Sooners Illustrated talks with defensive leader and safety Steven Parker

Parker talks about defending a mobile quarterback and getting back to work

How do you feel about playing another dual-threat cornerback?

I feel like it’s a chance to redeem ourselves. It’s also just a great chance to really just get better as a team also. That’s not a knock on Louisiana-Monroe. We all know they’re a great football club. It’s just one of those things, where it will give us a good picture to go against a dual threat quarterback again.

How do you get better as a team?

Everything starts in practice. We have to pick up our practice habits: Running to the football, form-up tackling, just the whole nine yards. It all starts just with the little things. That’s what we are doing.

What’s the team’s main focus this week?

Our focus is just trying to get back to where we were last year and be better. The first week, we feel like we didn’t do our job, especially in the first half. In the second half, we stepped up. We want to be better this coming week. That’s what we’re striving for.

Have practices changed this week?

Already. Monday we came out really focused and ready to work, especially from the loss. It was a good mental day. I felt like today was a good physical day. We were moving fast and moving to the ball. We were practicing everything that I described already.

How’s your shoulder?

My shoulder is doing fine.

What happened?

It’s just a bruise. It’s nothing big.

Are you guys excited about the home opener in the new stadium?

It’s going to bring a lot of excitement. I would say it is going to bring a lot of excitement to Norman. We’re going to be in the new stadium. It’s the first home game. There’s always going to be a pretty hostile crowd. Well, a good crowd for us, but a good hostile crowd for our opponent. I feel like everyone is going to be happy and into the game.  I feel like it’s going to be a great opportunity.

What was the secondary room like watching film from Houston?

It kind of left us kind of mad at ourselves, just some of the things that we’ve been doing in camp, just some of the little small details. They made some great plays, Houston did. We applaud them for that, but there were some things that we thought we could have contributed and basically helped.

Are their correctable issues?

That’s the thing. There are a lot of correctable things, but there are a lot of great things as well that we did in the ball game. It kind of goes hand and hand.

Is it frustrating to play against a quarterback who can extend plays?

It just really depends on the type of player. If you’re describing the personal fouls penalties, those are just penalties that we have to be smart as a football team. We’ve already discussed that. I don’t think it really angers me as much as a player, individually. We face Bake every single day, and to me, he gives us that picture every single day in practice. That’s something that DBs are kind of used to.

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