All-access with the Oklahoma State Cowboys
September, 27, 2012
By David Ubben | ESPN.com
If you missed it earlier this week, Mike Gundy let ESPN's cameras get an inside look at his program for an all-access show this week. There was plenty of intriguing stuff. A few observations and thoughts:
- If you didn't realize it already, recruiting is a year-round activity for coaches, and they love to take advantage of that on bye weeks, getting on the road and seeing future players play. That's evident in the early-morning meeting in the first scene of the show. After an update on Wes Lunt's health just days after suffering a knee injury, Gundy wants to go over the plan for recruiting on the following weekend. This was shot early last week. On Friday and Saturday, Gundy and his coaches were on the road, and a few coaches were even tweeting from the road.
- Shows like these are always good for a program like Oklahoma State, which has just crazy facilities to showcase. If you think future recruits didn't watch that and have a few jaws drop, you're crazy. Texas is the only school in the league with nicer facilities than Oklahoma State.
- Nigel Nicholas: tour guide extraordinaire. Going places he'd never been (the roof of Boone Pickens Stadium) and pointing out everyone he saw? I don't know why, but I couldn't stop laughing. It added some color to what could have been a dry segment, and showed off those facilities I was telling you about. I got a look at it this spring, but OSU's pretty proud of that Fiesta Bowl trophy so prominently placed in the trophy case, and rightfully so.
- Somehow I missed that Boone Pickens has his own locker in the Cowboys' locker room. I guess that's what happens when you hand over a couple hundred million dollars. You could have one, too!
- Nicholas' impression of Mike Gundy after dropping the inside info that Gundy stands on a chair to address the team before games? Classic. Later on once practice began, Gundy got some work at QB in receiver drills. Former Cowboys QB's still got an arm.
- Gundy called his staff this year the best he's had in his eight years at Oklahoma State.
- Practice footage doesn't do much for me. There's not much context and it's tough to learn a whole lot, but OSU infamously keeps its total practice time low. It's a policy that works. The actual practice activity is fairly similar for teams that have similar systems, but schedule, order and physicality varies pretty wildly, regardless of what teams do. OSU doesn't hit much in practice and never tackles. That's translated to a fresher team and hasn't brought about any toughness or serious tackling problems in games. Very interesting.
- No shock here: Not much talk about the Lunt injury or how it affected the team, but a lot of talk about J.W. Walsh's development and his play in the wake of the injury. Well deserved. I'm excited to see how much it translates this weekend if Walsh gets the start, as I expect.
- The Cowboys practice fast, fast, fast (Dana Holgorsen was part of instituting that), and if you were just watching practice, that didn't really translate on the screen. It's a constant emphasis when you see a complete practice in person, though. Baylor and Texas Tech are about as fast, but you play fast by practicing fast.