Day 1 Practice Report: Mike Gundy Says OSU Team Ahead of Schedule

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. I feel like I should admit up front that I’m a little bearish on this OSU football team for 2016. I’m not totally sure if it’s the tough schedule or the losses on defense or the lack of a safety net for QB1, but I’m just failing to see how this squad is going to perform that much better (if at all) than last year. That’s fine of course because 10-2 is amazing, and I might be proven wrong. I just feel like I should feel more confident about a 10-2 team returning nearly everyone on offense and most of its D.Mike Gundy thinks I should as well.“We had a really good offseason,” Gundy said on Monday during the first day of fall camp. “The coaches said we had great leadership in the offseason with the veteran players, and I think that carried over into today. In just watching from a distance, it looks like we’re a week or so ahead of where we’ve been the last two or three years in preseason camp, which is a credit to the players. They’ve reported with a good attitude, so it’s a fun time of the year for all of us, and especially for me to be able to watch our players, see them in practice and continue to see them get better.”A week or so, eh? That makes sense considering all the returning starters (presumably 22 juniors and seniors). And I’m listening now. Tell me more.“I thought that Mason (Rudolph) had a good day, and I thought that Barry J. Sanders looked good when he was in there. … I thought (Jordan) Sterns and (Ashton) Lampkin moved around well. Some of the new guys, I thought Tralund Webber moved out there pretty well and (Keondre) Wudtee threw the ball well.”He talked a little more about “Junior” who is not actually a Junior by name but is called that by Gundy because I presume Gundy calls everyone whose dad he is friends with “Junior.”“I’m not sure what our expectations are [of Sanders]. I hope that he will fall into a guy that can contribute 10 to 12 touches a game, whether that’s a run or a catch. We know that he’s matured and is a college graduate. He seems to be durable and have some elusiveness. His attitude is tremendous. We just need to see how it goes. He’s going to get quality work over the next two weeks, so we’ll see how it develops.”Preseason practice #1 for @CowboyFB. Mike Gundy on his expectations for Barry J. Sanders:— Cayden McFarland (@caydenmc) August 2, 2016 QB1 agreed with Gundy about being ahead of schedule.“An experienced group of guys who kind of know what’s going on, bunch of veterans out there having fun and picking up where we left off in the spring,” said Rudolph. “He has a lot more faith in us. He has cut down some of these practices. I think the veteran guys know that the mental reps are just as important as being out there and doing it physically. Like you said, we are already excited. Getting to get out there today was fun.”So the start was good. Gundy, for all his perceived (and real) shortcomings, has never been one to shuffle words around when it comes to where his team is at. If it’s good, he’ll tell you it’s good. If it’s not, he’ll tell you that too. What matters is how this thing progresses. Are you going to still be ahead of schedule on August 31? I hope so.Gundy has always been good about finding the pulse of his team early and inserting it into the rhythm of the season properly. Pulling back the reins here, pushing harder over there — it’s one of his most underrated qualities. So I would expect him to pull the reins a little this August and even into September before letting them ride. And hey, all it took was one post-practice interview to get me more fired up than I was yesterday.last_img

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