Each of the three quarterbacks that were once battling for the Oklahoma starting job – Baker Mayfield, Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas – had a unique set of skills that made them worthy of being the Sooners’ starting quarterback.
They have crossover skills, but none were identical.
Now that Mayfield has been chosen as a starter, the Sooners’ elaborate-yet-simple offense is being fine-tuned to his specific skills.
“We have an idea of some things that he does well,” Oklahoma offense coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “You have to make it work for him, no question.”
Practices haven’t changed much, though. Mayfield said he’s not working with Riley any more closely now that he’s the starter, and receiver Jeffery Mead said the offense hasn’t changed.
Mayfield does have a bit more say in what the offense will do – a way Riley continues become more familiar with all of his quarterbacks.
“We’ll go into the week with a gameplan, and if I don’t like a play, he’ll get rid of it,” Mayfield said. “That’s how it works when you have a starting quarterback anywhere. You call your plays around the guy and what he’s comfortable with. Coach Riley does a great job calling great plays, so we don’t have an issue with that.”
What Mayfield does well is put the ball in the air. He’s got the biggest arm on the roster, and his decision-making within the offense on short routes is really good.