First Practice A Steambath

STILLWATER - After a nice steady and steamy rain fell from a thunderstorm earlier in the afternoon the 2009 Oklahoma State Cowboys practiced for the first time Wednesday. But because of the rain the first practice was held in Boone Pickens Stadium rather than the cooler natural grass practice fields. One thermometer read 108 degrees and that one was not on the floor of the stadium.

The two and a half hour practice was conducted in a brisk fashion, with lots of movement no standing around, and just one long break for Gatorade and cold caps in the middle. Head coach Mike Gundy was happy with the practice and happy with what it started to prove about the condition of his football team.

"It was a good day to get started, nice and warm," started Gundy of his post-practice synopsis. "We had the earlier shower so we got to come in and practice on the turf where it was about 125 degrees, so it was perfect.

"The players held up really well and, obviously, Coach (Rob) Glass has done a great job with them this summer and they are in great condition. There was a lot of adrenaline flowing, players moving around, a lot of leadership. We have 28 more (practices) and certainly have to get better, but I thought for the first day, the organization and the flow of practice was very good.

"The coaches look good, (Brandon) Weeden (looks good) he got married," continued Gundy. "We'll find out in about 10 days but I have a feeling these guys are in good shape. There is not a lot of body fat out there. We are proud of these guys and what they've done but there is a long way to go."

The practice seemed to go well as everything moved at a quick tempo and there didn't appear to be many mental errors with the first two units.

"For the most part it was good," said Gundy. "At times we start to evaluate freshman or redshirt freshmen, which is not fair, because they know the plays because they've been here all summer where most of the time they'd be standsing over there drinking water. Most of the mistakes in Xs and Os and fundamentals were made by young guys, and the first two units, in most cases, played pretty well."

Gundy said wide receiver Justin Blackman, cornerback Terrance Anderson, linebacker Donald Booker and safety Johnny Thomas were guys that have stepped up through the spring and summer and show signs of being additional guys that can be counted on.

The move to the stadium was necessary because they are trying to preserve the grass fields and keep them in good shape.

Speaking of good shape, Glass and his staff might not agree (they never think guys are as good as they can be) but the Cowboys appeared to be in good shape as they ran around in helmets, jerseys, and shorts. The returning varsity players obviously looked good as a product of working with Glass and company.

Examples included the aforementioned Brandon Weeden, who while getting married last month also lost weight and trimmed up. Linebacker Tolu Moala said he was weighing 230 pounds down from the 255 he weighed last season. The linemen all had flat bellies. Even the newcomers, some of which have been on campus since June 1, looked good.

Newcomers can't speak with the media but count offensive linemen Parker Graham and Brandon Webb, safety Daytawion Lowe, wide receivers Charlie Moore and Michael Harrison, and defensive lineman Anthony Rogers as among the really good looking freshman. Chalk up junior college transfer guard Anthony Morgan and more recent junior college additions offensive tackle Levy Adcock and wide receiver Dameron Fooks as looking ready to contribute.

The guys who really know and are veterans of Rob Glass summers felt that it did go well this summer and that part of the plan for a successful season meeting the lofty expectations. The Cowboys are in great physical shape.

"I knew we were in for a pretty good treat out here with the weather," said Robinson of the rain shower followed by intense heat. "It might have been the hottest day I've had in my five years. Guys pushed through it and had good enthusiasm and fun just getting back out here.

"I am (happy with the results of summer), we've had a good summer," continued senior quarterback and Davey O'Brien Award watch list selection who is expected to be a captain this season. "Thing went well and we used a lot of the positive press to use as motivation. Coach Glass worked our butts off and put us in a good position for the rest of the season."

"Everybody is ready and excited to get going," said star linebacker Andre Sexton. "We had Donovan and D'Juan (Woods) working with us and we've had other pros back during the summer. Coach Glass has put so many people in the NFL with his training methods and everything that you can't help but respect him."

Gundy and Glass got what they wanted weather-wise for the first practice with the hot and steamy conditions. Due in part to the cooler temperatures in July the Cowboys are doing some running in camp that they haven't done in the past -- sprints and gassers after practice. However, if the conditions stay like this much more than a week then they can probably knock the extra running off the schedule.

Day two of the NCAA mandated acclimatization period which again calls for helmets, jerseys, and shorts will come up at 4:45 p.m. Thursday. Hopefully, the grass will dry out and the practice on Thursday can move to the practice field.

Friday's practice, also scheduled for 4:45 p.m. will be the debut of shoulder pads. After a morning workout at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, before media day and fan appreciation activities, the full pads will come on for the first time on Sunday with practice starting at 4:45 p.m. The first hour of all of those practices is open to the public.

Camp will continue through Saturday, Aug. 15. Classes for the fall semester at Oklahoma State begin on Monday, Aug. 17.

GoPokes Top Stories