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Mike Gundy Talks 2016 Bedlam and Playoff Aspirations with Doug Gottlieb



Mike Gundy joined Doug Gottlieb this week to chat about a variety of topics, and as is usually the case when either of these guys is talking, it was pretty interesting. Gottlieb asked great questions about the past and the future, and Gundy was pretty open about this season as well as the plan that went wrong in Norman last year.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview which is linked here and embedded below.

On Mason Rudolph

“Mason Rudolph has had a really good offseason. I think he’s made more improvement from the bowl game to now than he’s made in any of his years. He should due to experience. He’s handled all the publicity very well. He’s very driven and focused. The team has followed him.

“He had a couple of games where in the first half (last year), he just wasn’t very good. He tried to do too much, and he tried to rush things. He got out of his box. He has to play within his box. He has to use his strengths.”

On his pro WRs

“We have eight guys we can put out there at any time and we trust them. Of those eight, I’m going to guess at least three are going to play in the NFL at some time in the next three or four years.”

On the Backup RBs

“We’ve got three guys who are battling to back up Justice Hill.”

Guesses: J.D. King, LD Brown and Ja’Ron Wilson.

On this year’s defense

“Defensively we’re similar because we don’t have a player everyone is going to say just dominates, but we have a lot of speed. I think they’re really fast. Playing in our conference, it’s so important to have speed to cover from sideline to sideline. They need to force turnovers.”

On the best OSU teams

“The comparison of (this year to) Weeden’s year and Zac Robinson’s year is very very similar.”

On Mason’s performance in the OU game last year

“Against Oklahoma we played in poor weather. I honestly think he let that get to his head. He wanted to win that game so bad. He let the weather frustrate him. He’s a worrywart from the standpoint that he wants everything to be perfect. He wants to win and be so successful. We had a lot of throws in that game where we were going to chunk it down the field a bunch — 20 or 25 times — it didn’t completely take us out of it, but if it’s coming down and it’s wet you just can’t throw it as accurate down the field. He got really frustrated even before the game. I think he learned a great lesson.”

On the OU game in general

“The comment, I heard the same thing all the time. Why didn’t we just throw it deep more against Oklahoma. Our plan was to throw it deep 25 times. But when the ball’s not coming out of the QB’s hand well and there’s not confidence — I mean, I’m not the smartest guy … I’m not going to throw it down there a bunch.”

On this upcoming season compared to last

“The frustrating thing when the season is over is you look back on it and say, ‘we could have won every game.’ I mean we really could have won every game.

“That means that (this year) we’re in a group of the top 20 teams in the country have an opportunity to do that. The CMU game keeps you focused. The players that come back from last year … they just understand it. They realize the importance of preparation every week.”

On his new contract

“I feel settled where I’m at. I’m comfortable with the way our administration has made a commitment to the 65 employees that are in this building. I have a contract set up here that should last me through the time that I feel like that I’m not ready to do this … that I don’t have the energy to coach anymore.”

On his new marketing campaign

“I’ve started to realize there’s so much of a time commitment and such a commitment from our player’s bodies to play this game that it needs to be fun. The only way it can be fun is if they feel like I’m being myself and I’m being fun. I want our team this year to enjoy, to have fun and to cut it loose.

“They know how to prepare. They know how to practice. They know when to turn it on and when to turn it off. But I want them to take chances, I want them to cut it loose and I want to have a lot of fun. I think as a leader the only way they’ll do that is if the guy who’s watching them every day says it’s ok.”

On a potential playoff matchup

“There’s some truth to that (about the difficulty of facing a physical team). When we get into postseason play against teams from other leagues, if we’re matched up against a team that’s more physical up front, we have to come up with plans on both sides of the ball where we don’t just bang our head against the wall. If you play Alabama, you might have to throw it 70 times to try to find a way to win. You have to go into the game with a plan to win based on who it is.”

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