Q&A with new DB coach Willie Martinez
The new addition to the OU staff this off-season was Willie Martinez, who comes to Norman after being let go as the defensive coordinator at Georgia.
Martinez answered a few questions after his second spring practice coaching the Sooners:
How is it going after a couple practices with your new program?
It’s been going good. The opportunity to be here is great. Getting the opportunity to coach and get back on the field, we’re like the players. Excited to get back on the field and do what we love to do.
Seems like you’ve inherited a lot of young talent, especially at the safety position?
I don’t know. It’s kind of a learning progress here. We have some experience, but a lot of inexperience too. The goal this spring is trying to develop that two deep, develop that consistency, playmaking ability, and playmaking. We need more on a consistent basis. We’re a long way away. But it is spring ball and we’ve only had two practices.
How much was it evaluating those guys on tape?
That was important, a key for me, getting myself to understand what was returning, the talent and skill level at the corner or safety position, who was returning at starter. That’s part of the progress.
How long does it take to get a feel?
It’s going to take some time. You come in here as a new coach, you really don’t know the entire history, all the reps the players had for three years, whether it’s good or bad, as you progress, obviously it’s a great staff, they’ve communicated that to me about certain guys who have progressed, some guys who haven’t. Some guys that haven’t done a good job, then maybe during the bowl practices had. So I have some kind of a starting point. But going through spring will help in understanding what kind of depth we have and what kind of abilities we have.
Anyone stood out so far?
Not really, other than the tempo of practice. there’s mistakes out there, good things too, but I’m very impressed with the pace of practice. Guys have been around and for the most part doing what we ask them to do.
Does it help having coach Stoops with his DB background?
Absolutely, anytime you have a head football coach that’s an ex-secondary coach and d-coordinator, that’s great because you get the attention at the position right away. That’s one of the things I love about this situation. The head coach that’s what he coached. Guys want to compete. They know coach has coached that position. It’s nothing but positive.
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