Practice Report 17: Gundy Has Media Cranked Up

It was a closed practice and scrimmage Saturday afternoon in Stillwater. The media was permitted to watch the players stretch and some special teams warm up drills and kicks before they were shown the gate. The only witnesses to the near 90-play scrimmage were the players, coaching staff, support staff, and some 50 or so family members of the coaching staff and some players. Yet, head coach Mike Gundy had the media twisting in agony with his comments about the quarterback situation.

Most of the witnesses to the scrimmage that we talked to told us it was a typical scrimmage. The defense came out ahead, according to most. The offense did a pretty good job of avoiding turnovers, but the ground game produced only a few big plays. Most of the passing was of the short and medium range variety. Both quarterbacks joined in with the running backs in taking off with the football and one player's father told me he thought after watching today that Donovan Woods was faster than Bobby Reid, although he'd always been led to believe it was the other way around. That same father said both quarterbacks played well, but he was impressed with Donovan Woods' improvement in throwing short passes. He added that Woods did have a nice touchdown toss late in the scrimmage to his brother, wide receiver D'Juan Woods. Another parent said Reid broke off several scrambles for big gains, and he was impressed with how smooth Reid was in operating the offense.

The question is which of those parents was closer to seeing things through Gundy's eyes. Gundy said he saw something that has him convinced he has a starting quarterback for the first game. His comments drove the media bonkers and expect all kinds of headlines in your Sunday sports page.

Here is Gundy's post practice debrief in its entirety, and remember before Mike addressed the media he spent a lengthy time in the locker room addressing his team, so they know more than the media.

Gundy: We had a ... it was a very interesting twist today at the quarterback position, very interesting and unpredictable, so we'll have to go back to the drawing board at quarterback. I haven't had a chance to meet with the offensive staff. I saw a lot of things today that made me think that we have a quarterback that can start the first game for us a little bit before I thought. We'll have to see how it works out next week, but I thought it was a very interesting twist.
Defensively, we played very good again. We had a few mistakes on offense, put the ball on the ground some. We're still in a learning stage, and I'd like to be out of that right now. We're still in a learning stage and when our twos are in there we're pretty young. We're getting better, and the encouraging thing today is we showed a lot of toughness, which I had been looking for in the past couple of weeks, for the players to have the ability to take a blow, be out there when they're fatigued, and get back in the huddle instead of laying down on the ground. That was very encouraging today.

Media: Can you be more specific?
Another media member: You're going to have to elaborate.
Gundy: I'm not going to elaborate on it, but it was very interesting.

Media: If you read between the line on this you are saying Bobby Reid made a move today and you are considering giving him the chance to be the starting quarterback in the opener. We didn't get a chance to see the passes thrown today and you said you are going to be our eyes, so you will have to elaborate a little bit.
Gundy: I can't elaborate right now until I talk to the offense. Just for me, and I haven't talked to any coaches, it was a very, very interesting twist that may have established a quarterback for us for the opener.

Media: You said sooner than you thought it would?
Gundy: I thought we were going to let this thing play out up until a week before the game and even play two quarterbacks.

Media: Donovan has already played here, so obviously you are talking about Reid.
Gundy: I'm not elaborating. It's the same thing (for the media) in speculating when we lose a player on the team for violation of team policies. Some of the things you guys printed on Walter Thomas's situation was incorrect, so you've got to be careful about what you print until you know for sure. I'm not elaborating on it right now because I need to talk with the offensive staff and see that they've seen the same thing that I have.

Media: Twist, as in twist of ankle?
Gundy: No. No twist like that.

Go Pokes: So now you don't think you will play two quarterbacks?
Gundy: I think that what happened today was a very surprising situation for me and that we may have a starter. I don't know unitl I meet with them.

Media: Was it one guy played so much better than the other?
Gundy: Just the combination of the way the two played and what I saw just from being a quarterback and being an offensive coordinator.

Media: Is this a hunch thing like people have said you were given the job, you know 15 or 20 years ago, they had a hunch at halftime that Gundy was the guy?
Gundy: Has it been 20 years ago? I just have a feeling from what I saw today, of something that was much different than what I'd seen the last six months.

Media: Did you script today's scrimmage or plan it to give somebody a chance to show you whatever it was that they showed you?
Gundy: We just put the ball down and played. We put it down and played. The only thing we scripted was where we started. We started oon the goal line, we started in the red zone, there wasn't anything scripted.

Media: What about the pass versus the option? You were going to look at a lot of the playbook today, and did that play into what you are talking about? Maybe today for the first time this fall you got to see them in a lot of different situations.
Gundy: I didn't really see any plays that were different than what we've run. There wasn't anything different. Hopefully, we'll condense both sides of the ball starting on Tuesday. I didn't see anything different. Now I don't know what they call their plays on offense. I'm not into their system, but I didn't see anything different.

Go Pokes: Did you work on overtime?
Gundy: Didn't get to it because of the rain.

Media: Did the twist entail either of your top two quarterbacks playing a different position?
Gundy: I can't talk about that.

GoPokes Top Stories