Bob Stoops sent the Oklahoma football team through another light practice Thursday night following last nights physical 92-play scrimmage.
The practice pretty much a carbon copy of the morning workout with the Sooners practicing in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
Despite the fact that the workout wasn't a physical one, Stoops was pleased with the team drills (offense vs. defense in first and ten situations) and let it go on longer then usual.
"I just decided to stay with what we were doing because they were getting after it was so well," said Stoops.
"My assistant coaches are probably mad at me for changing the game plan during practice, but the guys were competing so well I just decided to go with it."
Dusty Dvoracek, J.D. Runells and Darren Stephens were all held out of practice with nagging injuries.
The Oklahoma defense spent a lot of time working on their ‘Eagle' 4-3 defense assignments. Pasha Jackson is the third linebacker in the eagle and has been getting a lot of attention and coaching from Co-Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops so far during two-a-days.
The junior linebacker says playing the position at OU is different then the way he played it in junior college.
"We played the same defense in junior college that we do here, but we didn't play it the same way," said Jackson. "The ‘SAM' linebacker here does a lot more things then I did in junior college. In junior college, I did play over the tight end, but I was basically there to stuff the run and stuff the tight end. Here, I have to do it all. I have to guard against the run, stuff the tight end, drop back in pass coverage, and sometimes I line up in the box.
"I'm in a lot of different positions all the time. But that is why this defense is successful, because we line up in a lot of different ways to disguise what we're doing."
Overall, Jackson says he thinks the defense pretty much has their assignments down.
"We have it down pretty well right now, but we're not in game condition yet."
"I'd say we have about 95 percent of it down. We're not to the point where there's 100 percent certainty in it. We've had nine or 10 practices. It seems like one big glob of practices and it's running together. That's not a bad thing, but we just need more practice time to get it together, and we will."
"We're doing pretty good job in this area, but we've got to be great in this area," said Bob Stoops on the defense getting lined up properly.
"If you miss an assignment on defense it could cost you a big play. The only way to correct it is to practice lining up."
Senior defensive back Terrance Sims is on the way to recovering from his second knee injury at OU and got more work with second units tonight.
Kejuan Jones is on the verge of making a move up the depth chart and continues to get more reps with the first unit.
Antwone Savage and Mark Clayton were the starting kick returners today followed by Antonio Perkins/JeJuan Rankins and Curtis Fagan/Brandon Jones.
The up-backs on the kick return unit were Renaldo Works, Teddy Lehman, Lance Donley and Derrick Hurst, while the front line consisted of Trent Smith, Chris Chester, James Moses and Gayron Allen. The two outside gunners rotated between Terrance Sims, JeJuan Rankins, Jowahn Poteat, Antonio Perkins, Travis Wilson and Michael Hawkins.
Nate Hybl got more work with the first unit tonight during the team and skelly drills. On one series he hit Rankins and Brandon Jones with nice passes.
On the first series of the team drill, Jason White hooked up with Clayton on the first play, but threw two incompletions and one pass batted down.
Hybl then stepped in and got the next 12 reps with the first team and looked steady as usual.
The offense worked on some draws, options and swing passes. White looked really good running the ball on the option. None of the freshmen quarterbacks got reps with the first unit tonight in the team drill portion of practice.
Sophomore offensive lineman Jammal Brown continues to excel on the offensive line at tackle. Brown has lost his starting spot at the end of spring, but his hard work over the summer and in two-a-days has helped him solidify his starting spot on the team.
Brown talked about making the transition from offense to defense today after practice.
"I think offense is more complicated, because on defense we get to turn it loose more," said Brown. "Sure, I had responsibilities and assignments on defense, but on offense I have a lot more. Plus, I've got a great athlete going against me on offense. But because I come from defense I think I'm a better athlete then most offensive lineman."
Brown also said that contrary to some of the media's reports, the offensive line isn't clicking on all cylinders just yet.
"In some ways we are. Everybody is saying that we are doing well, but in reality we need to do a whole lot better," Brown continued.
"We have potential and we're tying to get good, but we're not there yet. We have to get there by Tulsa."
Huntington Beach, Calif. quarterback Tommy Grady attended practice this afternoon with his father and a good friend. Grady is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and looked every bit as tall as the 6'6" he is listed as.
Grady chatted with Bob Stoops at the beginning of practice and hung around the quarterbacks for the rest of the workout. Coach Long paid a lot of attention to him throughout the drills and after practice the Grady's joined Stoops and long for a film session at the Switzer Center.
The Sooners will return to the intramural field again tomorrow morning at 8 am for another set of two-a-days.
Thursday Evening Practice Report
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
OU recruiting report: DefenseEvaluating some of the top performances from OU's commits on defense.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 11:41 AM
OU unfiltered: Joe MixonIn his first interview of the season, it's OU running back Joe Mixon.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 8:50 AM
OU recruiting report: OffenseA review of the offensive performances of OU's commits so far this season.
Sooners IllustratedWednesday at 11:24 AM
Thomas, Walker making big impressionsPart II as reflect back on the best performances seen LIVE so far this season on recruiting trail.
Sooners IllustratedWednesday at 10:01 AM