Post-Practice Q&A: Head Coach Bob Stoops

NORMAN, Okla. -- SI caught up with the OU head coach in his final interview session before the Spring Game.

Media: Are you looking forward to seeing Drew Allen and Blake Bell Saturday?

Bob Stoops: Sure, that's right. It'll be important for them, and I'm sure we'll get Landry out fairly early and let those guys kind of see how they operate and see how they do.

Media: What are your expectations for Saturday?

Bob Stoops: Oh geez, just to have a nice sunny day where everybody can enjoy a little bit of football. The way the team's all jumbled up, I just want to see guys, you know, execute properly, know their assignments, play good fundamental football, and, you know, it'll be more individually looking at each guy and how they're again, taking care of their responsibilities and playing fundamentally.

Media: In terms of the depth at wide receiver position, there's some injury there, how will that go?

Bob Stoops: Yeah, we may have a few guys go both ways or play on both teams, so we'll see. Kind of tight ends and receivers are the area that we might have to have a couple of guys flip flop.

Media: How about special teams, how are the kickers looking?

Bob Stoops: They're doing well. I should have said that earlier. I think, you know, Jimmy Stevens and Michael Hunnicutt have both made significant improvement in timing and getting the ball up and executing, so I've been excited about that. Snappers and holders are doing good. Ben Sherrard is doing a good job along with Nyko Symonds holding. The snappers are all doing well. I even found another snapper here today, Daniel Franklin. Heck, he might be, he's as good as both of them. So, we've got a guy in our pocket there as well, so anyway, but all those guys are doing well. Tress is hitting the ball good.

Media: You said that Stevens is doing a lot better than Hunnicutt, I'm assuming you're talking about range?

Bob Stoops: No, Jimmy's never going to be a big, long range guy, but he's just been more consistent overall in all the mid and short range stuff. And, you know, that's what we need.

Media: What's the biggest improvement you've seen in a guy like Blake Bell this spring?

Bob Stoops: Oh, just, you know, it's just his understanding of the offense and his ability to execute it and throw the football. Everything's improving, and it's natural. He's still a young guy, and he's going to keep improving, so I can't say any one thing, but, you know, I think all of it's improving well.

Media: Did you have fun with ESPN today?

Bob Stoops: Oh, I haven't seen them yet. Well, I saw them at practice just for a short time, but I'm actually just going to meet them after this.

Media: Are you ready for them?

Bob Stoops: Yeah, and if it was an interview, I don't need to get ready. I'm pretty much ready all the time, right?

Media: What you said about the offensive line the other night, what prompted that?

Bob Stoops: Just they're playing better. They're just doing a good job. They're picking stuff up in protection. They're understanding where they're going, you know, and how they're blocking and technique's better, so just a little bit of everything. And by the way, Lane Johnson looks unbelievable in there. [The] guy's already 285 pounds. He's only been a lineman for three or four days, gained 10 pounds. I told you he was dieting to stay at 275. He can play D-end, so, you know, he's 6-6, 6-7, runs 4.6 [second 40-yard dash]. You know, that guy's going to be [really good]. He's got a chance to be really special in there, so we might have really found something special there or come back across something special there that really fits him. And Joe Powell looks good, again out at DB. For the limited time he's had, that's going in the long run be good for him, too.

Media: Is he one of those guys that might have to go both ways, play a little bit of offense in the spring game?

Bob Stoops: No, but it's a good idea. Maybe we will. I'm going to bring that up now that you say it. Whatever team he's on, let him do both.

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