Wright says secondary can play better

Despite the fact that his unit is ranked 10th nationally in pass defense, OU secondary coach Bobby Jack Wright says he expects more from his group. Wright also talks about the status of Darien Williams, the challenge of defending OSU's offense and Reggie Smith's (pictured) improving play at safety. (AP Photo)

The Sooner secondary will get a tough test Saturday when they travel to Stillwater to take on the Cowboys, who are currently ranked 7th nationally in scoring offense. OU secondary coach Bobby Jack Wright talked about the match-up on the OUInsider.com Two Minute Drill.

JH: How has Darien Williams looked so far at practice?

BJW: "He is gimping around."

JH: What would you do if he can't go?

BJW: "We would probably go with Nic at free safety if Darien is not full-go by Saturday. But it is still early and by Saturday he should be OK and ready to go. The trainers are pretty optimistic. It is basically just stiff (knee) right now and it is getting better every day. We will have him ready. We will work him and then rep him, and we will have Nic and J.C. (Jason Carter) ready as well. We will be ready to go."

JH: Your secondary has been making a lot of plays lately. Have you been happy with the number of plays they have been making?

BJW: "Well, really I think we should be making even more. I am happy in the progress, but I am not happy where we are yet. I think we can be a lot better, and we need to be a lot better. I think we could be more productive in that area of interceptions. We should have had five last Saturday. We had a legitimate chance of intercepting five balls and we came up with two.

"We got our hands on a lot of footballs and we batted some away, dropped a few and that type of thing. Although I am pleased and it is a positive, it is certainly nothing that I would be negative about. But I just think we can be better and we can do more."

JH: What kind of pressure can a QB like Bobby Reid put on a secondary?

BJW: "Bobby Reid is a fine talent. He is big, strong and fast and he is capable of making plays with his legs, as well as making plays with his arm. Any time you face a guy like that, and as many of those type of guys that we have faced this year that are what we call dual-threats, when he gets out of the pocket he is dangerous. He puts a lot of pressure on the secondary. You have to lock up and now you have to cover them for a long period of time, or a longer period of time until we can get him corralled.

"In the meantime, you have to hold coverage and keep those guys covered as long as you can. The added pressure is that he is a good runner as well as a very good passer. He is averaging right at 200 yards a game throwing and they are averaging a little over 200 yards a game running. That is a pretty good mixture on the offensive side of the ball."

JH: What are your thoughts on Bowman and Woods at receiver?

BJW: "They are very good. They do a great job of route running and they do a great job of catching the ball. They are deep threats and they are both big and physical. You see them all the time, as you look at tape, catching the ball and making big runs after the catch or after contact.

"People come up and try to bump them down and you are not going to bump them down. They are big, strong, physical guys so you have to do a great job in coverage but understand they are going to get their catches. After they catch it, you have to limit those gains and become sure tacklers."

JH: How well has Reggie played at strong safety?

BJW: "Saturday, I thought he had his best game since he has been at Oklahoma. He was extremely active and made a lot of plays in the run game and made play after play after play in the pass game. He had two interceptions, one which he ran back for a touchdown, and the other went back for 50-something yards. He had 90-something yards in returns on two interceptions and a touchdown. He also had his hands on three other footballs. I told him midway through the third quarter if he wasn't careful he was going to set an NCAA record.

"So I am really pleased. I thought Saturday he played the way that I have felt like he was capable of playing all along. I think it has just been a factor of getting comfortable with the defense, feeling more at ease with everything that he is doing, having a better understanding of the defense and having a better awareness of how you get a tackle at that spot. I think he played it extremely well."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories