Cody ready to turn up the pressure in '03

Oklahoma's junior defensive end talks with about his offseason progress and the upcoming season. (Photo/Getty Images)

NORMAN, Okla. — After three years in Norman, Dan Cody is finally ready to claim a starting spot on Oklahoma's defense. The junior from Ada talked with this week about his offseason progress, and to find out just how good he thinks OU's 'D' can be.

JH: What was your goal this summer during your workouts?

DC: "My goal this summer, more than anything, was to maintain my speed, get faster and eat as much as I could. I feel like whatever I get up to this summer will be a good weight for me. I've been anywhere from a little bit above 260 to a little below below 260. But 260 is usually a pretty good weight for me."

"I think a lot of times when people try to manipulate their weight it kind of hurts their game and might slow them down in certain areas and make them slower when they need to be quicker and weaker when they need to be stronger."

JH: Your speed for your size is what sets you apart from most defensive ends. Talk about what you do to maintain that.

DC: "I think in college, when you're playing on the defensive line, you don't have to be 280 pounds to go out there and compete. If you're 260, have good speed and jump on the ball well, that's where you need to be. It's all about a combination of size and speed."

JH: You guys have managed to always stay fairly healthy as a defense. Is that a testament to the fact that Bob Stoops wants you guys going full speed all the time?

DC: "You always hear him say when you get hurt is when you're just standing around the pile or kind of jogging up close to the ball, and it's true. If everybody is out there going full speed you're more aware and alert of what's going on."

JH: If you and ‘JJ' can stay healthy along with Larry Birdine's emergence, could this be a better pass-rushing team at defensive end?

DC: "Yes, I think so. Obviously, we have the potential to be real good, but now is the time to go do it. I think with the way spring went, we kind of changed our gamestyle up a little bit to moreso reacting on the run as opposed to slowing up and thinking."

JH: So in other words, it's up to you'll get to play off your natural abilities more next year?

DC: "Absolutely. We're going to make all of our moves on the fly."

JH: What a lot of people don't realize is that defensive linemen have to have a variety of moves out there, just like a running back. Talk about that.

DC: "You've got to be able to move and shake the hips a little bit. That's something we're working on everyday — working on our hands, hips and all those moves you use at defensive end."

JH: Alright, so Dan Cody's signature move that gets you in there?

DC: "My move is to go as fast as possible and just run around everybody."

JH: Do you think this group will be a better pass rushing group on the defensive line than you have had?

DC: "Last year, and I think you can ask anybody, we didn't play to our potential. I'm not just talking on paper and guys being all-americans and stuff like that, but as far as physically and our natural ability, we just didn't go get it like we were supposed to. I always felt like we were on our heels waiting for things to happen, but this year we've changed our style. We're going to to make it to where they're going to be looking at what we're doing and then react to us."

JH: How good can this defense be?

DC: "We've got some good players out there and we're young on the d-line, but even though we're young we've still got experience in our linebackers, and our secondary is always going to be good. There's not doubt in my mind that this defense could be the our best one yet.

JH: How does it feel to play in a program that's always thinking about winning championships?

DC: "I tell you one thing for sure is it's really fast-paced. I was telling someone the other day how I can remember when I came as a true freshmen compared to what it is now. You used to have this huge sense of satisfaction of finishing the summer workout. But now when you finish the summer workout you're hungry for more. Having this winning tradition here is what's going to help us develop as a team and as athletes to make us better players."

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