Best of OU assistants at media day

The tone was positive as OU coaches addressed the media for the first time.

Saturday took a look at some quick hitters with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and his first press conference of the 2014 season.

Now we’ll do the same with OU’s assistants who spoke Saturday.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops

When talking about the strength of the defense, nothing really stands out for this group. Because, in a way, every group stands out.

“There are a lot of strengths at every level of this defense,” Stoops said. “There’s a lot of experience and maturity. This might be the most complete 11 players we’ve had on defense since I’ve been back.”

*The development of freshman safety Steven Parker continues to be another topic brought up a lot. OU spent so much time trying to lure Parker to OU, and it seems like it’s paying off for all parties involved.

“He is about as complete a player I’ve seen in three days,” Stoops said. “I’m impressed with his movements and ability to cover.”

*If Julian Wilson does move to cornerback, how will that shake things up? Stoops said Quentin Hayes moves to nickelback with Ahmad Thomas, Hatari Byrd and Parker fighting for the safety spots. Hmm, interesting.

Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel

*We know Trevor Knight is the man at quarterback, but what’s OU’s plan if Knight happens to get injured once again?

“We haven’t decided Plan B yet,” Heupel said.

Between Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen, they’re getting quality reps in right now, but it’s tough to see them leading OU.

That type of talk usually leads to more talk about Blake Bell moving back to quarterback, which Heupel shot down emphatically once again.

“He’s enjoying being a tight end,” Heupel said.

Joking around, Heupel asked Bell if he wanted to take pictures with the quarterbacks, and Bell said he was good at tight end.

A lot of the tight end talks focuses on the fact the Sooners haven’t used that spot often in the last couple of years. Heupel was quick to defend the position and what the team has on campus.

“When we’ve had quality tight ends, who can make a real difference, we’ve used them,” Heupel said.

Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell

*This is obviously going to be a huge year for junior Sterling Shepard as he makes the natural progression to being the No. 1 receiver on the team. But that’s not what has impressed Norvell so far.

“He has really matured,” Norvell said. “He’s accountable to the whole team now, not to just being a wide receiver doing his job.”

*Of course the big news of the last month was the addition of Dorial Green-Beckham even though it still remains to be seen if he’ll play. It’s a different way of life in Norman.

“He’s learning how to do things the Oklahoma way, which is a lot different than a lot of places,” Norvell said.

*The signature receiver for the 2014 class was undoubtedly Michiah Quick. He’s living up to his name so far through the early stages of camp.

“He’s very mature,” Norvell said. “He learns things easily and somebody you only have to tell him once how to do something. He’s a little closer to playing than some of the other guys.”


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories