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April 4, 2013

Cowboys refine game in spring

— Back when Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy played, spring football used to be about battling for playing time and winning a starting spot for the fall.

There are still some battles taking place daily, but that old adage of competing in the spring to start in the fall has vanished similarly to the wishbone offense and three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust running game.

“I think that spring has changed — I know it has for us at Oklahoma State,” Gundy said. “The approach coaches used to have was they were trying to win everything in spring, and we don’t see it that way. We’re in the process of trying to develop young players and kind of refine strategic parts of our game in all three phases. We’re hoping to push them physically in June and July, then go hard with them for a few weeks in August and get ready to play a game.

“Spring ball is really important for us, but our philosophy here at Oklahoma State has changed in our approach to our practices and the way we handle our players.”

Players may not be competing as much for starting roles but with Mike Yurcich taking over as the new offensive coordinator for the Pokes, spring football has given Yurcich and the other new assistants time to catch on to Oklahoma State’s complex system.

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