“He's the general out there. Everybody respects him a lot. They know he can get them lined up, they know he's going to make the adjustments off of motion. To me that's not an intangible, that's a tangible.”
Lavey, who enters 2013 with 28 consecutive starts, tallied 53 tackles (seven for loss), 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 2012.
SMITH ‘ALWAYS' WORKING ON RECEIVING
With Joseph Randle leaving OSU early for the NFL, the Cowboys didn't just lose an electric playmaker and reliable workhouse in the backfield. They lost a weapon at receiver, as Randle finished with 108 catches for 917 yards and three touchdowns in his three seasons in Stillwater.
That hasn't exactly been regarded as a strength of Jeremy Smith, who will move into the starting running back role. He's totaled just 15 catches for 112 yards in three seasons, including three receptions for 32 yards in 2012.
But Smith said that is an area of his game he's focusing on.
“That's always something to work on, because it really helps your game and it makes you more of a dual-threat running back, too,” he said. “It's always important, every year.”
Junior Desmond Roland, who's expected to back up Smith, should provide help in that area, as well. He was once a nationally rated receiver prospect coming out of Lake Highland High School in Dallas.
TASK TO REPLACE QUINN SHARP BEGINS
Gundy knew what he had the past two seasons in Quinn Sharp — one of the best punters, field goal kickers and kickoff specialists all wrapped into a single player.
But Gundy admitted Wednesday it's difficult to fully appreciate a player like that until they're gone. And now Sharp is, leaving OSU to fill three crucial special teams voids for 2013.
Incoming freshman Ben Grogan will surely challenge for the kicking job — and possibly punting duties, as well. But he doesn't arrive until the fall, allowing Gundy and Co. to get a serious look at kickers like Bobby Stonebraker and Kip Smith and punter Michael Reichenstein over the next several weeks.
“It's different with (Sharp) not being out there, but the other guys have to step up,” Gundy said. “It's just the way it is. We've done it before. We'll do it (again). We'll come up with guys that will be able to punt and guys that will be able to kick and make field goals.”
Gundy's right in that the Cowboys have “done it before.” Sharp himself replaced both a Ray Guy Award winner in punter Matt Fodge in 2010 and then Lou Groza Award winner in Dan Bailey the following season.