A Conversation With Vance Bedford

OSU defensive coordinator Vance Bedford hasn't settled down any since last week and his statements about OSU fans that might be classified as "fence straddlers" or in an earlier "roaches" comment that attracted a lot of attention. Bedford was asked if maybe he was using an old coaching trick of deflecting attention his way rather than at his players following the Houston loss.

"I don't have any trade secrets," said Bedford. "To have trade secrets you have to be smart, and I've already had a lot of people say that to say the things I said I couldn't be very bright. People have said, 'What is wrong with him? Is he off his medication? Did he get hit in the head or fall from the sky?' People need to think what they think because I am what I am. That is the way my father was and my grandfather raised me. They raised me to have morals and ethics. I'm going to say what I want to say."

Bedford was still fired up and made sure anybody within earshot knew he was standing by anything and everything that he had said last week.

"That's okay if the attention is on me after a loss then it's not on our players," said Bedford. "So people were more concerned about what I said than us losing a ball game because the players were very frustrated after the game, the coaches were very frustrated after the game, and I heard one of the coaches said his son, who was at home, cried after that loss.

"It is hard for me to let anyone, and technically that is my family, say anything negative about those guys. You (fans) are no more frustrated than those players, and those players and coaches are first with me. I'm not going to let anybody insult my players. If you are frustrated then the players are 10 times more frustrated.

"I had a lot of emails, phone messages and letters and Oklahoma State Cowboy fans are great. They do an outstanding job and they have given us great support. Now at least we've had front-page coverage for the first time and The Daily Oklahoman, whatever newspaper that is, thank you I love it. Now hopefully that means in the stands we are going to have standing room only for the rest of our games because people are going to want to show me that they are with us -- win, lose or draw. I already knew that, and I knew I didn't offend any true orange Oklahoma State Cowboy fan. A lot of people have told me that is something they have wanted to say for a long time, but they couldn't say it."

It is time to move on and eventually we got Bedford talking about how the Cowboys will defend against a struggling Kansas State offense that averages only 20.2 points and 299.2 yards per game. It's an offense that Baylor held without a touchdown thanks to five turnovers in a 17-3 win for the Bears in Waco. Bedford said he's more concerned about what his defense is doing than the offense they will try to defend.

"We are going to go out and be ourselves," said Bedford. "You don't change your attitude. You don't change your approach. You keep doing the things you do and if we do that we will get better."

Kansas State coach Ron Prince announced after the Baylor loss that highly recruited freshman quarterback Josh Freeman (47-14-4 for 214 yards) will be the starter. Bedford isn't showing the true freshman any lack of respect despite his three interceptions at Baylor. Bedford does admit starting is always a new experience for any player.

"He's played quite a bit and sometimes it is easier to come off the bench than start," said Bedford. "In Chicago I had rookies that I had to play and I wouldn't start 'em, but the very next play they were in the game but they didn't know that. That way they slept better and felt better.

"They are going to do things at the start of the game for him to have success," Bedford continued. "If I was (K-State head coach) Ron Prince it would be the quick passing game or a few run plays to get him comfortable and settle him down. Plus, he is playing at home and that is to his advantage."

Bedford admits that the OSU objective is to make Freeman uncomfortable on Saturday afternoon.

"We are going to do whatever we can, whatever that is, to make him feel as uncomfortable as we possibly can," he said.

That might mean simply having Bedford come over and give Freeman a pregame pep talk.

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