<strong>July 31, 2005</strong>
Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2211">Chargers.com</a>
Marty Schottenheimer, Ben Leber and Luis Castillo talked with members of the media shortly after Saturday morning full pad practice that included the fan favorite Oklahoma Drill.
Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer
How did the Oklahoma Drill get its name?
I suppose they did it in Oklahoma with Bud Wilkinson, but I don't know.
I think the first time I was exposed to it was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was with them for part of a training camp in '71 and Coach Noll had it. It has a couple of redeeming qualities or benefits if you will. I think first and foremost you create a little energy and dynamic among your players and there is a lot of excitement. Guys cheer and kind of help their teammates get into a winning situation. There are also fundamentals and techniques when you study the tape that you can find out about a guy's ability to create leverage and sustain a block and shed a block. So, all and all, I don't know that there are many people doing it anymore, but it has always been a staple of what we've done.
Who impressed you today?
Nobody really jumped out. I thought we really had an excellent practice today and the real challenge for us is to be able to sustain it. One guy, Marcus Harris, made a terrific play on it. You know, it's really an offensive drill, you're not going to make a tackle many times. And as you can see, we blow the whistle in a hurry. I was involved with it when I was with the Lions one time and we got a kid hurt because the bags were there, and he was trying to get between the bags and somebody fell on him. We have been able to get through it healthy, and that's obviously a big part of it too.
Chargers linebacker Ben Leber
How did you like the Oklahoma Drill?
I enjoyed it. You can just sit back and watch everybody else work. It was good entertainment.
From your perspective, do you cheer and root the defense on?
Oh yeah, I am always cheering for the defensive guys. Donnie had a good one, beat his guy. We had a few draws, but I'm always going to be one sided. Defensive won, of course.
How are you feeling?
I'm feeling pretty good and recovering pretty well. I'm just going to kind of take it slow by doing one practice per day. But, eventually, probably in about a week or so I will be going full speed at both practices.
What do you think of Shawn Merriman? How do you look at it in your perspective, coming back from an injury not trying to do too much, but trying to keep your job?
It's tough, you have to find a nice balance because I don't want to push myself too far and then be 85% the whole rest of the season and not be able to compete fully. But, at the same time, I need to be out there. I need to be competing. Luckily for me, right now, he's not here. I can kind of take a little more of a break and get healthy. But, I think first and foremost is to get my foot healthy and then after that everything will take care of its self.
Do you feed off the fans?
We feed a lot off the fans. Comparing this to last year and the year before, we would maybe have a good showing once or twice a week. This is a lot different. It's our third practice and we've had a lot of people out here cheering and hollering. Of course we feel the energy, we like it. This game is all about entertainment so its fun for us.
It feels good that what you're doing is getting recognized and getting noticed, and that's always a plus.
Chargers defensive tackle Luis Castillo
Is the Okalahoma Drill a welcome to the NFL?
That is one of the most fun drills in all of football. I've been doing it since I was a little kid. It was one of my favorite things in college and again here. I am just glad to be here-doing that.
How did you do?
I did alright. You know, it's a little tougher. These guys-they try to throw you, they pull you down and they don't let go as easily. So, it makes you battle a little more. It's a great drill and we enjoy doing it.
How come you enjoy it so much?
I'm enjoying it to the fullest. To have the ability to play in the NFL and to be here with the Chargers, it's so much fun for me. Come out and play with guys like Randall Godfrey, who I grew up watching-there's nothing like it.
How do you feel about the reaction of the crowd?
It's so much fun. You are doing your individual drills and you hear them yelling your name after you go after some bags, something so simple, it's a lot of fun.