Knight, Bell moving forward for OU

OU coach Bob Stoops addressed a number of different topics for his weekly Monday press conference, including the QB race, the defense and the depth chart.

Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will be there live for all of them and will give you the three most important things to take from the session.

Week 1: Louisiana-Monroe

Take 1: Blake Bell, Trevor Knight react the way you would expect

A lot of the questions this week obviously were centered around the OU quarterback race won by redshirt freshman Trevor Knight last week.

To the surprise of nobody, Stoops said Knight was excited, while Bell was disappointed but understands he still has a lot of opportunities.

"He's disappointed but determined to keep fighting for the job as you would expect," Stoops said. "And I want him to. I made sure he knew that we felt he could be a winning quarterback, too, and he could win for us whenever we needed him to."

It seemed premature to say Bell would transfer as some speculated, but it's also unclear as to what his role will be in 2013. The opportunity will still be there for the BellDozer, though, confirmed Stoops.

"Truthfully, yes," said Stoops about utilizing the formation. "We were No. 1 in our league in third down conversions."

Stoops didn't go into great detail about the competition, simply stating Knight showed more consistency than Bell. Knight's reaction to the news was about par for the course, too.

"Well, like you'd expect," Stoops said. "He was just excited and ready to come out and practice. Nothing overboard. He knows he's got to keep working and earning it."

And there won't be kid gloves on Knight. Stoops said there can't be.

"He's got to come out and run the offense," Stoops said.

Take 2: Russell continues to make strides

It has been a full week now for defensive tackle Quincy Russell to be able to practice in full pads and get accustomed to everything. Stoops said he's very pleased with his progress.

One of the biggest questions heading into this season has obviously been the defensive line and the search for a playmaker. Stoops said that's still in development.

"[Charles] Tapper is a guy that we feel is coming on and on. Jordan Phillips and Quincy Russell keep making strides.

"[Quincy] is in good shape. He's a big, strong physical guy that likes to work. He is what I hoped he would be."

He'll have to be exactly what OU fans have been expecting to live up to the hype. Outside of the quarterbacks, nobody was discussed more than Russell. Stoops said he has no problems putting Russell out on the field Saturday.

Take 3: Johnson, Ndulue not playing Saturday

As had already been widely reported, Stoops confirmed Monday cornerback Cortez Johnson and defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue will not play Saturday.

Johnson and Ndulue were both arrested during the off-season, and the trend has been for one-game suspensions for minor incidents.

There was no word at all on who would start in place of Johnson and Ndulue as both were expected to start this weekend.

Other housekeeping items include Stoops naming Jed Barnett the starting punter. The juco signee has impressed Stoops throughout the summer, but Stoops did say Jack Steed has fared well, too.

Quarterback Cody Thomas is running the scout team, and Stoops said he's doing a great job as well. Quarterback Kendal Thompson should be back to running at full strength this week, perhaps as early as Monday or Tuesday.

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