NORMAN - Bill Bedenbaugh had a surly attitude when he met with reporters following Tuesday’s practice.
There was no time for no-nonsense questions, just like there’s no time for Oklahoma’s offensive line coach to put up with mistakes made by his players.
How did you look last week?
Bedenbaugh: “Not very good. Not up to our standard. We have to play better. We need to coach better.”
Was it just the penalties?
Bedenbaugh, in a snappy voice: “Just the what?”
The penalties against you (asked in a much softer voice).
Bedenbaugh: “It was a lot of stuff. We just have to play better. We’re not up to our standard.”
The film room probably wasn’t a pretty sight with Bedenbaugh, who saw much more than the publicly noticed penalties (including four holding calls in the first quarter last weekend). There were technique issues and busts only recognizable by the trained eye.
“You play as hard as you can, as physical as you can. I think we’re doing a pretty good job of that,” Bedenbaugh said. “We need to play better technically. We’re playing hard, we’re playing physical, finishing. We have to understand how to finish, what’s holding and what isn’t. That’s me. I have to coach them better.”
He didn’t get explicit about the Sooners’ left tackle issue, only to confirm that Erik Swenson and R.J. Proctor are the candidates and that he has to coach them better.
Proctor started at left guard against South Dakota for an injured Marquis Hayes. Bedenbaugh said Hayes practiced on Tuesday and “we expect him to go this week. We’ll see. He was fine today. As long as he progresses, he’ll be fine.”
Does Creed Humphrey – the only returning starter – need to absorb leadership for the guys around him?
“He needs to. Definitely,” Bedenbaugh said. “We had a good meeting on Monday. We’ll see. They practiced good on Monday. They practiced good today. Hopefully it transfers tomorrow to the next day and then to the game. There’s a standard of how you play around here. That’s not how you play. I have to do a better job of getting them motivated to play. And they have to play better.”
Bedenbaugh won’t accept youth – or anything else – as an excuse.
“I don’t accept any excuses. You have to play better and you have to coach better. There’s no magic potion. You work. You work hard. That’s what you do. That’s how you become good. That’s what you do,” Bedenbaugh said.
“We have to do it better. We’re capable of being really, really good. But it’s got to be important. You have to do it every day. We didn’t do that last week. It showed up. It’s football. It’s life.”
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