A few weeks before the spring game, Phillips told reporters that, under Montgomery, the defensive line was “attacking and playing knock-'em-back football,” a style he said was “completely changed” from 2012.
Still, Phillips admitted that with a new coach, he felt he'd regressed a bit.
“I'm having to learn everything again,” Phillips said. “I'm starting to get back there, but I'm not where I was last season.”
Asked about the defensive line's inexperience at OU's media day Saturday, Stoops expressed optimism about the unit, comparing it to the wide receiver corps at this time last season.
Just before fall camp began last year, the Sooners' receiver unit appeared depleted before transfers Justin Brown (Penn State) and Jalen Saunders (Fresno State) arrived and were granted immediate eligibility.
“You watched the spring game, didn't you?” Stoops said. “The spring game, all those same guys were in there and played really well against a very experienced offensive line.”
Reminded that Oklahoma also had veteran receiver Kenny Stills returning a year ago, Stoops said, “We feel we have some guys that are capable of being like that. Is there Gerald McCoy? No. That's not going to happen every year either.”
Oklahoma added freshmen defensive tackles Charles Walker and Matt Romar in its 2013 recruiting class, and is still waiting on junior-college transfer Quincy Russell, whose arrival has been held up by academic issues.
Stoops said he expected Russell's last class to be completed soon.
Junior offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson, one of only two Sooners who spoke with the media after Monday's practice, said he had a “pretty good” view of the Ford-Phillips collision.
“That was a hit right there,” Thompson said with a laugh. “I haven't seen a running back hit someone like that in a long time.”
Watch the play: