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Saturday, January 3, 2009
Parcells visits Oklahoma practice at Barry University

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Among the visitors at Oklahoma's Saturday practice at Barry University on Saturday was Miami Dolphins executive director of football operations Bill Parcells, who spent extensive time watching the Sooners' workout.

Parcells and several Miami team officials left shortly before the Sooners finished practice.

"It was great," Stoops said. "He was evaluating our players, I'm sure, and it was great to have him here."

Stoops said he admired Parcells, who has helped direct the Dolphins from a 1-15 record last season to Sunday's playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. In the process, the Dolphins became only the second team in NFL history to make a 10-game turnaround in one season.

"I've always been a big fan of the way he coaches and the way he handles you media guys, too," Stoops said.

Parcells briefly talked with the Sooners before leaving practice.

"For most of you, this may well be the highlight of your athletic life," Parcells told the Sooners on a video available on Oklahoma's athletic website. "You are playing for big stakes on a big stage, something you are going to remember for a long time. So what you've got to do in this situation is promise each other in that dressing room that you are going to do everything you can to help your team win. You leave it right there - that's all you need to say. Everyone who does that, usually the results have been pretty good.

"In pro football, we're looking for guys who like it, that are accountable, that have good character, that are not too cool for school, that are reliable guys who want to play football and help our team to win year after year after year," Parcells continued. "That's why I am here today. You guys have a great team and a great opportunity, a great coaching staff and a great tradition. You've got everything going for you."

Maybe taking a hint from "The Big Tuna," Stoops said that he has limited access to the media during his preparations for this year's bowl game compared to previous national championship game trips. No players were made available after today's practice -- a change from previous Oklahoma bowl trips.

"We've reduced that to some degree," Stoops said. "And they (the players) seem to like it."