Oklahoma State completed its seventh practice in as many days on Friday morning. They're not done for the day, as they'll go again on Friday afternoon. Following the morning workout, new defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer discussed his defense and where they stand after the first week of fall camp.
"They're doing well. It's just a process," Spencer said. "We're trying to create depth and trying to find a lot of people who can play well. Everyday it's minute details - paddling and separation and pursuit angles and leveraging and tackles. It's a process, and now is the time in camp when a lot people are floating around and we just keep pressing on the guys that yesterday is over and to win tomorrow."
Anyone who follows Spencer on Twitter (@Glenn_Spencer) knows that he has a zest and enthusiasm for the game of football and coaching. That's something he's trying on a daily basis to his unit.
It seems to be working. The next step is shoring up areas where Spencer is seeing some below-par results.
"I think the intensity and enthusiasm are good, but we've got to learn to contain the quarterback better, and there are some scrambles going on out there that caused some quick whistles," Spencer said. "I don't feel good enough about some people getting around the ball, so that was a big emphasis at the end of practice - pursuit angles and when breakdowns happen, and we have to get better at that, but their enthusiasm was there."
The unit returns eight players who started in 2012, seven of whom are seniors. That fact has helped Spencer in getting the results he's looking for in terms of attitude and effort.
"We've got good leadership. I think the coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball is coaching them hard and demanding a lot," he said. "Typically, you get what you demand. We've got some good senior leadership. And there are times that they are not - it's not great all the time. Today we had to bring them together and make them understand that the intensity level wasn't what we wanted and that's why they get coached hard. But, they're accepting that and they're all on board and they realize that."
What changes Spencer has in store for OSU's defensive scheme has been a popular topic in the offseason, but he is not focused on scheme as a major part of fall camp thus far.
"The fundamental issues we talk about every day on defense," Spencer said. "First of all, great effort, intensity and toughness. After that, being masters of their technique and then playing for each other. Scheme-wise, we'll get into a lot of that later on. Right now we're just trying to get better fundamentally and do our base stuff as well as we can. If they realize it's all about tomorrow's practice right now, then I'll be pleased if they come out and have a good day tomorrow."
It is fundamentals that Spencer preaches on a daily basis, and he's pleased with what he has seen in the first week of camp.
"They're doing well. It's just a process," he said. "We're trying to create depth and trying to find a lot of people who can play well. Everyday it's minute details - paddling and separation and pursuit angles and leveraging and tackles. It's a process, and now is the time in camp when a lot people are floating around and we just keep pressing on the guys that yesterday is over and to win tomorrow."
The Cowboys will practice for approximately an hour and a half on Friday evening. They will conduct their first major scrimmage of the fall on Saturday evening. On the heels of that scrimmage, they'll get their first day off since camp started on August 2nd.