STILLWATER — Tuesday was a typically hot August day in Stillwater and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy felt it was a good day to challenge his players and stress their limits during the morning practice.
Much of practice included team workouts. The Cowboys spent some time working on late-game situations that included two-minute offense and two-minute defense.
“Guys were working hard, about as even as it could get today,” Gundy said after practice. “The defense had success at times, offense had success. For a head coach, that’s a good day.”
The quarterback battle continues, but both Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders showcased their mobility Tuesday.
“These guys move around really well,” Gundy said. “Obviously, Spencer ran the ball a lot in high school and had a lot of success, but Dru is pretty active himself. He’s much more elusive than what you would think.”
Throwing an accurate ball is the most important talent for a Cowboys quarterback, but it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with breaking out of the pocket when necessary. The coaching staff gave the impression both quarterbacks showed they could scramble if the pocket collapses.
That’s becoming more of the norm for today’s quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson said the mold of needing the big pro-style quarterback he referred to as the “Statue of Liberty” is changing because of recent success by other guys at the position.
“Having the ability to escape the pocket and move around with your feet and make some plays is not a prerequisite to play the position, but it’s often fun when you do have that,” Gleeson said.
“I think our guys, whether it’s Dru or Spencer, have really done a nice job of kind of keeping some plays alive. It makes it harder on the rush that they’re pursuing from sideline to sideline chasing after these guys.”
While Gleeson had a chance to observe his two quarterbacks’ mobility, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles got a chance to see how his defense adjusts to a quarterback on the move. Knowles said the defense hasn’t done a good job of reacting to that, but it did a better job Tuesday.
“When a quarterback scrambles, it becomes a completely different play. It’s what we call a scramble drill,” Knowles said. “Certain guys in the back have to pull their trigger to stop the quarterback. Other guys have to what I call ‘plaster.’ There’s no more zone or anything. You’ve got to plaster on a receiver and take him.”