OSU football: 'Direction' has changed focus of Cowboy practices
STILLWATER — One of the buzzwords from Mike Gundy’s press conference on Monday was “direction.”
And it was one of the first words out of the mouth of Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn when he spoke to reporters via Zoom on Tuesday.
Prior to last week’s announcement that the Big 12 would indeed try to play football this fall, the Cowboys were churning through preseason camp without a rudder. They had a goal of a Big 12 championship, but no way of knowing if it would be wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic at any moment, especially when other conferences had canceled their seasons.
But when the Big 12 said “Game on,” and followed it up by releasing the revised fall schedule, intensity and focus immediately ratcheted up in OSU practices.
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Picking up another trend from his boss, Dunn offered a non-football analogy to sum it all up.
“You feel like you’re out there at the driving range with no golf tournament coming up,” Dunn said. “As soon as we found out that the game was on, the players were on, too.”
Over the last week, practices have come with more energy, excitement and edge.
“I think it was difficult for them, because they didn’t have direction,” Gundy said of his players. “But as of the last week, we’ve had direction and they’ve been awesome.
“The lack of direction has been most difficult for the players. Once the Big 12 said we’re playing football, it changed the overall state of the program — players, coaches everybody — because we had direction.
“We’ve had to make adjustments over and over and over again, but now, everybody’s in a great frame of mind. We’ve had great practices, and it feels normal, which is a good feeling to have based on all the information that’s been out there over the last six to eight weeks.”
Tuesday was the Cowboys’ first practice in full pads, which added a little more intensity for those in the trenches, but across the board, the coaches are pleased with the energy level they’ve seen over the last week.
“We feel good about where we are as far as getting back into the season, and it’s nice” Dunn said. “For a stretch there, we just didn’t have any direction. Now that we do, it’s taken on a whole other light.
“We flipped the switch and we got after it. Our character, our demeanor, our attitude, our energy — everything changed once it came out that we had a season on and Tulsa was coming.”