Oklahoma Begins 2017 Season With First Practice
Lincoln Riley entered the newly renovated Gaylord-Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Monday with a new plan in mind, a different office to enter, and a completely different title than what he is accustomed to on the first day of practice. Oklahoma’s training camp opened up last night after the players reported back to campus on Sunday for all their preseason meetings. A new visor was in control for the first time since 1998, but for Riley, a lot of it was the same.
“There were a couple differences for me as far as being with the special teams a little bit more and around the defensive guys more when I could,” Riley told SoonerSports.com, “but I would say 95 percent of it felt like most (practices). It’s always exciting, regardless of that (coaching) change, to get back out here with the guys. They’ve been chomping at the bit to get out here.”
It is difficult to get a grasp on a team after one practice, or even one week of practice. For Riley, it is all about setting the tone.
“It was a good practice,” he said. “The goal the first couple of times out is just getting their feet underneath them, getting used to being on the practice field. You’re not in pads, so you want to get good, fast work, a lot of mental work; start to set the tone, the tempo and the mentality of the way we expect to be as a team.”
This practice was the first of 29 scheduled practices leading up to Oklahoma playing UTEP on September 2nd. With a new coach at the helm, some could expect a difference in how the practices are handled. Senior and starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, however, did not see much of a difference about practice No. 1 until it was just about over.
“When you thought about it, yeah, but it really didn’t seem that much different because of all of the same coaches and the same guys around,” Mayfield told SoonerSports.com. “I thought about it more at the end. It was a little weird that (Coach Stoops) wasn’t the one who was calling it up at the end of practice. But when practice was going on, it felt similar. It’s still Oklahoma.”
The Sooners will be back out on the practice field again today, and the media will meet with the team for the first time on Thursday.
Meet The Sooners Day will be on Saturday, August 5th. Kids Club check-in will begin at 8:30 AM CT and the general public will be allowed in at 10:30 AM CT. This opportunity is given for children 14 and younger. You can get more information here.