STILLWATER — If Bill Young’s defense doesn’t show drastic improvement this fall, it won’t be a big surprise or disappointment for many fans. After all, it’s Young’s first year as Oklahoma State’s defensive coordinator, and improving a defense that’s been mired in mediocrity will take some time. At least a year, right?
For all the Cowboy fans who are thinking that way, Young has this to say to you: Stop. He’s in no mood to be given a free pass in his first year at OSU. "I want people to have high expectations for us,” Young said. "We have high expectations.” After just 15 practices with Young’s new defense this spring, Mike Gundy is already on board. "(Fans) should have great expectations for our defense,” he said. "Coach Young is a great fit here at Oklahoma State. The players are buying in. "We should expect a lot from our defense, and I think our players will uphold that.” But the coaches aren’t just saying those things for the fans. They’re saying them for the players, too, as Young tries to eliminate the mental stigma attached to the Cowboys for more than a few years that they can’t play defense. "That’s a big part of it,” he said. "We’re trying to convince our players that they are gonna be a great defensive team. That’s our goal. "You’ve got to believe you’re good before you can be good.”