NORMAN — New Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh joined former Sooners Dusty Dvoracek and Teddy Lehman on their radio show Monday afternoon.
Bedenbaugh accepted the job late last week, and was officially announced as the newest OU football assistant coach Sunday.
Dvoracek and Lehman host “The Rush” every weekday from 2 to 6 p.m. on KREF-AM 1400 in Norman. Here is a transcript of Bedenbaugh’s comments from the chat, and audio of the interview is embedded at the top of this blog post.
On joining Oklahoma’s staff:
“I was at Texas Tech in 2000 with coach Leach there, and the first time I came here and played here you knew it was something special. I didn’t know a whole bunch about it until I came down within the Big 12. It was my first time being here, and just seeing the town and how they respond to the Sooners. How they supported them. The energy, the excitement, and then just looking around at all the tradition, the national championships, the Heismans. This is the best place in the country. When this opportunity came up and coach Stoops gave it to me, I jumped at it. It’s always hard to leave any place you’re at, but this was one of those places that I knew if I ever got the opportunity to coach here, I couldn’t turn it down.”
On if he’s had a chance to meet with the OU linemen:
“I got here Saturday, flew in about 1:30 and came over here with coach Heupel, starting watching film. I’ve seen some of them last year when we were playing teams and we were studying defenses, but I didn’t really study them individually. I studied formations and what defenses did against them. But I’ve had a chance the last couple of days to talk to them. A couple of kids came up here on Sunday to meet me, those guys that were in town. Then this morning they had a workout and I was able to meet all the guys then. We had a workout this afternoon, so I’m gonna have more time to get to know them this afternoon and have a meeting with them tonight. They seem fired up, and hopefully they’re as excited as I am. I’m excited to get going and get a chance to coach them.”
On some of Bedenbaugh’s past comments, in which he said he described the linemen he likes as “mean” and “nasty.”
“That’s the only way to play football, and especially offensive line. That’s just the mentality you have to have. Obviously you try to go out and recruit that, but I think you can develop that as well. You go out there and get the job done. It’s my job to coach you. It’s my job to push you. It’s my job to make you expect yourself to be great, and then you’ve gotta go out there and you’ve gotta respond to it. That’s just the way that I’ve always coached. That’s how I was brought up. That’s how I was taught, and that’s what I’m gonna do here. I expect those guys to respond, and everything I’ve seen up to this point in the few days I’ve been here, I think that’s gonna happen.”
On the similarities between Oklahoma’s offense, and the systems at Texas Tech and West Virginia he’s worked with:
“It’s very similar. That’s what we’re doing right now; we’re going through all the cut-ups of last year. Most of the things are very similar. We were an inside-outside zone team. You know, drop-back throw it, play-action, screens, all those things that they are here. There’s really a bunch of carryover. Most of these offenses in the Big 12 are very, very similar. Everybody has their own spin on it, but most of the things they’re doing here, we did at West Virginia. It’s just a matter of terminology. Me adapting to the terminology and tweaking some things technique-wise, some fundamental things, hopefully can help these guys become better players, and hopefully help our offense become better.”
On if his wife’s family being in Oklahoma, and his familiarity with Mike Stoops and Tim Kish makes the transition easier:
“Yeah it definitely does. With my wife being from Oklahoma and having a bunch of family here, that obviously just added to the intrigue of coming here. I knew, again, going back, this was a special place. They’ve done great things. Coach Stoops is one of the winningest coaches in the country in the last 15 years, and I’ve really admired what he did from the outside, looking in on it. All of those things — knowing coach Stoops, knowing coach Kish and Josh and Cale Gundy, knowing those guys were here, I thought, would make the transition that much easier. There were just so many things pointing to me coming here. Like I said before, heck, I’m blessed. I’m one of the most fortunate people in the world right now to be at a place like Oklahoma, and then my wife can come home as well.”
On establishing a run game:
“That’s the biggest thing. We’re very similar. We were a very big outside zone team, inside zone, zone cutbacks. We were actually gonna put in power there at West Virginia …”
Dvoracek laughs and reminds Bedenbaugh that he knows all about West Virginia’s run game:
“Well, yeah, unfortunately we came up on the wrong end of that one. Heck, we had a great running back, too, in Tavon Austin that we put back there, who’s one of the most special players I’ve ever been around. That’s how we kinda made our bread and butter is running those plays, establishing the line of scrimmage, getting movement, getting your pads under their pads and getting your hands inside and finishing blocks. You see a lot of runs that are 3- and 4-yard runs, which are good runs, but if you can finish blocks across the board with all five, and the if the fullback’s included … those 4, 5-yard runs, now they’re gonna become 10-, 15-, 20-yard runs, and the hopefully break them to the house. It’s just a matter of those guys learning and understand what I’m gonna expect and what I’m gonna demand from them.”
On recruiting big-time linemen to Oklahoma:
“Well first of all, I tell them it’s Oklahoma. You’ve got a chance to win a national championship here every year. A lot of schools try to sell that, but this one … you walk into this place, and actually see guys’ pictures up on the wall. You see Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Brown, Vince Carter … the o-linemen that have been through here, the players that have been through here … you just have to develop relationships, and get to know these kids, get to know their families. Get to know what’s really important in the decision-making process, and you’ve gotta be relentless. It never stops. When I got here Saturday and signed everything and got hired officially, the first thing I did was recruit. Obviously I was watching film of the guys here, but heck, I’m pretty smart. I understand that these good players are gonna make me a better coach. So we’re gonna go after the best people in the country, and then you sell your head coach. You want to play for a great guy. Not only a great coach, but a family man, a guy that’s gonna care about you … There’s just so many things to sell about this place. I don’t even know all of them right now. I’ll get to know them, but to me, it’s a pretty easy sell. And then you’ve just gotta work your butt off, and outwork people.”
On spring football:
“That’s when you really, really, truly learn about somebody. We’re gonna be going through the workouts right now, but once you put the pads on, and you get in there, and you get physical, and you get down and dirty, that’s when you really learn the mentality and the toughness of a kid. When things are tough, when it’s hot out there, you’re in your second hour of practice, and you’re beaten up, and you’re bruised. Are you gonna push through, or are you gonna quit? That’s when you can learn about kids. It’s my job to motivate them and keep pushing them. I’m jacked up. I couldn’t be more excited to get out there and start coaching these kids.”
Will he join Cale Gundy and Bobby Jack Wright on their bike rides around Norman?
“Well, actually, they just invited me today. I had to turn it down today. There may be a point in time when you see me out there on my bike. I don’t know … I’d rather be in here watching film. That getting out on the bike isn’t much for me.”