OU 15 questions for spring '15: No. 7

OU has some questions with its defense, primarily with how the safety position is going to look in 2015.

Oklahoma spring football is just around the corner. Coming off a disappointing 2014 season, all Sooner fans are looking forward to turning the page to 2015.

Every edition of spring practices bring along questions, but there has arguably never been a more fascinating and uncertain spring than the one OU is about to begin.

Sooners Illustrated is here to help. During these next 15 days, we are going to pose one major question each day regarding OU’s 2015 spring football issues.

The countdown will end March 6, the final day before OU’s first day of practice and coincidentally, OU’s second junior day event and OU basketball’s showdown vs. Kansas in a huge day in OU sports. After spring practice, we will revisit these same 15 questions and see what has been answered and what remains left to be figured out.

Question No. 7: How will the safety position work itself out?

It’s often said the quarterback of the defense is at the safety position. It’s not just about knowing your role, but the responsibility of your teammates.

There was a bad disconnect in this process last season for the Sooners, and it showed as the OU secondary was gashed repeatedly.

We’ve already examined the issue of what defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks is going to bring to the table, but now we’re digging a little deeper and asking about the safety spot in particular.

No question Ahmad Thomas knows how to tackle, but he often looked lost in coverage. And no question Hatari Byrd knows how to hit, but he dropped three sure interceptions last season.

Cooks could bring out the best in them, or the answer could be one of the talented safeties who won’t be on campus this spring.

One spot that seems set is Steven Parker. He worked through the freshmen growing pains and became one of OU’s more consistent performers toward the tail end of the season. He should only get better, but he’s going to need a partner in crime.

It’s anybody’s guess who that could be. Will experience win out with guys like Byrd and Thomas? Or will the new blood carry the day like Will Sunderland or Kahlil Haughton?

Up to Cooks to find that answer.


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