman, Rennie Childs, Ra'Shaad Samples, C.J. Curry, Jeremy Seaton, and more.

On defense, the knowns are the defensive linemen, led by James Castleman, Ofa Hautau, Jimmy Bean, Sam Wren, and Emmanuel Ogbah, along with Ryan Simmons at middle linebacker, and Kevin Peterson in the secondary.

Freshmen have jumped up like Josh Mabin and Kirk Tucker at linebacker, Juwan Offray at corner, and Dylan Harding and Jerrel Morrow at safeties. The young players like Seth Jacobs at linebacker and safeties Tre Flowers, Jordan Sterns and Deric Robertson have reached an established point in the first week.

Over the years Gundy has said he always looks for freshmen and newcomers in the first week. That is when he found Kendall Hunter, Keith Toston, and most recently Marcell Ateman. It is week two where they have to be tested.

That is a major part of the first week and now the second week is like a confirmation. There is more attention given on plays and schemes and with the head coach a lot is based on how players tough it out and handle their workload and their attitude through the grind.

This week features more practices in pads. Mother Nature will dish out more heat this week, and Gundy and the staff will have two-a-days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with another scrimmage scheduled for next Saturday.

Week one puts players and playmakers on the radar screen and in contention. Week two will put them in the starting line-up, in the rotation, on special teams, on the travel squad, and determine so much of what is to come from a personnel standpoint.

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