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September 22, 2011James Franklin will give the Sooners a second straight week of preparing for a mobile quarterback as Missouri comes to town.
Bobby Jack Wright talked about the defensive end position on Wednesday and the progress of veterans such as R.J. Washington.
Q: Are you glad your staying in the Big 12?
Bobby Jack Wright: Is that what we're doing? Well I appreciate you all letting us know. I'm tickled pink.
Q: Was it going to affect your recruiting if you went west? or stayed here?
Wright: Oh who knows? That's a hypothetical but I think it would have had maybe some effect on it from the standpoint of we'd probably recruit the west coast a little bit more. Although we are continuing to recruit out west and hopefully we can bring in a few more guys like Tony (Jefferson) and Kenny Stills and Brennan Clay but concentration probably would have been a little more out there but to be real honest out of you we're going to recruit the heck out of Oklahoma and Texas no matter what conference we were in.
Yes I'm glad we are going to stay in the Big 12. I hadn't gotten that memo yet so I'm glad you let me know. I think everybody is happy about it on our staff and I think our players are happy about it. It's kind of our stomping grounds if you will we're pretty familiar with this part of the country so I think it fits us pretty good.
Q: Tony wasn't too happy about it:
Wright: Well the 'Cali' guys they all wanted go out west every other week for a ballgame.
Q: Do you feel like R.J Washington has finally turned a corner?
Wright: Well I think R.J. is improving he's getting better but when you use the term 'turn the corner' you know he's certainly not an all-conference or All-American performer at this point in time so to use that phrase I would use it if I thought he was playing at an all-conference level and he's not. Now he has made progress no question or else you wouldn't be asking the question so obviously you guys have seen some improvement in him as well as I have. And he has gotten a little better and he's given us some things during the game pass rush wise that has been beneficial to us we've been able to put him out there and get some quality snaps out of him.
We've been able to put him out there and give Frank (Alexander) and/or Ronnell (Lewis) some rest and still have quality defense on the football field so from that standpoint I'm really happy with him that he has made some improvement and the deal of why I'm a little hesitant to put a star on him just yet because there's a world of improvement that still needs to be made and he knows that. The thing that I like about him is that he has realized and accepted the fact that he needs to make improvement and he's working hard to do so.
Q: He came in here and said he has kind of accepted the fact that he was maybe getting in his own way. Have you noticed that and is that what you have noticed in him making changes? Maybe a little hard headed .
Wright: Yeah I don't know too much about that other than if he felt like he was hard headed then you know maybe he was. He's never been a difficult guy to coach or to get along with or anything like that so I've never had an issue with his hard headiness. The bottom line with me is do the way we asked you to do it and if you do you'll have a chance for success and you'll have a chance to play. If you don't do it the way we ask you to do it then you've got no chance. Your not going to play. So maybe he finally figured out that we want it done a certain way and he's decided to do it that way. I don't know. Hopefully so.
Q: Could you assess your guys play through the first 2 games?
Wright: I thought that they have played well. I thought our entire defense has played well. I though we heated him up pretty good. We were physical up front we had six sacks on the night and some of them with pressures that came from linebackers and defensive backs and some of them that I know Ronnell and Frank and R.J. all three had a sack so you know everybody kind of had their opportunity and made plays but the best part of the whole night was the fact of how physical we were up front and we kept pounding at them and pounding at them it was a heckuva ballgame from that standpoint and I think everybody sensed that and realized that, that was watching the ballgame of how physical the play was on both sides of the ball they were a physical ball club as well but especially our guys and anytime you hold any team to under 250 yards of total offense I think you have had a pretty good day out there on your defense and especially when it's a top five team in the country one that is loaded up with a lot of quality athletes and a lot of good speed and to hold them to that.
And really looking back on it the only glaring mistake was the long touchdown pass and we had the guy double covered and they make a long pass. He made a heckuva play and then we didn't tackle him so they got away with one there that they shouldn't have. Other than that I thought they were pretty good I was pretty pleased with our defense.
Q: When your playing a mobile quarterback like E.J. Manuel or like James Franklin you have to instill in your defensive ends to be very technically sound .
Wright: Yeah and as you mentioned the guy this week James Franklin is the same way. A very athletic guy good speed and good feet good thrower and of course you know Missorui is going to throw the football so you know he's got to be good at throwing the football or he wouldn't be a starter in that system they run but the thing that he does do maybe better than the other guys that they have had is he does have great quickness and great feet.
He will pull it down and run and he's got good speed and he's a guy as you mentioned you've got to keep this guy in the pocket and make him throw it like he's having to throw it out of a well. You can't let this guy have a bunch of open throwing lanes where this guy can throw bee bee's to those receivers or have those open lanes to escape and make plays with his feet so besides the fact that you would like to have a good pass rush that's all good and well but it's got to be pretty discipline and have all the lanes taken care of and you've got to have his windows covered up and sometimes your not going to get sacks everyday but when your not getting sacks you've got to be pushing the pocket back and closing those windows so he doesn't have a clean window to throw through.