The Sooners had their first full pads workout on Saturday. Afterward, Coach Lincoln Riley had his first press conference.
Some excerpts from Coach Riley:
“I’ve been very, very pleased, as we’ve said many times, just with how both our players and our staff have handled this whole transition, and it’s been even more apparent now that we’ve finally got down on the field to see the amount of work that we’ve got done.”
“I would say that in our competition periods, it’s been very back and forth between our offense and our defense—no one side really dominating over the other. If another side has a down period or a down few plays, they tend to respond, and I think that’s a reflection of the leadership we have on both sides of the ball, which is just, to me, very apparent.
Season-ending injury to WR Nick Basquine:
“A terrible injury for Nick, and definitely one that will affect us as a team, there’s no question about it. He was a great leader for us in that inside receiver room, a guy that was really clutch for us last year that we felt like was ready to go on to a bigger role.”
Some freshmen will play:
“The position that’s probably got the most depth where it would be toughest to see one is offensive line. But I would think at every other position, there’s going to be some opportunities to play, and we’ve seen some flashes out of guys that if they continue to improve the way they have here the first few days with the natural ability that they have, that we’ll want to have them out there.”
Competition for Mayfield’s backup:
“With Austin, with Kyler (Murray), with Tanner Schafer—three guys that have had a bunch of reps around here, that know what they’re doing. It’s been fun to see them compete at a high level. You can feel kind of the difference in their play and their sense of urgency right now versus last year at this time, which is a positive.”
On any increased expectation to win:
“I feel the same amount that I did as the offensive coordinator. You feel that at this place. I’ve said it many times. It’s not really anything that needs to be said. As a coach, I felt it the first day I walked in the door here. I felt it when I came to interview here. You know about the history. You know about the expectations. I’m more focused on the great opportunity we all have and what you can accomplish here when you do it the right way.”