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August 17, 2005When the Oklahoma Sooners finished what was supposed to be their final scrimmage on Owen Field, Bob Stoops suggested it may not have been the final look after all. Several youngsters continue to make impacts, the defense looked like it's old self and the quarterbacks failed to separate once again. Check inside for Stoops comments on the scrimmage and why he feels another scrimmage is neeeded.
Q: What did you think?
Bob Stoops: I was pleased. I was real satisfied and pleased mostly defensively with our positioning on the ball. Structurally we were very sound on all the deep balls and deep passes. We tackled well and had very few, if any busted assignments which is what it ought to be. That doesn't mean offensively we're in bad shape. I think we're in good shape. The reason being we practice against each other every day and go good on good. Our players on defense are used to formations and sets, they're used to our plays and used to seeing them. If you're worth anything, you ought to be out there and do well against it.
I think it's obvious offensively we don't have J.D. Runnels and (Adrian Peterson) in there. We're a different team when they're in there and the plays we call, the way we play action and run the game is totally different. Along with having some of our better receivers out early.
We put a lot of strain on the quarterbacks to operate without those (players). We're out there throwing more than we normally would and in formations we normally wouldn't be in all the time. So structurally we're a little different that way. It's hard to judge where we're at there.
But I think once we get all those guys in there at one time, we'll be able to do what we need to do.
I thought the kicking game was really strong and it looked good. It was pleasing to see Cody Freeby step up and hit the ball really well. He keeps improving and I thought Garrett Hartley's been really good. It's probably unfair because I threw him out there in the overtime drill when he's been out for an hour and a half and he was cold. He didn't know he was going again.
But what we saw in the kicking game I felt good too.
Q: You're thoughts on the quarterbacks?
Stoops: They're learning, they're growing in their experience. I'm not much on critiquing individual players in front of everybody. We'll watch it and grade it with them. Again, they continue to learn and grow and that's why we're doing it. And not just them, there are a number of guys that are getting game experience out there where we're learning without it costing us anything.
It was pleasing too that we didn't get anybody hurt out there.
Q: How about the number of sacks on defense?
Stoops: Good pressure. Again, I think the defense knowing without J.D., without A.D. and without Kejuan Jones in there, they're a little more aggressive in their rush knowing there isn't as much of a threat of the run. But they got good pressure and we definitely have to be able to protect the quarterback.
Q: What about your receiving corp? Are you closer to being game ready?
Stoops: They're getting experience, all those guys. Of course we have Jejuan Rankins and Travis Wilson who have played for three years and we're really evaluating those young guys. I think Juaquin Iglesias showed again today he's doing an excellent job. I think some of the other guys that I've seen through camp, Quentin Chaney, Lendy Holmes continue to improve. We still need to get Malcolm Kelly out there who showed a lot of early signs of being a guy that can really do it. Those guys are getting a lot of playing experience and we just have to keep playing and keep getting them in there.
In all likelihood we may even do something next week, not as long as this, but we may come out and go maybe 50-60 plays around Wednesday just to get these guys a little more experience.
Q: A lot of fans want to see Adrian Peterson running
Stoops: Yeah. I want that too. He feels great and he's out there and mad at me that he can't go in but you think about it and we didn't let Quentin Griffin play either. Quentin used to get mad at me too and I'm just not willing with guys that have proven themselves over and over. I'm not willing to take a chance. I've got enough faith when it comes time here in a couple of weeks that he'll be ready to go.
Stoops: I think it's fair to say everything changes when he's in there. The way defenses defend you and your play actions look a whole lot better. It's a whole different deal.
Q: Would you hold that scrimmage behind close doors?
Stoops: I don't know. I'd probably make it open because I like guys to get used to people watching them. Even though it's not full, they still get something out of the people that are here.
Q: The play of your secondary?
Stoops: I've been real pleased in practices and scrimmages with the position and everything they're doing. They're gaining experience too. I've been real pleased with it.