Everything Brent Venables had to say in his Tuesday press conference




 

Brent Venables met with the media on Tuesday for about 30 minutes to answer questions about the Oklahoma Sooners' performance against TCU and how this team moves forward with Texas on the horizon.

This will be Venables first foray into the Red River Showdown as a head coach after participating in 13 of these games in the Cotton Bowl as an Oklahoma assistant. On the heels of two-straight losses, Venables insisted this game, and the preparation is no different than any other game.

Venables answered a wide range of questions from the injury situation to the quarterback spot and how they bounce back heading into the Red River Showdown.

As we begin to look at the Texas Longhorns, here's everything Brent Venables had to say during his Tuesday press conference.

Texas week and trying to improve

 

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Eric Gray (0) scores a touchdown during the first half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"All right, good afternoon. Good to see everybody. That time of the year, first weekend in October. Really excited to be a part of my 14th Red River game, and got an opportunity to go to Dallas compete against a terrific, Texas football team that's four points away from being an undefeated. Having played number one, Alabama toe to toe, and losing a game in which they controlled most of it against Texas Tech on the road. Incredibly talented team, really well coached, got explosive players on about every level, both sides of the ball. And sounds like they're, they're a pretty healthy football team, as well."

How the team is responding

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Davis Beville (11) throws during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"So our players are excited about the opportunity. Had a great Monday practice and meetings. You know, we got a lot to get better at where we haven't played well, the last couple of weeks. And our guys are anxious to, you know, move forward. And have an opportunity to play again against a really good Texas football team that we're going to have to play well. And I think that goes without saying that you have a chance to win this game. You got to play well. And so that's what we're focused on doing, right now."

On the injury situation

 

Oct. 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) heads to the locker room during the first half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"There's some injury situations going on right now that are still up in the air. And I'm really not going to talk about any of those right now until I have clarity, 100% sure on who's going to be available and who's not."

Davis Beville and the QB Situation

 

Quarterback Davis Beville #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners is brought down by Linebacker Dee Winters #13 of the TCU Horned Frogs during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. Emil Lippe/Getty Images

I mean, obviously, (Davis Beville was) the first one that went in last week. So you guys are going to, you know, we'll have three quarterbacks taking reps this week, just in case, and see how the week goes. And then by game time, we'll have that figured out? And I would assume even before then."

On where the defense goes from here

 

Sep 10, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Jeffery Johnson (77) and Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Reggie Grimes (14) celebrate during the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"Well, again, I think it comes to, you know, our desire has been there, our discipline hasn't, it takes discipline. Foundationally, it's where it all starts. We got to play with better discipline. Again, things that I've said countless times. It can be the smallest things. It can be one guy, you know, it can be in being inside as opposed to outside, it can being underneath as opposed to on top of just, we got to play with better discipline. That's where it all starts. If we don't do that, we'll have the same kind of inconsistent results. In the first three weeks, I thought we played with really good discipline, the last two weeks, you know, not as much."

Can the defense improve?

 

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables yells during the second half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"Whatever it means but 40 of the whatever plays, you know, that we saw went for three yards or less. There's countless examples of the first part of the season, certainly fall camp, even in two defeats the last couple of weeks, where our guys are doing things well. Just got to get them do it to well consistently. And it's a very frustrating thing, you know, the work and the by in, the desire, the effort. None of it's been perfect, just like the coaching but those things have been there. But that without the details and the discipline you know, you're gonna get inconsistent results. And for me, that's frustrating. I'm frustrated for them because their work hasn't been rewarded. They're doing, you know, their effort and their commitment has been there but it hasn't been rewarded here the last couple of weeks. So frustrated for them, you know that the production doesn't match, you know, the work that they've put in. But I know this if you keep your head down, and you don't get influenced by, you know, noise and seeds of doubt and discouragement that we'll pull ourselves right back out of it. I know that without question, but we gotta go do it. You know, it's easier said than done."

Balancing aggressiveness

 

Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Danny Stutsman (28) and Oklahoma Sooners linebacker David Ugwoegbu (2) celebrate during the first half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"I mean, that's the balance you always have, you know, each and every week. There's opportunities again, you got to squeeze people, we can't let them be comfortable. TCU executed, you know, but we allowed them to have this enormous cushion. It's hard to get people to expose themselves. You know, so you got to play well to get people to not be able to be one dimensional or again comfortable and be able to protect themselves and things of that nature. Scheme, play wise and things of that nature. So, you know, we just got to play well, and you know, turnovers are part of the game, that'll be a natural part, you know, of the game being on the right side of it."

On if there's a different level of intensity preparing for Texas

 

Oct 9, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) celebrates with tight end Brayden Willis (9) after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"Well, again, here's me, this is my feeling. And I know the emotion, the intensity, and what this game has meant to so many people, but we shouldn't prepare for this game, any different than we do any other game. And if we are, and if I allow that, then we're, you know, I'm not doing a good job of leading, we shouldn't do extra this week, or be more committed this week, you know, we should be habitual, and how we get ready to play. And, so that's my focus, is to make sure that, that the emotion doesn't paralyze you so that you can't have an intense focus about what we need to do to win. And what you need to do individually to play well. So that's really trying to balance you know, the game itself, where our focus is about, you know, being Oklahoma, what we need to do to improve. And we should always play play with passion and a love for the game. You get 12 Guaranteed opportunities. And, and so we got seven more games, and this is the biggest game of the year, because it's the next one. So, hopefully, we're not more excited to play this one than somebody else. You know, that's, that's a wrong state of mind, in my opinion."

On if they rethink the way they teach the defense

"So

 

Nebraska wide receiver Trey Palmer (3) carries the ball against Oklahoma defensive lineman Ethan Downs (40) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

if you have a certain scheme that requires a bail technique, the technique that goes with this game, it's, then you got to execute the scheme, and you can't forget. And so you got to do a better job of emphasizing it as a coach and doing it again, and again, and again. And again, you can't get bored with that. And, you know, under the pressure situation, you have to have the poise enough to execute. And so, little things like that, you know, they lead to the big things as we know, so, you know, all that needs to be better."

On this team's mental toughness

 

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Jason Llewellyn (87) and Oklahoma Sooners tight end Daniel Parker (22) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman McKade Mettauer (72) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Andrew Raym (73) and Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Anton Harrison (71) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Savion Byrd (59) against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"Again, are you always everything can be better, you know, everything can be better. So everything needs to be better, whether it's physical, or toughness, or coaching or fundamentals or understanding, precision timing. You know, nothing's more important than the other. But we got to have discipline with all of it."

Always evaluating

 

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables reacts after the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, yeah, sure. Always. Always, you know, your Sunday staff meeting, your addressing all of it. You know, how you travel, how you communicate? How you transition from one special teams unit to another. All of it constantly. Are not necessarily looking at changing, just making everything better."

On the leadership from the players

 

Sep 3, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Brayden Willis (9) celebrates with Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jalil Farooq (3) after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"A whole bunch of them. I'm not being evasive, but man, I got like almost 30 guys in my senior meeting every Monday and Friday. So, those guys have been outstanding. And there's a bunch of young guys that have been leading too. And like I say, these guys are hungry. They want to do well. And you know, many of the guys have been captains, game week captains. So there's a small list for you there, but I would be remiss if I start talking about a few that have been outstanding, then I would leave some off, and there's just too many to name. But our leadership has been really good. You know, I've been pleased with it. If you ask the leaders if they all came up, they would tell you that 'hey man, we got to do more, we got to be more detailed. We got to be more consistent about some of our off the field, habits studying and things of that nature,' that's what they would say. The all-around commitment, but I've been really, you know, pleased with the buy in now with a group of guys, you know, and what we're asking them to do."

On how well Texas is playing

 

Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (8) catches a pass and lands out of bounds near the end zone against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

"Yeah, they're playing disciplined. You know, they're playing really well together as a unit, given up just over 20 points a game, played really well against Alabama, given them an opportunity to win every game. You got some excellent football players. Again, all three levels, they're big, they're long, they're athletic. They're playing with great toughness. And offensively, same thing. Both lines of scrimmage are really good. But defensively, again, they're just giving up over 100 yards, a game rushing. And have done a good job getting pressure on the quarterback, and a lot of disruption in the run game. So you know, I know a year ago, they we were down 28-7. Had a terrific comeback, and, you know, shoot out. But they're improved from where they were a year ago, according to the coaches that were here in and part of that. And so we're gonna get enough to have to play well. There's no doubt about it. Yeah, so that was one of I think six wins that we had that came down to the last possession of the game, and a seventh win against Kansas, that was an act of God to win that one. And so, you know, we've got an insane thing, the first play the game against Texas A year ago, they throw a perimeter screen, we, we miss fit, it missed the tackle. And as they showed you, just like we saw against TCU, you make a mistake against a good football team that's got good players that have a pulse, you're gonna get punished, you know, for mistakes on game day. So they've got homerun hitters across the board. And guys are not going to faint when when they're unblocked, they're going to make the play."

What they need to do to play well against Texas

 

Oct. 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas; TCU Horned Frogs running back Emari Demercado (3) dives for yardage as Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Justin Harrington (37) defends during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"We're gonna have to play with physical and mental toughness to have a chance to win this game. I know, based on our guys, and how they've responded."

On how they can re-write the story

 

Oct. 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas; TCU Horned Frogs running back Kendre Miller (33) is tackled by Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Key Lawrence (12) during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"And the challenge to them was, there's a lot of teams that go through, you know, every season, whether it's NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, certainly in college, that we've all been a part of. A year ago, I was on a Clemson team, that was 4-3, and everyone wanted to burn everything down. And, you know, we got the worst players and coaches in America in the history of the game. And that's having, you know, been to six straight playoffs for this last six national championships and six straight conference titles, so, but that team made a decision to get better and not allow themselves to be influenced by the outside noise only be influenced by straining to do everything you can to improve every day, you know, one practice one meeting at a time. It's literally how you do it. And not allow seeds of doubt or seeds of division to come into the locker room. And that team went on to win their 10th game. And I think that's 13 straight years they've won 10 plus games, one of only two teams that have currently have done that. So you know, that's the kind of mental toughness that you got to have. Circle the wagons, get back in the fight; however you want to say it. And that's really your only choice. It's got a chance to be a great story. And that's what challenged the team, you know, where a lot of people within 90% of the questions today is about last week's game is about the rearview mirror. It's about what happened yesterday. In here today, I want the focus to be on what's ahead. You know, what's in front of us right now going down to Dallas, and the challenge that is, where all of our focus is right now."

Playing with effort and techinque

 

Sep 17, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) runs for a touchdown against the UTSA Roadrunners during the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

"Yeah, they're playing disciplined. You know, they're playing really well together as a unit, given up just over 20 points a game, played really well against Alabama, given them an opportunity to win every game. You got some excellent football players. Again, all three levels, they're big, they're long, they're athletic. They're playing with great toughness. And offensively, same thing. Both lines of scrimmage are really good. But defensively, again, they're just giving up over 100 yards a game rushing. And have done a good job getting pressure on the quarterback and a lot of disruption in the run game. So you know, I know a year ago, we were down 28-7. Had a terrific comeback and, you know, shoot out. But they're improved from where they were a year ago, according to the coaches that were here in and part of that. And so we're gonna get enough to have to play well. There's no doubt about it. Yeah, so that was one of I think six wins that we had that came down to the last possession of the game, and a seventh win against Kansas, that was an act of God to win that one. And so, you know, we've got an insane thing, the first play the game against Texas A year ago, they throw a perimeter screen, we, we miss fit, it missed the tackle. And as they showed you, just like we saw against TCU, you make a mistake against a good football team that's got good players that have a pulse, you're gonna get punished, you know, for mistakes on game day. So they've got homerun hitters across the board. And guys are not going to faint when when they're unblocked, they're going to make the play."

On pressing when you get behind

 

Quarterback Dillon Gabriel #8 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws the ball in the first half during Oklahoma's road game against TCU at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. Emil Lippe/Getty Images

"Things can break down, or maybe you're just maybe you get antsy. There's a lot of things that can be a factor, you know, not being as accurate as you need to be. And, and so it again, guys can press, you know, it's a very real thing. You can't see it on a stat sheet. But you know, my charge to the defense is when, when you're making things easy for the opponent next, you know, it's 20-3, the offense will have a tendency to try to press and make a play instead of, 'hey man, let's just get in a rhythm and settle down, let's play with poise and still be patient as long game.' That's a very natural thing. So maybe you get a little hurry to make a throw, or you know, maybe overreach a blocker, and he comes underneath and makes a play a lot of little things like that, you know, lead to that, you know when you get behind like we did."

On keeping the team in a good head space

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs safety Abraham Camara (14) causes a fumble by Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) during the first quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"Yeah, I mean, you can't. Now I think there's, there's, there's a lot that goes into what you just said, you know, it's not just one thing. It's continuing to show belief in people. It's getting the best out of them. It's still correcting and holding them accountable and being tough and demanding. But continue to give them hope. And I think it's important that you do a good job of showing them all the good plays that they've made that align with, maybe again, here's the mistake. 'Hey man, this wasn't just a four-yard gain. It's a touchdown. So, you know, what can we do to prevent that.' Again defenses strain reaction, and guys have got to feel not only confident in what they're doing, but I think the maturation is when they really understand what the guys around them are doing. Their game goes to another level. And both in their consistency, aggressiveness, and precision, and we're not there where we need to be consistently. So we're working hard on it and just go back to practice. There's no other way to get yourself out of a bad spot. But you got to have the right mindset. And we got to do a great job as coaches and leaders to help these guys that way."

On playing with defensive back with good technique

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Eric Gray (0) scores a touchdown during the first half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"The same things that you've been doing, you literally put them in that spot in phase, in position. And then there's some techniques to finish at the top of the route that you Okay, he's not looking back for the ball. So now what do you do? Okay, you've been beat. Now, what do you need to do when you get beat, so you practice getting beat, in your drill work and your fundamental work, and you get you practice when you're in a great position? Don't panic, get your head around, play through the man through play through his hands. And, you know, if you're looking back for the ball, there's a lot of contact 99% of the time, they're not calling it. You can phase with a guy, and you're not looking back for the ball, and you run into him. And you know, there's the same level of contact, they're going to call it virtually every time, and they should. And, but so you just continue to do what you've been doing. And sometimes, you learn the most through again, failure and defeat. And you know, some of them maybe the bad habits or the inconsistent habits that you've been in practice, maybe now, you get a little more focus, you know, all the time to so guys can make the improvement that we got to make."

On Focusing on one game at a time

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Jovantae Barnes (2) celebrates with Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"I know how fragile the game is, you know, one week to the next. You mean things can be on different planets. That's what I know. You're dealing with, again, 17 to 23-year-olds, that's what happens. And so look at every week on its own merit, I look at every day within its own, you got to play the game, and then you get exposed. And that's how you improve and get better. That's the only way you improve and get better. And so having these thoughts or whatnot, you don't know what you don't know until things happen. So you know, everybody has a clean slate every week. You certainly take into account things that they've struggled at, and things that they've done well at, and then you try to, you know, fix those things and promote those things. And so, to me, every week has a chance to again be a season of its own. And a performance of its own. We've seen it time and time again. Whether it's in-house or it's, you know, another program, another team somewhere at every level. So that's where we're focused on just again, the incremental improvement that we got to make."

On Nick Evers progression

 

Quarterback Nick Evers (7) goes through Drills as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU ) hold fall football camp outside Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Aug. 8, 2022 in Norman, Okla. Steve Sisney/For The Oklahoman

"He's done. Done really well. On Thursdays, we scrimmage for a few series. We go live all of our young guys, future freaks. And he has done incredibly well all season. Matter of fact, he has done better being a part of those than he did even in fall camp and he made improvement in fall camp but he really did well. We saw all that potential throwing, running, decision-making really come to fruition over the last several weeks. So Coach Lebby will probably get up and tell you that he's not near ready. All the things that he needs to do better, but I'm just standing back watching him play football, and he's done a really nice job."

On if Billy Bowman's injury on special teams changes how they use him?

 

Sep 3, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Billy Bowman (5) in action during the game against the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"It's the risk. Anybody's gonna play on special teams. Our starting middle linebacker, he's one of the guards on the punt team. Do you not put him on there? So Billy's a very dynamic player, we've said before. So you hate that it happened. You're always massaging everything and evaluating every decision that you make and so really unfortunate. First time he's ever been hurt in his career. He hadn't been an injury-prone guy and thankful that it wasn't worse than what it could have been."

On if the unknown at QB changes anything

 

Oct 1, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Hudson Card (1) throws a pass in the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

"My guess is that it wouldn't affect either side. I know it won't for us. They're gonna run their system, and they got tremendous football players around the quarterback, and the quarterbacks have played really well. Whether it's Card or Ewers, I don't see something dramatically different in what they do, and I wouldn't see a whole lot from them expectation-wise and game planning what they would do differently. I think schematically in both offensive that they're going to lean on what they do offensively. And the quarterbacks will execute what they want to do. Hand the ball off, throw it deep, bootleg all those kinds of things. All the quarterbacks can do all those things I just said. And can improvise and make plays on the perimeter. So, you don't have like, it's Lamar Jackson and then Ben Roethlisberger. I don't see that type of discrepancy you know, with with guys either squad."

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