Quarterback was definitely a position of concern for Oklahoma last year, but hidden in the changing offense is an easy way for the Sooners’ signal callers to improve rather rapidly.Last year’s offense was tough to emulate outside of live practice – needing to read certain parts of the line can’t be done without the line. In a pass-heavy spread offense, 7-on-7 can take on a whole new importance.
“You can make a lot of strides in the summer,” new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “A lot of the things we do, you can work on without helmets or pads on. So, those guys did a great job this summer. They’ve come in a lot further ahead than they were spring.”
Baker Mayfield said he’s learned from the two interceptions he threw in the spring game, and Cody Thomas said his decision making has improved as well. Trust and timing have been important parts of the summer.
“With all of them, you can tell they’re more comfortable with their reads and where everyone is at,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “You can tell they did a lot of really good work all summer with their pass-skeleton situations, their route running with their receivers.
“You can tell they’re quicker and more comfortable with their looking and their spacing for their routes.”
Right now, it appears as though Mayfield is first in line for the starting spot, but last year’s starter Trevor Knight isn’t far behind. Stoops has even called it even.
“Everybody has always called this a quarterback-friendly system, and I agree,” Riley said. “If we ever run a system that’s not quarterback friendly, we’re not doing our job.”