August 8, 2012

Filling the void: Meacham tries to reload

You could forgive Oklahoma State inside receivers coach Doug Meacham if he were wallowing in self-pity. His corps this fall has exactly one player with a significant number of catches in 2011.

You could forgive it, but it's not necessary. Though Josh Stewart is his lone returner, Meacham is excited about the guys he has to work with. Getting them up to speed - literally - is his focus in the early part of fall camp.

"Playing fast and getting used to the speed of the game because we are a no-huddle, high-tempo offense, so we go as fast as we can," Meacham said. "Particularly at my position where I've got so many young guys. They've got to learn the speed of it, how to line up, how to get your eyes in the right place, maybe be able to reload. That's a big adjustment for the young guys. Josh Stewart is the only one that has game reps. We've got guys that - communication wise and tempo wise - are adjusting a lot."

In 2011, Meacham's corps featured two of OSU's top three pass catchers. Josh Cooper graduated and moved on to the NFL. His 71 catches were second only to Justin Blackmon on the Cowboys' Big 12 Champion squad. Senior Tracy Moore is certainly around, but moved out to Blackmon's vacated spot on the outside and took his 45 catches from 2011 with him. Colton Chelf the walk-on hero of the Fiesta Bowl ran out of eligibility with that game.

Replacing 137 catches, 1,678 yards and seven touchdowns is no easy task, but Meacham certainly seems to like the group he has to work with this fall.

"The inside receivers are probably a little more of a laid-back crew than linebackers and things like that," he said "They are really guys that are like gym rats. They want to come out here and make little catches into big yardage and mismatch people and get in and out of cuts and holes and just be little gym rat guys that they lose sight of through the course of the game because they're worried about these big, fast outside receivers and all of a sudden, you've got these little guys inside making it happen. Just role players and guys that just want to win. It's apparent to me that these guys are giving us all they've got in practice. We're getting what they have and I think it's going to go a long way for us, especially (among the inside receivers) because we're so young."

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