Two days after the second major scrimmage of the spring, the Oklahoma Football team returned to the practice fiels in full pads on Monday.
After practice, OU head coach Bob Stoops talked Saturday's scrimmage.
"The last scrimmage that we had, I said it afterwards, was a lot cleaner and we had a lot fewer mistakes," Stoops said. "Guys are challenging others in a good way, so there's good a bad on either side of the ball. That's what s going to happen when you play against yourself everyday for two hours."
Stoops was asked after practice if the scrimmages had more impact on the position battles than the practices.
"They all matter," Stoops said. "All the guys have been pushing hard. I just have to emphasize pushing hard through the week to make the improvement because this is our last week to be out here and make sure we're getting as far along as we can."
For the most part, the Sooners have had good weather this spring. However, the last week has brought the wind element to practice, as cooler temperatures on Monday.
"It's not too bad," said Stoops when asked about the effect of the weather after practice. "You needed to bring a warmer coat, like I should've. It's no big deal. You've got to practice through it."
Stoops also laid out the schedule for the rest of the week.
"Wednesday, we'll probably do like we have because we did not scrimmage today. We'll probably scrimmage the last 40 to 45 minutes like we have a few of the other times out here. Friday will be no pads because that will be our third no pads day, then the spring game on Saturday."
Below is a look at the highlights from Monday's workout.
A Work in Progress
Other than quarterback, the Oklahoma secondary continues to be the biggest question mark this spring.
Darrien Williams is apparently here to stay at safety, and Eric Bassey seems to have locked down his corner spot until Marcus Walker returns in the fall.
However, the competition at the other safety and corner spot continues. On Monday, Chijioke Onyenegecha started at corner, but split reps with D.J. Wolfe.
Lewis Baker had spent most of his time at safety this spring, but was back as the nickel back today and splitting time with Tony Cade at safety. Cade returned to practice after missing Saturday's scrimmage with the flu.
Stoops talked about the progress of Baker this spring.
"He still has a ways to go, but he works hard at it and is coming along. I wouldn't say I'm surprised by it, but he should be with all the number of practice we've had."
It was a good day for Eric Bassey, who knocked down several passes.
The Oklahoma coaches also worked with Onyenegecha on not giving up as much ground on his drop-backs because he has a tendency to give up too much on short routes.
QB Race Continues
Once again, it was too close to call on who stood out above the other on Monday.
Paul Thompson threw the only interception of the day in the red zone drill, but he did throw one TD pass in the red zone drill to Joe Jon Finley.
Rhett Bomar looked good once again, hitting Finley for a TD in the red zone drill and hooking up with David Robinson deep earlier in practice. Bomar actually hit Robinson deep twice, but the walk-on dropped a perfect pass on one play.
Bomar also ran on one play, when he faked a hand-off one way and took off the other direction and was able to turn the corner for a big gain.
Tommy Grady was almost picked off once by Eric Bassey, but still had a nice practice throwing the ball, particularly to Finley, who if you haven't noticed by now had a great practice.
Grady and Bomar also worked on throwing the ball short more than usual, and looked good doing it.
Center of Attention
Due to the urging of Kevin Wilson, the offensive line really picked it up the aggressiveness today. In the inside drill where the offensive linemen block against each other, the battles were fierce, especially with Chris Chester and Chris Bush going head-to-head.
Davin Joseph handled his man on just about every play, and J.D. Quinn and Kelvin Chaisson had some nice battles. Chris Messner, Akim Millington and Ben Barresi were praised by Wilson for their technique.
The move that has solidified the line this spring was Chris Bush to center from guard. And after practice, Chris Bush talked about his new home.
"It's really not a big deal for me because I've done it since I've been here," said Bush on changing positions during his career. "I'm glad I can help out the team in any way that I can. Center is not that different for me, but when you compare it to a guy that hasn't played center, it can be a different position because you have so much going through your head. You have to remember that you have to get that snap off. I think a guy that's played it more and understands it can do it better.
"I think it's allowed us to gel more," Bush continued. "It's allowed us, instead of being individuals trying to learn new positions, to come together. And it puts me, an experienced player, in a position to help out some of the other guys in the offense.
Bush was also asked if being the center meant being the leader on the line.
"I think it falls more on the older guys rather than just the center," Bush said.
"He's our leader, he's our leader," said Davin Joseph butting into the interview.
"If Davin says it, that's the case. If that's what I have to do then I'll have to do it," Bush said.
Ingram Impresses Again
Spring practice just keeps getting better and better for Clint Ingram.
Ingram, who seems to knock down balls in coverage and get an interception every practice, did so again today when he picked off Paul Thompson.
After practice, Bob Stoops was asked if he thought Ingram was one of the best athletes on the team.
"Oh, definitely. We've always felt that Clint is one of our best athletes overall. He is really more and more comfortable and sure of himself in what he's doing. The confidence shows and you see more and more how he plays and how he is capable of making big plays. A year ago, he had a lot of big plays for us, but he's making more this spring."
More News and Notes
Receiver Tristen Ross banged up his wrist on one play and left practice to get fitted for a soft cast. His status for the rest of the week is uncertain...Cody Freeby is an interesting punter to watch. He never really seems to get a hold of one, but he still manages to boom the ball 50 every other kick yards whether it be a high-hanger or line drive...Steven Coleman, who drew a start in Saturday's scrimmage, continued to have a great spring getting pressure in the backfield. Dusty Dvoracek also continued his dominance this spring with a great practice today...Chris Wilson showed us some fire on Saturday, and that continued again on Monday. During one drill, Wilson would make a player do an up-down (a form of a push-up) whenever they would get beat by a lineman. However, Wilson did have time to praise Alonzo Dotson and Alan Davis, who had his best practice of the spring...The Sooners will practice again at 3:30 on Wednesday.
Monday's Spring Football Practice Report
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