Defensive Post-Practice Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 09, 2014

Oklahoma Football
Head Coach Bob Stoops
April 8, 2014

On the injury situation:
“I think we have 10 guys that are out. Julian Wilson, you know he wasn't going. Rashod Favors hurt his knee. No operation. He'll be okay in about three or four weeks. Quincy Russell has a bad ankle. He'll be OK. Sterling Shepard pulled a hamstring. He can't go. Durron Neal got an ankle and a knee. He'll be fine in two or three weeks, but he can't go. Blake Bell is out. Blake got a medial collateral sprain. Again, no operation. He'll be okay in about three or four weeks, by the time we get back. Then we have Adam Shead, Tyrus Thompson and Tyler Evans (are out). Nila Kasitati got an infection they had to do something with today. He'll be OK in a few weeks, but he's out.”

On if the team has suffered more injuries than in past springs?
“Probably. But we do the same things we've been doing for 16 years here. That's how it goes sometimes. Fortunate thing is none of them are operations. They'll all be okay in three or four weeks. When we start in June with all of our main conditioning and training through the summer, they'll all be ready to go.”

On if it is time for backups to step up?
“Sure. They're getting more snaps and having to step up. It's still been really good and really positive.”

On the OU Spring Game:
“We'll have our normal (game), what we've done most of the time. We'll go offense A against A, B against B. That's how we do it, usually trying to go good against good. We'll simulate the kicking game just because there's no other way to do it. We'll have some fun with it and go at it.”

On the depth on the defensive line:
“It has a chance to be one of our deeper and better ones. Imagine that in a year's period of time. Ended up being that way a year ago, too. Since you guys (media) won't say it I'll say it.”

On DE Charles Tapper:
“He looks great. He's playing great. He just continues to get better and better fundamentally, athletically with everything that he can do. He's doing really well.

“It's really exciting to see in our last scrimmage Saturday guys like Michael Onuoha came on and made some nice plays. Charles Walker made some good plays. More and more guys like that, some young guys, are stepping up and making some really good plays.”

On the depth at linebacker:
“Still a little thin. We really like what Devante Bond is doing, and Obo (Ogbonnia Okoronkwo). Eric Striker, Geneo Grissom plays out there now. We've got good depth outside. We're a little thin inside, but those guys are all doing a good job.

On DE Grissom Grissom:
“Geneo is very athletic. Heck, if you put him on a basketball team he'd be playing for somebody. He's very athletic. It really fits him well. He's done a very good job with it.”

On if he is in a more relaxed and confident mood because of the Sugar Bowl win:
“I don't know. I feel like I usually do. I love spring ball. Every year's a new year. That's gone. I'm on next year. I don't feel any different than I usually feel, I don't feel. So I don't know how to answer that, to be quite honest with you. I love our kids' attitude. Maybe that's it, the way they've worked all winter. We've had very few issues or problems. Maybe that's part of it, just the conduct and the attitude and the way my guys have worked has been really positive. That has to do with what they're doing this year, not to anything else. We just haven't had problems. The kids have been awesome in how they've worked and their attitude on the field.”

On the running backs:
I like 'em. Alex Ross continues to really do well. Keith (Ford) is doing a good job, and David Smith. Even David had a sore ankle today. He didn't go towards the end. He was wrapped up and still out there. He's doing okay. Keith has to continue to show he can do the things, and Alex, consistently to take care of the football and know what you've got to do.”

On what he wants to see from players Saturday:
“Just development and developing depth, players that haven't played as much showing us and prove to us daily that you're ready to play at a consistent level, that we can put you on the field and trust you.”

On if QB Baker Mayfield will play on Saturday:
“Yeah. He's really done a good job. Because he's not able to play (this) year, we're going to purposely give the other guys more. We need to feed them a lot of snaps here in the last three or four days because Baker isn't able to play (this) year. We've loved what he's done. He's got a ton of snaps. But we will intentionally give these other guys more. How much he does, we'll see. Don't read anything into it. If he doesn't get much, it's because of that. It's strictly because he's not able to go (this) year.”

On transfer rules related to Mayfield's situation (as a non-scholarship player):
“Yeah, that part of it is a little bit different. I guess I would make a case for a guy that isn't on scholarship, whether I had Baker or not, to give him the flexibility to go where he wants. Scholarship guys, I'm not going sit here and get into any big debate on it. At the end of the day it's kind of hard to manage your team if you've got 20 guys coming and going and you're responsible for APR rules and on and on and on. But that makes it odd because he isn't (on scholarship). You haven't committed a scholarship to him.”

On whether he enjoys the spring game and still sees it as a necessity:
“I love every time we get to go out and play. That's one of them. Necessity or not? No, I'm not getting into that whole debate. That's not for me to say. Every team has to operate the way they feel is the best. For us, we're going to go out there and do the best we can to simulate. We're going to have a great atmosphere. We've got a lot of exciting things going on. We'll go out and perform and hopefully get a lot out of the way we play, and have a little bit of fun with the crowd and the way we do it.”

On the crowd interaction Thursday with the students attending practice:
“Yeah, it'll be fun to give something to our students. Again, our student-athletes get to interact with them and participate a little bit. We'll make the most of it.”

On Cody Thomas’ balancing act between baseball and spring football:
“Coach Heupel has coordinated with Coach Hughes, and they've been incredible to work with. I'd like to think we have been with them, allowing a young man to fulfill his dreams and to out of it as much as he can. It's been busy for Cody but I think it's been positive how we've managed it.”

On if it is tough for Cody because he's a QB:
“Oh, I think it would be tough no matter what it was. Maybe in the long run it could, but that can still be worked through. (Florida State quarterback) Jameis Winston still seems to be doing it. It didn't seem to hurt him a whole lot.”

Oklahoma Football
Cornerback Dakota Austin
April 8, 2014

On getting playing time as a true freshman:
“When I first got here, it was me and Zach Sanchez competing for the spot. He got it then and obviously, now I feel like I should get the other starting spot.”

On the youth of the secondary:
“I know we’re going to get challenged and I feel like we have a group that’s up for it. We really have a lot of aggressive guys, guys that are going to get after it. I wouldn’t want to do it with another group. I feel like we’re really going to get the job done. We’re really underrated and that’s what’s going to make it so much sweeter in the end.”

On lessons from former CB Aaron Colvin:
“I learned instincts and just staying poised. [I also learned] the speed of the game; certain antics that the offense does, just picking up on film work. That’s really the main thing; picking up on things the other team likes to do. He was really heavy on film and that’s something that I would like to adopt in my game.”

On how playing special teams helps when not starting:
“You stay involved. That’s the main part. When you’re involved, you pick up the speed of the game, pick up what coaches expect from you and I think that really translates to when you go out there and play offense or defense.”

Oklahoma Football
Linebacker Dominique Alexander
April 8, 2014

On the confidence the defense found late in the season:
“It just came from believing in ourselves, our coaches believing in us, working hard and us knowing that we can go out there and dominate. And how do we keep it going on? Well, we just try to keep that same confidence and swagger all spring and next season.”

On his added size:
“It’s helped me a lot, getting off blocks. My weight, I’m just getting bigger, faster and stronger and I’m just playing a lot faster, seeing things a lot better and I’m moving a lot better out there.”

On how the linebackers work together:
“We work well together. We’ve spent this whole offseason together, just getting better as a unit and playing with each other. Throughout the whole season we’ve just gotten used to each other and built a great chemistry. Throughout the offseason we’ve gotten closer off the field and then it carried on the field and we’re learning how to play off each other.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Lineman Chuka Ndulue
April 8, 2014

On the mentality going into the season:
“There is still that notion that we can do something great here. We just know that to be as good as you want to be you have to be more aggressive so that’s the mentality.”

On adding weight:
“I’m about 293. I feel a lot heavier. My back isn’t hurting anymore so that’s a good thing. My body is getting used to the weight.”

On if 295 pounds is the heaviest he has ever been:
“Yeah, that’s actually the heaviest I’ve ever been.”

On his ultimate goal weight-wise:
“Wherever they want me, I’ll do it.”

On the adjustments of the defense:
“Whatever Coach (Mike Stoops) thinks is best, we’ll do.”

On the competitiveness of the defensive line:
“There’s a huge competition. There’s a bunch of great guys out there and any one of them could be the starting man. There’s just more drive because you want to play so we just know that your job is on the line each snap so it just makes you play to the best of your ability. As the defensive line, we know that there’s competition every day.”

On having more depth being helpful:
“Oh yeah, for sure. There will be a lot of fresh players.”

On learning the new defense last year:
“I’d say it wasn’t really that difficult because we have a great coach, Coach (Jerry) Montgomery, and he just explains stuff to us to a point to where even my mom could pick it up. It hasn’t really been difficult for the new guys coming up right now, I’d say they’re all just picking it up just like they’re learning formations and they’re going way beyond what they need to know right now and that’s great to see.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive End Geneo Grissom
April 8, 2014

On taking snaps in practice at linebacker:
“It’s every defensive end’s dream to stand up on the outside. It’s been a lot of fun.”

On if he is staying there at linebacker:
“Hopefully I can stay there. I’m working hard on trying to win the job and hopefully I can make that happen.”

On if he is just as fast as the other linebackers:
“I would like to think so. Like I said, it’s every defensive end’s dream to pick his hand up, stand on the edge, and come off the line.”

On how he feels like the position change helps him:
“I’ll be playing guys that aren’t as big. I’m used to going up against 300 pound guys. I’ll be mostly lined up against tight ends and those guys definitely don’t weight 300 pounds so I think I’ll have the advantage there.”

On the attitude in New Orleans being different than the rest of the season:
“I actually disagree. I think that it’s the same attitude that we had all year – facing adversity, everybody counting us out – and I think that right there was one of the major driving forces for last season.”

On the mentality of the team going into the Sugar Bowl:
“Like I said, we’re a very close team. We all try to bond together and stay close and whenever we feel like everybody is doubting us, we feel like we need to step up.”



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