Players and coaches focus on self-assessment during bye week

Oct. 26 – As Oklahoma entered a well-deserved holiday last week, Brent Venables had an idea.

He wanted his players and coaches to self-evaluate.

As part of this, Venables distributed self-assessment forms to players and asked each of them to complete one. It was an opportunity for players to discuss what they needed to improve.

But it wasn’t just about their performance on the pitch.

“A part of [the form] has to do with football and part of it doesn’t,” Venables said during his press conference on Tuesday. “Part of it is how we do what we do. This is largely a self-assessment. It enlightened me. They listen to everything and watch everything we do, like when we raise children. How you do it and what you do matters.”

The self-assessment was not limited to the forms alone. Offensive and defensive players watched a film from both sides of the ball to assess each unit’s strengths and weaknesses.

The coaches also participated.

“We also looked at ourselves carefully, which we do every week, but an extended self-scout,” OU defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “[We had a] two-hour self-screening presentation where a group of our staff coaches went over our defense, what they were seeing, how they were going to attack us, things of that nature. You always want to look at yourself and how [other teams see us.] It was really helpful.

“It’s very much a statement, things you already know. It’s just a different perspective, different points of view.”

For Venables, it was all with the ultimate goal of improving while helping players and coaches hold each other accountable.

“[I saw] a lot of inconsistency,” Venables said. “We had our moments of weakness. It’s because of many things. It’s not just one thing. Whether it’s the fundamentals, it’s the technique, it’s [being] out of position because we’re trying to do too much, bad play calls, pre-snap penalties, turnovers, not laying up, knocking down, dropping balls, you can go down a list.

“Each group has their strengths and weaknesses and things we need to improve on. I just hope that collectively we can make the kind of improvement that we need, but there’s a lot of work to be done. , and I believe that our guys [have] the will to continue working. »

Now the team hopes that this work will bear fruit.

After a tough three-game skid, the Sooners (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) earned a big 52-42 win over then-No. 19 Kansas heading into the bye week. The team currently sits eighth in the Big 12 standings, although the Sooners have time to climb the ladder.

However, their remaining five matches won’t be easy. Their after-bye schedule begins this weekend with a road trip to Iowa State, which has beaten them twice in the past six meetings.

The Cyclones are currently last in the conference standings and have yet to win a conference game, but their 3-4 record doesn’t reflect their performance this season. Three of their four losses have come by three runs or less, including a tough 10-9 loss to Kansas State on Oct. 8. Their biggest loss came in a 31-24 loss at Baylor.

“If you look at their football team, they’re sitting there 3-4, but we might as well be playing a team that’s 7-0,” Roof said. “When you look at all of their games, all of their losses are one-possession losses. It’s a game. They’re one game in four games away from being 7-0. We respect every opponent, but we certainly have a lot of respect for the state of Iowa and how they do what they do.”

To win, the Sooners will have to rely on their performance against Kansas. And Venables hopes their self-assessment will help.

“We had a great week of practice Kansas game week and it showed and our guys had a great week off, just great attitude and perspective, had a great practice last night,” Venables said. “I will be the first to tell you when the practice does not meet standards and expectations.

“Our guys were hungry, they were humble and they worked hard. Hopefully there will be an improvement by the end of the season.”

Jesse Crittenden is The Transcript’s sports editor and covers OU athletics. Contact him at [email protected] or 405-366-3580

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