It’s football time in Oklahoma. Those are words all Sooners fans love hearing when attending a game in Norman, and we’re one step closer toward that reality with spring practice beginning Tuesday.
Head coach Bob Stoops addressed the media for the first time Monday afternoon and here are some of the biggest news and notes from the 49-minute press conference.
Take No. 1: Who’s in? Who’s out for spring?
Rodney Anderson’s health status?
“We will intentionally limit Rodney. He has been perfect. He’s done all the conditioning, team competitions that we have, he’s been really great in them. Looks strong and powerful and looks great. We’ll intentionally limit him and keep a redshirt on him, or a non-contact shirt, just to get further removed from it. I believe the way Scott Anderson put it, if we were going to play next week, he could play, but we figure why not get another four, five, six months further from it, just to be sure. But he’s being evaluated today and everything looks great to this point. Again, Rodney looks really fast, strong. He’s really done a great job with his work.”
Any players out due to injury?
“The obvious. Steven (Parker), after his shoulder surgery, he’s progressing great. I didn’t, maybe you didn’t know, but Steven had some shoulder surgery, to repair. Obo (Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) also had some. Those guys will be held, but they’re progressing really well and they’ll be full go once the summer is here.”
Marcelias Sutton ready to go?
“Marcelias is, we’ll see. He has a stress fracture. We’ve repaired it. It’s eight weeks now. I think we’ll be cautious. It will be one of those, give a little by little that he can handle and not overdo it. But he’ll be cleared, it’ll be just to a degree of his comfort.”
Kyler Murray’s health?
Last I saw Kyler before our break, he had that strained hamstring. I’ll get updated today on him for tomorrow, so we’ll see. We want to get that hamstring right. I guess when he’s been out there, he’s done really well baseball-wise. I was actually all set to go watch him and he said he was hurt and wasn’t going to play so I have to wait. Coach Riley has worked really well with coach Hughes on how we want to work the schedule. For instance, if there’s an important game, he needs to play baseball and we might be practicing that day. We’ll give him maybe twice as many reps the day before and then the other guy is going to get twice as many while he’s playing. That kind of thing. Coach Riley will be up on that and make sure he’s getting the work he needs. Still want him to be able to be a great baseball player as well"
Take No. 2: No punishment for Mayfield until legal process works itself out
Thoughts on Baker Mayfield arrest?
“Very disappointed that Baker put himself in that situation. As you know, it’s still ongoing so we won’t determine anything until it’s been complete. He’ll go out and practice tomorrow. His reaction? He’s very hurt that he put himself in that position as well. I’m sure it’s hurt him. It’s embarrassed him. But he can overcome it and I’m sure he will as he moves forward.”
“Sure, like we always do, just wait until it’s been complete, every part of it.
Take No. 3: Four-man front is here to stay
Rationale on four-man front?
“We said we want to be more of a 4-man front primarily. Then sprinkle a little bit of the 50 depending on the sets we’re getting. We just feel we can hopefully get a little more base pressure, with more teams that are playing with 3 wideouts that we see. Three and four, that we can hopefully get more pressure that way overall. So that’s the thought of it. People go bigger and want to be more run-oriented, we’ll still have our 50 to go to go as well. In the past, we’ve been a little more 50 than 4-man fronts. We want to reverse that.”
Strategy? Or personnel?
"It’s mostly strategy because we’re fit to play both ways. Our JACKs, even in the NFL anymore, you see a lot of standup outside D-Ends. They don’t have to line up over 280-pound tight ends. Really, we feel like we can play either way I feel just as well."