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Mike Gundy Media Day Press Conference Notes

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We attended Mike Gundy’s first press conference of the 2018 season on Saturday, and I took a ton of notes on what Gundy is thinking about and preparing for in the upcoming season. Let’s jump right in.

• About the OL, Gundy noted, “I also think we’ll be better on the offensive line than we have been in a number of years just from experience and guys understanding our schemes and concepts. That should help in bringing those guys along. Our numbers are up in offensive linemen. I think we have something like 24 total in camp. For a while there, we were around 15 or 16 and it was kind of scary. So I’m really encouraged about where we’re at with our offensive line.”

• Gundy might be enamored with Jim Knowles (maybe we all are): “I went to a couple of his meetings in the spring and they were very interesting. I don’t really know how to explain – I guess technologically savvy. He relates to the younger kids that way. I don’t do a good enough job of illustrating it, but it’s a bunch of stuff that I have never been around before.”

• He compared Tylan to Josh Stewart: “He made some plays last year that caught all of our coaches’ attention as a freshman. Josh Stewart would be the best type of example of the type of player that he should end up like, or the level he should reach, during his career.”

I think Stewart is criminally underrated, and I think Tylan is going to have a pretty awesome career in Stillwater. Hopefully he, unlike Stewart, won’t leave early.

• Said OSU could use its running backs this year like it used its wide receivers last year. One guy down, another guy in. Hockey line changes.

• ”I don’t know that anybody really has a plan right now,” Gundy said about the redshirt rule. Noted that the chances of an OL playing is less than a skill position guy because skill guys play on special teams. “The real question will be how we handle it at the quarterback position.” Said he needs information around the third week of camp. He would have played a freshman corner last year if he felt like he would have helped.

• On Knowles: ”Everybody we play I would guess has all of Duke’s tape … and they’re going to prepare their offense based on what they’ve seen him do at Duke.” Software exists that provides tendencies for coordinators, regardless of school.

• Thinks Jelani Woods is more comfortable now at Cowboy Back.

• On Yurcich: “He’s had offers. He could be a head coach if he wanted to.” Said it’s just a matter of time before he’s a head coach. Worked hard, been loyal and Gundy wants him to get the job that he wants to get even though he’s made OSU better. Said OSU is far enough along that he would be surprised if he didn’t hire a coordinator or coach who hadn’t played or coached at OSU.

• Hasn’t seen enough of Dru Brown to have a real opinion. Likes that he’s competitive and a gym rat. Likes that he learned the offense on his own. Said football is important to him. “I’m surprised that he and Spencer can function as well as they have in practice” is a quote that piqued my interest.

• Talked about top five passers in the NFL and how four of them are 36 year old or older. Shows value of experience. Said the only thing they have yet to see with Cornelius is how he performs in front of big crowds. “I’m very confident in his ability, and his experience has played a key role in that.”

• On Barry and Justice: “They’re very similar.” Said he’s rarely heard Justice talk. Both appreciative of what they’ve accomplished. Love being here. Barry is “clearly the best running back ever.” Saw him ranked No. 3 all time recently and almost put something out on Twitter about it.

• Will be “shocked” if Justice doesn’t get drafted in the top three rounds. Loves that he “hasn’t allowed himself to feel entitled.” He’s a “gold mine” for the NFL.

• Defensive adjustment will fit the ninth president (Kenneth Edison-McGruder) the best. “In a role that should really fit his style of play. Proves how powerful the mental approach to the game is. He feels good about this role. He’s a completely different person than he was … His attitude has been great.”

• Said Barry has a little advantage because there’s more passing now … but there are also more plays. “There’s a lot of great players out there, but I don’t know anybody I would pick before him. If he was behind a different group (of offensive linemen), his records would be so far out of reach …”

• Went four or five years of just trying to manage the OL with five or six guys. “I feel good about the young people in this program. I think we’re recruiting better than we ever have in my opinion.”

• I loved this quote: “It’s easier to work in an environment where you care about the product because of the people around you.”

• Not much has changed with special teams because “In the end, if you have a fantastic returner, your special teams will look really good. If you don’t have a fantastic returner, you’re kind of average. So, I didn’t want to get too out of the box and evaluate who we are.”

• Gundy indirectly weighed in on Urban, and I thought this portion of it was solid: “When I started running into certain issues, not particularly domestic, just issues that coaches have. I had a coach tell me the first year that when you have something happen that’s an issue, he recommended the first thing you do, you sit down at your desk and you say ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ And you come up with an answer and then you act on it.

“You don’t sit down and say ‘How are we going to win a game without this guy?’ Because he might not be playing when it’s the right thing to do because you won’t make the right decision. That’s the principle I try to live by here and I’m not saying it’s easy but that’s what we’ve done here.”

• Of course he talked unis too: “We have so many of them that I like. I’m pretty fond of that gunmetal color. I’ve always liked that. They do a great job. Coach Holder and them being able to work a deal with Nike has been awesome. It’s the one thing I get home with my 13-year-old, is he wants me to tell him what we are wearing and I’ll tell him I don’t have any idea. He thinks that I can spill the beans, but I don’t actually know in most cases until I actually get to see them myself. They’ve done a fantastic job, especially with the helmets.”

Yes, I concur, coach. Now we might need to do something about that shirt.

 

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