NORMAN, Okla. — To look at Dan Cody you would think he was already a pro defensive end. At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, Cody is exactly what you are looking for in a defensive end. And the fact he runs a 4.62 40, doesn't hurt him either.
Last year was a breakout year for Cody, and he played so well that ESPN's Mel Kiper said that he made a mistake not declaring for the NFL draft because he would have been an first round draft choice. However, Cody came back for his senior year, because he believes that with another great year he can be a top ten pick in the draft.
Cody is working hard this spring, but found a couple of minutes to sit down with OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: You are an experienced player and have already accomplished so much in your career. With that in mind that do you hope to accomplish this spring?
DC: "I think what you have to do is realize that with everything that you can do you can always get better. There are obviously some fundamental aspects of the game that you have to maintain, and you can't necessarily neglect. Then there are certain aspects of my game, such as being able to recognize things quicker on bootlegs and play actions that Coach (Bobby Jack Wright) and I have talked about that I need to get better at. There are a few aspects of my pass rush that there is no question that I need to improve."
JH: This can be huge for you, both from a team standpoint and as from an individual as well. Wouldn't you agree?
DC: "I have been busting my tail because one thing the seniors always talk about is to keep building on top of what has already been built here. I think that is the one thing that I have done here each year, is that I have continued to build on my personal skills. That holds true for everybody. The thing that I want to do personally even though I have already accomplished some good things individually, I can still accomplish a whole lot more, and not working hard is not going to get it done."
JH: You have some young players behind you. Don't you think that this is a deep group of defensive ends?
DC: "Coach (Bob) Stoops and I were talking about that earlier. Coach (Bobby Jack) Wright has not been giving JJ and I as many reps in team, but we are still working a lot in inside drills. I told Coach Stoops that I understand, because I told Coach Stoops that he had to continue to build that empire. That is true in the spring, where all the work comes because this is the time of the year where the one's and two's can get the majority of the work. They are going to be the one's that are going to be winning the games on Saturday. Now is the time where we can give some three's and four's more work to build on that empire."
JH: What do you think about the talent behind you at DE? Is there another JJ or Dan Cody behind you?
DC: "No question. I think that JJ and I complement each other really well. Our styles of play are different enough to makes us a good team. I think that Calvin Thibodeaux and Larry Birdine complement each other the same way that we do. Thibs has a unique playing style to him and his explosiveness off his pass rush is exceptional. Bird is so big and strong, and I don't think he has even scratched the surface on what he is really going to do yet. Once it all comes together for him Bird is going to be an animal."
JH: This defense lost some great players after last season, but you don't worry about that at Oklahoma, do you?
DC: "I just know that each year that we have been here we have lost stars off of our defense. I don't think there has ever been a year where we haven't had big-name players leave. Whether it is Roy Williams, Rocky Calmus, Teddy Lehman, Derrick Strait or anybody like that leaving off the team each year, we have always had somebody ready to step up. Obviously, their characteristics, personality and the way they work is something that is hard to replace, but with the guys that we have stepping up they can get it done. You just have to let them get out and play. It was the same way with Ted and Derrick and those other guys. You have to let the new guys get out there and become the next great players."
JH: You go against the offensive line every day. Do you notice a more aggressive attitude?
DC: "I don't think there is any question. I watch all of them on film, but I see more of Wes Sims because I go up against him every day in practice. I was telling Coach Wright the first day we were in indoor, and we didn't have pads on we just had helmets, that it sounded like we were in full pads because of the way they were coming off the ball. I can just feel it when I am playing Wes how he is continually trying to stay on me, by fighting and grabbing me to stay with me. I can just tell that their mentality is one of toughness and determination out on the field."
Two Minute Drill: Dan Cody
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