October 7, 2009

Simmons talks about rebounding after losses

No one expected the Sooners to be sitting at 2-2 as the Big 12 season got underway this week, but that's exactly where the Sooners sit. Where is this team right now mentally? With so many key players already lost to injury, how will the Sooners rebound as Baylor approaches this weekend?

Senior offensive linemen answered the tough questions this week after practice.

Q: We asked this after the BYU game, and it seems like we ask it after every loss. But how is the team's mentality, especially now with two losses in just four games?
Brian Simmons:
Well, we still have things at stake, we still have the Big 12 championship to go after. I think it would speak volumes if we could win that thing four times in a row. I think it will be a long time before anyone wins three in a row. We're fine around here, no one is hanging their heads. Like I said last week, I'm a Sooner, I'm proud to be a Sooner. There's no other team in the country I want to play for right now. We just got to keep getting better, you have to have amnesia. We have to move on. You can't live through last week, you have to live for this week. We have a good mindset around here and we're positive about things.

Q: Is there a feeling of shock? You guys had such high expectations and through some things you can control, and some things you can't, those goals seem to be unreachable now.
Simmons:
Oh yeah. None of us thought we would be here four games into the season. But you have to keep good spirits, you have to have amnesia with this sport. Today everyone was out there with a lot of energy and we're looking forward to Baylor.

Q: How do you digest a loss like that though? Is it something you think about on Sunday, or do you start thinking about the next game as soon as you get on that play?
Simmons:
I tell you what. I think about it from that night, up until we stretch for Monday's practice. I think about it watching the film on Monday before practice, but as soon as we start stretching you have to let it go. That's how I do it, as for other players, I can't speak for them. But a loss will definitely ruin my weekend. My friends tend not to text me and not to call me. I talk to my mom and that's about it. I came here to win and a loss just isn't what I'm here for.

Q: When you looked back at the film, you guys looked really good in some areas but not so good in others. As a whole, how did you grade yourself?
Simmons:
Obviously I felt like we could have played better. I'm not going to say we played bad, but we could have played better. And not blocking wise. I'm talking assignment wise and penalty wise. The cheap hold that I had, as a whole we could have played better. We should have rushed for a lot more yards than we did, we should have moved the ball a lot better. We went on a lot of long drives and Coach Wilson says, 'when you're on the road, you can't kick field goals when you're in the red zone. You have to score touchdowns.' When you kick field goals you give the other team momentum, you give the crowd momentum.

Q: You mentioned the penalties. Against Idaho State and Tulsa you looked to have those cleaned up. Other than you were playing a much better team, why do you think those penalties came back to light?
Simmons:
Besides the competition, the thing I would point to was this was our first true road game. I considered the BYU game a neutral game. I didn't really consider it a road game. I think this game, guys got a taste of what it was like to have 50-60,000 fans cheering and messing with your head. For some of the young guys who had never been in that environment, it makes you jump, it makes you take that one bad step where that guy gets the edge on you and causes you to grab him. Playing on the road was probably the reason for all those penalties.

Q: What can you take out of this loss? Most of the fans think the season is over now, but as a player what do you take from this loss?
Simmons:
What I took out of it is, as an offensive lineman, you realize as Miami was in the last possession and milking the clock, how important each and every possession in a football game is. Honestly, I expected to get the ball one more time. I even told some of the guys that we were going to get the ball with two minutes and then go down and do our thing. After this loss, I thought about the mistakes and how you have to take each and every possession like it's your last. You have to get it there, you can't expect to get it on the next drive.

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