The Sooners practiced for close to two hours and then went through a 60-play scrimmage on Wednesday. And at the end of the workout, OU Head Coach Bob Stoops stopped to talk to the media about practice and the scrimmage.
JH: Bob, gives us the skinny. How did it go today?
BS: "It was good. We had a regular practice until the last 45 minutes and then we scrimmaged a little bit. It went well. We have a lot of polishing to do, but we are making progress."
JH: Did either unit or any player stand out in the scrimmage?
BS: "You know, we got some of the older guys out who have played a lot. It was good. A lot of guys made some nice plays. Malcolm Kelly made some nice catches. Overall, it was good."
JH: What did you think of the play of your quarterbacks?
BS: "It was good. Those guys are getting better and I am really pleased with the progress that Paul (Thompson) is making. He is getting more and more comfortable and familiar with what he is seeing and knowing where he is going with the football. He just needs to keep getting snaps. Joey (Halzle) is doing the same thing."
JH: When it comes to just throwing the ball, how well are the quarterbacks doing?
BS: "They are throwing it fine. They throw it real well."
MEDIA: Talk about John Cooper. Is he getting back into the groove pretty quick?
BS: "He has been doing really well. The last day or so he has had a bruise on his knee. He fell on his knee the other day. There isn't anything wrong with it, but I don't know what they call it exactly. I guess a bursa sac maybe? It is just a little aggravating so he didn't do much today, but he has been doing really well. He is a really good player."
JH: Did you throw Chase Beeler in there today at center?
BS: "Yeah, we went with Beeler and Chris Messner."
MEDIA: Do you feel good about that position (center)?
BS: "Yeah, I feel Jon has a chance to be a really good player."
MEDIA: What do you see at defensive end? Wwill you be rotating those guys?
BS: "Oh yeah, like we always do. There will be four or five of those guys — probably five of guys between Larry, Calvin and C.J. You are really splitting hairs because those guys are really good players. Then John Williams and Alonzo Dotson will be guys who will be ready to play and were ready to play last year until they got hurt (Dotson was academically ineligible)."
MEDIA: Larry Birdine had a chance to have a big-time season last year before he was injured. Is he playing at that level again?
BS: "He looks great. Yes, he is in a great position, but we were so pleased with how Calvin played last year. What did he have nine or ten sacks (ten)? And C.J. was just incredible too. C.J. has had an incredible camp and he is in great shape. The guy is weighing close to 280 and he moves as well as anybody that we have. So, anyway, we are in great shape with those guys."
MEDIA: Has Jermaine Gresham continued to impress?
BS: "Yeah, he is really a special player. You can tell he is a really special player. The players know it and they see it. He caught a nice ball or two today and dragged about eight guys with him. He looked good."
MEDIA: Can he be your fourth receiver in four-wide receiver sets?
BS: "Oh, he will be the first or fourth because he is going to be one of them, definitely."
MEDIA: Is it safe to say that with Paul in control that the tight ends could become major targets?
BS: "It has nothing to do with Paul, it has to do with everything and how they are playing. Joe Jon runs great routes and catches the ball well. He has improved his size and strength. He is up to about 260. Jermaine is running in the 4.4's at 250 pounds and playing well. Then Brodie Eldridge has really been a great addition. He is a big guy as well at about 260. He catches well and he is a good blocker. Those guys have been playing in a really good way, so sure they are guys that we are going to use."
MEDIA: Has Demarrio Pleasant made the most of his opportunity?
BS: "Sure, but that shouldn't be a surprise really. If you remember in the spring he had as fine a spring as anybody that we had. He has been making a lot of big plays and playing consistently. Curtis Lofton is playing well at a couple of those backer positions, which is good to see."
MEDIA: How is the secondary looking for you?
BS: "Good. They are playing really well. Those guys are all making good progress and the safeties are getting more and more comfortable. We are in good shape for the most part there."
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