Often meaningless, between Venables, Gabriel, others, this spring game might not have been
The spring game, pretty much any spring game, is a sort of phenomenon.
For where else is there so great a gap, year after year, between anticipation and delivery?
Even if there really were 54,409 watching at Owen Field Saturday, it’s still not a real game.
It's one of 15 practices
The very definition of a small sample size.
Yet, for the players held out for minor and major scrapes, the comparatively little time anybody gets to play on a day everybody plays, a crazy scoring system that Brent Venables himself manipulated to keep it artificially close between Red, the offense, and White, the defense, we stretch for meaning as we do every year.
So here we are, but with a caveat.
This time, maybe it did mean something.
The vast majority of it, Venables watched with his hands in his pockets and coached not at all.
Maybe, stealthily, he got in a defender or two’s ear, and still it was jarring watching the Sooner head coach be so still when something very much resembling a football game was taking place about 50 feet in front of his face.
“I’m looking for guys doing all the stuff, the little things right,” he said. “Covering to the ball, playing physical, running off and on the field, just handling their business the right way, playing the game the right way and making the layups that are there.”
Maybe he could have given the same answer without being removed, as a full participant with the defense as he so often appeared last season to the detriment of Oklahoma’s entire Saturday operation. But he was removed, and if looking for growth from one year to the next from the guy in charge of the whole thing, take it as a quite good sign.
Had Venables spent more time getting a figurative bird’s eye view between September and November last year, perhaps many things would have been different and better.
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