Sooners regroup after tragedy, cancellation

The latest quotes and excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops weekly press conference Tuesday at the Barry Switzer

Opening Statements
Last week was a very trying and difficult week for everybody. Just as a team, dealing with last week and even into this week we're all shocked, saddened and find it as difficult to deal with as everybody else does.

Along with that, our team continues to try and operate and function as we should carry on with our players going to class trying to practice and prepare for the coming games that we have.

On if he feels it's time to get back on the field after the tragedy
The more difficult decision overall would have been if most teams aren't playing and you're one of the few that are. It certainly would have been a more difficult situation. But now that other people are out there playing you sort of blend in there with everybody else, so the pressure of it isn't quite as intense.

On after not playing last week's game against, was the decision not to play a good one
I don't believe there is a right or wrong decision. Why does it make it right even that we're playing this week? It's the same situation.

Nobody hurts anymore than anybody else, outside of the families that have been directly involved, we all hurt. It's incredible when you watch, follow and see what the rescue workers are going through and their families. You can't have enough sympathy for all of them . All we can do is pray and do what we can to try and help.

If the situation last week would've been to play, it would have never meant that we weren't thinking of those people and didn't have them on our minds, or didn't care for them and weren't deeply saddened by it. But it also would've sent a message to those responsible for it that they can't change what we do, the way we live, the way we operate here in America. And if it was our duty to go play for our leaders then we would have went ahead and done it.

Again, we would have grieved just as anyone else would have. Now, if that would have taken us away from anything else that could have benefited those people or changed the events, then that wouldn't of been right, but I don't believe that was the case.

I trust our leadership. We've got great leadership in this conference, our athletic directors and in college football and throughout the college ranks. Whatever they decide I'm not going to sit here and second-guess at all. I know what it's like to be second-guessed. I'm in full support of whatever they decide to do and the way they went about it.

On preparing for their next game against Kansas State
I believe it does motivate and excite our players to know that after this week we're into our Big 12 conference with Kansas State and Texas as our first two opponents. So, that is an incentive. It gives them something to look forward too, and prepare for.

On if the time off has effected the team positively or negatively
The time off has been good. We were somewhat nicked up from our first three games, and this time has allowed us to get healed up and get a little more fresh We should be at full strength when Kansas State comes to town. The last week or so has helped our team to rest up while we're still getting a lot of good work in.

On if having the Tulsa game cancelled changed anything they would have done in practice with this being a scheduled off-week
No. We had good preparation last week. Obviously, this week we're fully intended to concentrate on Kansas State and Texas, our next two games. And we're doing that, so it really didn't change anything.

On the North Texas game
It's hard to remember back that far, but I do remember quite a few penalties. I do remember a few too many turnovers. I remember some excellent play by our quarterback and our offense moving the ball up and down the field.

Defensively, a lot of strong play outside of a couple of big plays that we hopefully can correct. I remember a lot of sloppy play in the kicking game, so those are a lot of things we worked on last week as well as this week. Hopefully, we've corrected some of those mistakes.

On if he has any concern about security at Owen Field for the Kansas State game
No more so than at any other time. Terrorism didn't just start last week. Again, I've got great faith in our Presidents, our athletic directors and the measures that they take at all stadiums. I know they're very thorough.

I'm not going to be fearful and not go out and do what we do, to compete and give people something to cheer about and agonize over for a couple hours. We understand that it's a game, and there are a lot more important things. But it's also something that our American people love. I trust that all of our campuses will be doing the correct measures and doing everything they can to ensure people's safety.

On the status of Terrance Simms' injured knee
He'll be undergoing surgery today (Tuesday).

On if it is tough for the team to take this amount of time off, come back and look sharp against Kansas State
I don't believe so. I believe it's helped us heal up and work and concentrate on some areas that we weren't as efficient or polished as we should have been. I think it's good that we've had three games under our belt to have a good feel for the direction we were heading and what kind of team we could be.

On if the team needed another game to polish up and get ready for Kansas State
I don't believe we needed to have it all. We've got plenty of practices, and I believe the extra practices will help us and we'll be just fine.

On if Juan Prishker will be able to play this season
I believe Juan has a chance to play this year. We're set to release him to full-go this week and probably wait until next week to allow him too.

On the status of the Sooners banged up secondary including Antonio Perkins, Derrick Strait and Brandon Everage
Those guys are all healing up and should be fine by next week. Whether they will be or not, we'll see. They're all pretty close.

On if they are settled on a first and second team offensive line
All those guys continue to improve, make progress and gain more experience. Right now, we're set coming into this game, but as players play and who does well and what No. 2's come on we'll see. Our lineup is never set for the whole season, hopefully you're always playing who deserves to play, and who makes the most plays the most consistently is who you want in there.

On if any of the young players on the offensive line are standing out
I don't know that anybody stands out anymore than anyone else. I think they're all coming along and doing pretty well.

On rescehuling Tulsa for early November
I think it's good and the time we're going to play them is just fine. I feel good that game is still going to be here and be played as it was supposed to be.

On how the players reacted to the tragedy
They're no different than anybody else. Everybody is following it, it's on in the locker rom. Everybody talks about it. Outside of that, certainly everybody holds them in their prayers. We acknowledged it, and had our moments of silence to say our prayers.

I thought it was interesting even my two-year-old sons, we were saying our prayers at night and God Blessing everybody for the night and they said ‘God Bless Coach Bush.' I thought that was pretty interesting that they looked at President Bush as Coach Bush.

That's all that we can all do is pray for all of them and all of our leaders that they're going to do the right things and we're here to support them, and continue on doing what we can do to change things from here on out.

On if the team is anxious to get back out on the field
Sure, like everyone, that's what we do this time of year. We practice and then we go play. We are anxious to play and I'm sure by the time the Kansas State week comes we'll be chomping at the bit.

On how they handle preparations for the next game during an off-week
This first part of the week we'll concentrate on Texas, and practice against Texas plays and schemes. Then, later in the week we'll gear it into Kansas State. Our practices will probably be a little more physical and a little more challenging in that we don't have a game to play Saturday. We won't have that exhaustion of having gone through a Saturday playing, so we've got a chance to get a little bit more done this week.

On what point will they shift the focus from Texas to Kansas State
We'll work on Kansas State Friday and Saturday. There's certain carry-over with each team as well, so even today and the rest of the week there are certain parts of what they do we feel we need more work on.

On if he feels it's time to get back on the field after the tragedy
The more difficult decision overall would have been if most teams aren't playing and you're one of the few that are. It certainly would have been a more difficult situation. But now that other people are out there playing you sort of blend in there with everybody else, so the pressure of it isn't quite as intense.

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