Long hopes offense builds off momentum

Offensive coordinator Chuck Long talks about OU's win over Kansas, protecting Rhett Bomar and Saturday's matchup with Baylor.

Below are excerpts from OU offensive coordinator Chuck Long's meeting with the media on Tuesday.

On how much more time of protection the line needs to protect to enable Rhett Bomar to go through his reads than he is currently getting

Long: Maybe one second. You try to get the ball off in three seconds or less if you can, but that extra one second, or half second, makes the play.

On if Baylor is really a threat to come into Norman and win

Long: Yeah. They're good in the respect that they have a winning record right now. They have some momentum. They're starting to believe in each other, and we haven't exactly played great against these guys the last couple of years.

They've done a good job defensively against us, now they have more of a veteran group. If you look at their team they have more experience in the secondary all the way through their defense. Coach Morriss has done a good job of creating a good attitude there and making it more of a positive attitude.

Again, it gets back down to us too. We have every game being a big game for us right now from here on out starting with Baylor.

On if the offense will be more open and throw downfield more than in the past against Baylor, when they could be more conservative offensively being heavy favorites and having a decided talent edge

Long: We'd like to. We're going into the game with the idea of taking some shots, and they know that too. We have taken some in the past against them.

With our group, we get back to all about us during the week and creating that chemistry and continuity we need. We had a lot of growth in that second half and we need to build on that momentum.

I'm very proud of the way we ended that football game with those guys. At halftime last week, you never know. That can go either way with eight freshmen in there, a couple new seniors in there and some of our betters players out of the game.

But they took to it and we're focusing on building off of that this week getting ready for Baylor

On knowing the other teams' offense isn't going to score against their defense get into his thought process while play-calling

Long: It does, sure. There was a couple of third down situations we ran the ball. A couple of them we got, a couple we didn't.

You always get a feel for your defense as a play-caller. If you're stuffing them you certainly don't want to give the ball to them, like we did one time in our territory. We threw a ball that got intercepted and you don't want to do that, especially when you have a defense that's playing very, very well.

On the differences the way defenses approach Bomar as opposed to Jason White last year

Long: Blitz city. It's just something we're going to get every week. When you've got a young quarterback they're going to bring a lot more people than they've shown on film.

And that's what we saw last week. We're going into games, we're watching and they're showing us their blitz packages, but then they play us and they're bringing one, two, maybe three more than they're showing on tape.

On if Bomar will get to the point where he picks up those blitzes

Long: Exactly. And we helped him out by protecting him in the second half. Some of our halftime adjustments were on protecting him so he could get the ball down the field.

And then it was just, hey, we're going to throw the ball up and make some plays. And Malcolm Kelly did that.

On how much does Bomar checking with the sideline for audibles and line adjustments take away from his inexperience

Long: It helps. You're seeing that a lot when you're watching our games.

In the past, with guys like Vince Carter at center he would make all the calls and adjust the line because he knew where all the blitzes were coming from. But when you have younger guys up front, that's where all the checks start.

It helps those guys get them in the right situation. It's putting it on us to get them in the right situation. Rhett's just kind of the spokesmen for us to tell them. And then it helps Rhett, at times, according to the protection to know which way to throw the ball.

It's really taking a lot off their plate and putting it on ours. And Rhett, being as young as he is, wouldn't be able to do all that right now.

At some point he will. As he gets older and gets more in tune with the protections and blitzes of college football, he'll be able to do that.

On if he's happy with Bomar relaying the the pre-snap adjustments from the sideline to the players, or does it interfere with the flow of the game

Long: At times it's not exactly what you want for the flow of the game, but if it gets our guys in the right position and we have less negative plays, and we've had less negative plays now, that's beneficial.

You kind of look at both situations and what's the lesser of two evils. We'd like better flow, but right now we're getting our guys in better positions.

On if he sees the young freshmen receivers coming along and making the progress like Malcolm Kelly

Long: We think we have them on campus right now. They're young, but we think in time, like a Malcolm, Juaquin's already proven on some big third downs he can be a big play receiver. We think Lendy Holmes, in time, will be that.

We also think Manuel Johnson has already shown some things to us. Eric Huggins is redshirting right now. We think our young receiving corp has big play potential.

As they gain more confidence, like Malcom did the other day, you just feel his confidence yesterday at practice. He just felt so much better. Once they make the one play then it just starts to steamroll.

On if the young receivers have the same potential as last year's departing class

Long: Yes they do. They sure do. Before it's all said and done and by the time they're all seniors they have that kind of potential.


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