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November 3, 2010There's a video that's been circulating on the Internet since this summer's realignment-palooza, poking fun at Texas A&M as a potential member of the Pac 10 Conference.
It's an old Sesame Street song, 'one of these things is not like the other'. It takes a swipe at A&M's male yell leaders.
But on Saturday on Kyle Field, that song could also apply to Oklahoma's 250-pound defensive tackle Pryce Macon, who has moved over from his defensive end position to the tackle position to help with a serious injury situation.
Adrian Taylor, Jamarkus McFarland and Stacy McGee handled the bulk of the defensive tackle snaps against Missouri two weeks ago, and that didn't work out very well for the defensive line.
So while Daniel Noble and Casey Walker are expected to miss the Texas A&M contest this weekend, Macon will take another crack at defensive tackle.
"It helps with our pass rush and we're playing a team with a lot of personnel that tries to spread you out and it helps to have some quickness in there to help penetrate and what have you," explained defensive tackle Jackie Shipp of the move. "We needed a body to give us a blow, but he's got a lot of reps in the two games he's had the opportunity to play in.
"He has quickness, he's not nearly as big as you want him to be but he's strong and explosive and he can get in the cracks and penetrate and make some things happen."
Macon isn't the eventual answer for Oklahoma's defensive tackle position. But for now he's all this team has for depth.
So how tough is it for a 250-pound defensive end to hold his own on the interior?
When Macon was asked what he saw when he watched film of Oklahoma's 43-10 blowout of Colorado on Sunday, all he could do was laugh.
"I've got some work to do," said a blunt Macon. "Some things I can control and some things I just physically couldn't control. I just have to keep working."
Shipp is known as being a taskmaster as a coach. He expects every player to have perfect technique, to do everything the right way. Macon even says Shipp's expectations don't change for him.
But Shipp isn't being unrealistic either. He knows Macon is at a disadvantage.
"I understand it though, don't get me wrong," said Shipp. "He got hit with a double-team that was over 600 pounds and he's 250. But he did the technique and he went hard. I understand that part. But as far as doing things the right way and playing hard, you're dang right he's held to the same standard."
To Macon's credit, he's not giving any excuses, even though he knows he's not like the others.
"It does wear on me. I feel like I'm a little pinball in there sometimes," said Macon. "I get pushed around. It's just one of those things you've got to fight through it. The team needs me to do it so I've got to fight through it. I've got to do it."
Macon should get help soon. Daniel Noble did go through non-contact drills this week according to Shipp. He did enough that Stoops lists him as doubtful instead of ruling him out altogether like he has with Casey Walker.
But former offensive line starter Tavaris Jeffries is now working with Shipp as a defensive tackle too.
"He said he was interested in playing that position and I welcome anybody that's big and can run. So we'll put him out there and see what he can do. You never know what might happen," said Shipp.
In 2009 when injuries besieged the OU offensive line, Shipp had to give up Stacy McGee to the offense late in the season.
Shipp doesn't mind the offensive line trying to return the favor. And he's willing to take anyone else who wants to heed the call.
"I'm gonna keep working all those son of a guns," said Shipp. "You can give me the whole team. If Coach Stoops will let me do it I'd recruit nothing but defensive tackles."