Cowboy Football Q&A: Gunter Brewer

The next issue of Go Pokes Magazine (to be delivered in early August) will feature a Q&A with Oklahoma State co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer. We thought it would be nice to share part of the conversation with 43-year-old Brewer with our subscribers. To read the entire Q&A, please subscribe to Go Pokes Magazine.

How excited are you for the 2008 season to get here?
Brewer: Very excited. We have a great opportunity to be what we think will be one of the better offenses in the Big 12 and in the nation after we finished strong last year. We have several tools coming back that we think will only get better in Zac Robinson, (Brandon) Pettigrew, Kendall Hunter and we're getting Keith Toston back, and the addition of Beau Johnson. We've got a lot of talented young receivers that we're looking forward to getting out on the field. They're green but we know they're talented. And probably the best part of what we have to offer is Coach Wickline has developed two lines instead of one. So we have a little depth up there for the first time since we've been here. We feel really good about that.

Last season the Cowboy offense averaged 243 rushing yards and 243 passing yards per game. If I told you right now that you could produce those same numbers again in 2008, would that be acceptable or do you expecting more out of the offense this season?
Brewer: I think it would be near impossible to get the same exact number. I think it was 243.2 and 243.2 exactly. Mathematically it's almost impossible to play that many games and have that balance. We try to be 60-40, one way or the other, whatever it takes to win the game. But to answer your question, that's an outstanding number and I think we were the only one in the nation to accomplish that, so if we can do that again I would be pleased. We obviously strive for more, but what's important to us is that we as a team become better – and that means on special teams, defense and offense. Some times it may take fewer points in order to win, or control the clock. We want to really be better at controlling the clock, and making sure that our defense stays off the field and their offense is not on the field. We're in great shape there. So we want to control the clock and make sure we do our part, whether it's yards or points we don't care as long as we have one more (point) at the end of the day.

The offensive staff added a new member in Trooper Taylor in the offseason, and there have been some new assignments, including you taking over as co-offensive coordinator. How has the adjustment gone?
Brewer: We're pretty much status quo. When we came in here we installed an offense that we were very familiar with – Larry (Fedora), Joe (Wickline) and I have been friends for a long time. Coach Wick worked with my father for a while, and we'd been exchanging ideas since our Marshall days and their Middle Tennessee days. As far as what the X's and O's part of it is, we didn't change much. We tweak things every year to give a new look or maybe a new play here or there, and extenuate the positive. But any time you change guys around a little bit you have some things you need to tweak, and we're fine with that. Once we got rolling in the spring, and got to know everybody's personality and we gelled as a staff, we didn't miss a beat. I don't think the kids noticed a whole lot of change.

Will there be any noticeable changes that the casual fans will see in the offense this season?
Brewer: Not necessarily. We may have some structural things as far where people are lining up, or how we're getting into things. Right now we don't have two or three fullbacks that we had last year. That brings up the situation of personnel and why we're not in a certain formation, or why we're not doing this or that, it may be because of what we have or don't have in any certain year. We would do that whether Coach Fedora was here or not, or somebody else. You just take what you have and do the best with that personnel.

Has it been determined who will be calling plays this season? Has Coach Gundy decided to call plays this fall?
Brewer: He can obviously, as he's done the last three or four years, interject and we welcome that input. He has a great offensive mind. This spring I was heavily involved in all the play calling and expect to do so in the fall.

I know in the past that each assistant coach has had a geographical region that they were in charge of when it came to recruiting. Is that still the same as co-offensive coordinator?
Brewer: Right, we double up on positions and I think the way ours works is the best way. I think that's why we've had success because we haven't been afraid to try some different things. Everybody has a different georgraphical area, and our two coordinators, myself and Tim Beckman, we split the state down the half. I've got the eastern side with Tulsa and he's got Oklahoma City and that side of the state. Also, any position that your personally coach is the position you recruit. So, I'm involved in recruiting any player in the eastern half of Oklahoma and any quarterback that we're recruiting.

As quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator, I know you can't talk specifics, but how much of a priority is it to get a quarterback in this year's recruiting class?
Brewer: It's essential. We haven't taken one in basically two years, so we need one to come in as a young talent and be able to step in a year or so and be a player in this offense. He needs to compete early. That's an outstanding chance for someone out there. One of the things that is attracting the guy's we're recruiting right now is the chance to play early. We've got to have one. That's no secret.

Do you feel good about the quarterbacks you are recruiting?
Brewer: We've had a grand response to what we've had to offer, not only on campus with the building that is going on right now but what we've been able to do the last two or three years with the offense, taking it from (being ranked) 100 and something to 16th to eighth (in the nation). They see a fun, fast-break, fast-paced offense that they get a chance to be a part of.

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