OSU Media Day: Mike Gundy Q&A

STILLWATER - As part of Saturday's Media Day and Fan Appreciation Day activities, Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy came in and stood in front of some 40 reporters, cameras, and microphones. It was easy to tell that Gundy is much more relaxed as he begins his fourth football season as the head of the Cowboy program.

The former OSU qurterback hit on a number of topics, including when asked which is more fun, being a college football player or coach. Gundy without hesitation shot back, "Player. You have more control over the outcome as a player."

Here are some of the selected questions and responses of Gundy from his media day discussion with the media.

Gundy: Practice has gone well and, obviously, it is warm. I know that will come up and we've had four or five players that have cramped up a little and we've pushed some IV fluids down them. [Among those players getting IVs were Jeray Chatham, Ugo Chinasa, Richetti Jones, Russell Okung, and Brandon Pettigrew.]

We're out there about two hours and we've cut that back a little bit. The heat index has been a little bit warmer than it has been the last couple of years and the players have been moving around pretty good. We are healthy and they are excited. The defense played really well in practice this morning. Some of you may have been there and we got close to setting a record for most turnovers in one preseason practice, which is good for the defense. We were excited about that and we'll be back at it tomorrow afternoon. It's really same-o, same-o, not much different than the (Big 12) media days about a week ago.

Q:Talk about the plastic bracelets the players are wearing (orange bracelets that have Big 12 Champions on them)?
Gundy: I've seen some of those and that is something the players have come up with. I'm not a big jewelry guy and I don't wear rings or bracelets. One of the things that I've talked with players and coaches is that around here we don't talk enough about winning championships. I think that is something that has evolved here over the last 50 years and I think our players felt like we needed to talk more about winning the championship. I think that is where that came from and it is something the players came up with.

Q: Has the definition of what a good defense is changed over the last 10 years?
Gundy: I think that is something where you have to poll the defensive coordinators and see how they feel. Personally, looking at it from the offensive side, I don't think there is any question that there are more points scored than there used to be because of more plays being run in no huddle offenses and more forward passes that stop the clock.

If you are playing a good team and their offense is a no-huddle, fastbreak offense and you hold them to 28 points then that probably is a pretty good day. In the past it would have been 17. I think there is a lot of truth to that. It goes back to we have to play better because in order to win this league, the team's that have won it in the past have played good defense. But you also have to be able to score in this league because the majority of the teams in this league can score a lot of points.

Q: There are some very good quarterbacks in the Big 12, where does Zac (Robinson) fit in?
Gundy: For us, I wouldn't trade him for anybody. There are some really good quarterbacks in this league and I think the coaches and the offensive coordinators in this league have done a good job with the players in this league of adapting to their style io play. They are different. You always feel like when you play a team with a good quarterback that you have to play well to have a chance to win because you know they will play well.

Now if you have a good quarterback as part of your team then you have a chance to win every Saturday. That makes it interesting. But for what we do on offense I think Zac is the best we can have and I wouldn't trade him for anybody. I would say that Missouri probably feels the same way about their guys.

Q: Does this camp feel different? Do you sense the players are more relaxed and confident?
Gundy: I think things happen a lot faster in practice now. On offense we are going into our fourth year now and defensively, we are into our second year of the system. There is more maturity out there and things happen faster.

There is a comfort zone knowing guys are out there that understand how it all fits in. It is interesting watching the young players, the new entry guys, and how they work with the older players. Ultimately, you'd like to get your system up and running where the veteran and the mature players train the younger ones for you. They kind of lead the way. I think we are starting to get there. We have some veteran players that are starting to lead the way in the weight room and on the field and in the meeting room and that is when you are really making some headway.

Q: Is the Washington State game a big opener?
Gundy: They tell me they bring 50,000 to 60,000 people in when they play in Seattle, so that is going to be a true road test for us. We are going to have to be in really good shape, understand our game plans, and be ready to execute in all three areas and all play well.

Q: How soon will you know which freshmen might plays this season?
Gundy: I watch it every day and I watched Jamal Mosely run down today on scout team punt and nobody could block him. I watched that. We recruited him at 223 pounds and now he is 241 pounds and he is skinny.

You go into our staff meeting for recruiting and you say when you are recruiting tight ends for our system then you take a picture of him and put it in your pocket and when you walk around a high school and when you see one like him that is what you want. He's got a chance to play because he looks like that and he is working hard.

We don't have full pads on and we haven't had several days of contact but in about a week from now we'll have a better idea of who can handle it physically and mentally and withstand all the contact. Travis Miller (running back) makes a few plays, Jamal Mosley makes plays. Markelle (Martin), I'm not putting in that class because he has been here. There are some guys that have show up out there.

Most of the offensive linemen will redshirt because we have that luxury. Cooper Basset shows up at tight end. He is doing a good job. He is actually more flexible and faster than what we thought in recruiting, so we are pleased with him right now.

At wide receiver we need so many of those guys to run in and out there in our system. Isaiah (Anderson) has made some plays, Adrian (Richards) has too, and Justin (Blackmon) has looked good out there. We just need to wait a few weeks.

Q: Talk about your experience so far as a head coach and what you have learned?
Gundy: Two things, I think the first of is patience. There are a lot of issues, on and off the field, that come across my desk every day. You have to learn to be patient and find out as much information as you can so that you make the best decision for the young men or the young man, then for the team and for the University, whether it is an easy decision or a tough one.

You have to stay the course. One thing that I'm glad that we have done is we have stayed on a course and we know exactly what we want to do. We haven't veered off of it and we have stayed with our systems. We've had a good recruiting plan from the start and we've stayed with it, and we've brought in other good coaches that know what they are doing in recruiting.

We have a great recruiting staff and the most important thing that we do, I have always said this, is we bring in good people that want to graduate from college, want to play big time football and win a championship -- kind of in that order.

I think years ago it was the other way around in that you bring in a good player and if wanted to go to class and graduate then that was a bonus. I think we are seeing the flip of that right now. Not every time, but more often that not the guy that comes in and wants to graduate is also the guy that will go out there and get the job done on the field.

GoPokes Top Stories