Mike Stoops ready to get going; looks for defense to redeem itself
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, August 05, 2012
8/05/12 at 6:11 AM
NORMAN - When defensive coordinator Mike Stoops' return to the coaching staff was announced earlier this year, Oklahoma fans rejoiced.
Stoops played a key figure in the Sooners' turnaround during his 1999-2003 stay in Norman.
During Saturday's fan day activities, Stoops continued to be showered with praise.
"I love that they're happy I'm back. I don't look at it as a big deal. I'm tired of hearing it," Stoops said. "It's nice to hear and I appreciate it, but I'm ready to move past that.
"I want it to feel like it was eight years ago. I'm here to do a job and I'm excited about it."
Stoops grabbed the team's attention from the moment that he stepped onto campus.
Even though he wasn't a member of the 2011 coaching staff, he reminds his defense of losses to Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State often. All three scored more than 40 points on OU.
"Every time we have a meeting, he reminds us of being able to redeem ourselves ... from last year," linebacker Corey Nelson said. "It creates this fire and determination for us to want to do better and be a better defense than we were last year."
"I'll be surprised if they don't come back with vengeance in those games and take it personal," Stoops said. "I hope they do. We're tired of hearing about it, and now it's time to do something about it. We'll work to that place as we go through this season."
Stoops joked that he has something to prove himself.
"You don't think I want redemption, too? ... I want the same thing you want," he said. "I don't want to all of a sudden become a bad coach. The media in Arizona may think so, but I was offered about 10 different jobs. It's personal for me, too. It ain't any different for me."
Head coach Bob Stoops said his brother still has some of the same attributes from his first stop at OU, but has more experience after eight years as Arizona's head coach.
"He's still the same guy that's very focused and very detailed in what he wants and displaying intensity to get it," Bob Stoops said. "It's served him well. In some ways, we're all a little older and wiser. But we're more seasoned than we were eight years ago."
Mike Stoops said an early goal is to discover difference-makers on defense.
"We need some guys that will step up and become leaders and step up and become difference makers; that's really what we need to become an effective group," Mike Stoops said. "We need some guys to step up. They can and they will.
"It will be interesting to see which guys step up and have those breakout years. We need several of them to do that."
Original Print Headline: Stoops ready to get started
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops speaks during OU Media Day Saturday in Norman. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World