Wilson pushing offense to avoid slow start

Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson talks more about Paul Thompson and avoiding a repeat of last year's slow offensive start.

Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson talks offense...

On the decision to move Paul Thompson to receiver and start Rhett Bomar after the loss to TCU last season

Wilson: The real deal last year, to me, was that neither one of those guys separated themselves, which also says that Paul was and is pretty good. Everybody was talking about how good the other guy was well, shoot, he did win the battle in a race that was through spring, through summer, through preseason. It wasn't like a one-week decision.

The only one-week decision was when we played in a poor way and said, hey, let's just go with the other guy. In hindsight, if we had won that game ugly we probably may have held pat. I don't know. You don't have a crystal ball and we didn't plan, as far as expecting, for things to happen like they did.

Again, my only answer is we just didn't play well in the opener. And hindsight is 20/20. I don't know if we had a good plan to give him a chance to play to his strengths.

On the talk of changing the offense to suit Thompson's skills as a quarterback

Wilson: To me, Paul is a dropback passing quarterback. So it isn't like you're running the option every play or your bootlegging and sprinting. It's not like you've taken a former quarterback who was a receiver, and now we don't have a quarterback and come back and let's run a gimmick offense.

He does things a lot of ways like great, outstanding quarterbacks do. He's an intelligent guy, stands in the pocket, but he does have some athleticism. He's not a stiff, so he can move around.

And another thing I'd say - it seems like everybody's mentioning it - like some guy (a sports radio host) sitting to my right talks about how he can't throw the deep ball. How many deep balls has he missed besides the first one that you've ever seen? How many times has he actually ever thrown the ball in a game, really?

When he came in in a mop-up as a freshman and sophomore, we weren't fawning it out as I recall. He missed one deep shot and he can't throw the deep ball? As I saw, Phil Mickelson hit a slice. He hit one bad shot so now Phil can't golf?

He threw a deep one the last play the other day in the scrimmage for a touchdown. I guess that was luck. I don't know.

On Jason White calling Paul Thompson after he switched back to quarterback, and what was their relationship like when they were playing together

Wilson: I think it's tough when you're a young guy and you're a backup quarterback, and he went through some tough things. Probably one of the reasons why Jason called him was Jason went through some tough things too with the two knees.

Jason had a great career, but if you go back and look through it, it wasn't always rosy. It was up and down and he hung in there and got through it. I think that's probably out of the respect Jason had for Paul and said. We took you out of redshirt the freshman year, we redshirted you the third year even though you were the backup. Last year, you were starting, now you're the backup, but you're playing receiver.

On the offense making some big plays in the latest scrimmage (last Thursday)

Wilson: We've had a plan this week of some things we needed to be covered. We thought last year, with a young team, that we started out of sync.

So, for example, on Monday after our scrimmage last Saturday, we went back through every play and stood on the sideline and ran guys on and off the field to get tempo and get in the huddle, get up and run the play and check the play, communicate and not have 12 guys in the huddle.

We've just been working on mechanics. Yesterday, it was third and inches and we ran a quarterback sneak. I promise you as a coach, sometimes you don't even do it until the first game. Hey, it's third and inches run a sneak. But you're scared to death about fumbling a snap.

We got into a two minute offense yesterday that ended up in a hail mary pass, which was good to see. We got into the scoring zone and got to work some play-action passes and some things you're going to do in your passing game in the scoring zone.

Whether it was luck or just happen chance, it was finally a scrimmage where it moved truly like a game. Wow, look, here we are first and goal on the 8. This is exactly what's going to happen. Here's what we're going to do and here's how they're going to try to defend it.

I just though yesterday was one of the better offensive teaching days we've had,where things happened good or bad, but this is pretty close to a game deal. It's third and inches and we've got to run a sneak. We've got to come off low; we've got to get this. We threw a couple fade balls for some touchdowns. That was good.

Today (last Friday), we went out and we practiced killing the clock. We've got the game and we're going to milk the clock. We're going to run the 25-second clock down. We're going to stay in bounds; we're going to keep two hands on the ball. Things that you don't think about or really like to cover, but a part of this coming in the first game, especially when you're young, is teaching them how to play and things that happen in a game.

And I thought last year, early, as a young team and being out of sync, we were just a little scattered and we didn't perform well. We've talked a lot about this and we've even pulled out last year (game film). This is how we started in the opener. Look at these plays with good players, first and second and third round draft picks. Guys who aren't playing good, not just young guys. What did we do last year in practice to allow us to start out sloppy? And let's make sure we practice.

This is always a tough week, but we've had a very good learning week and a tough week. We have practiced tough this week. Next week it will be gameplannig. This was not a lull week where sometimes you hit a wall and you're emotions are 'what are we doing?' Our guys bought in, we had a plan, we sold them on some stuff. A lot of times it's working on different things trying to get them game ready. And I think they're ready.

I think they've worked hard on our toughness, maturity, our attention to detail. Today, no fumbles, no bad snaps, one procedure in all of practice. And we're doing it the whole practice keeping a chart of negative plays trying to minimize that.

Again, I think we've had a great week. I think the guys will be ready. Whether we start out phenomenal or start out great, are we going to be perfect Day 1, Play 1, Game 1? Probably not, but I think we're moving in a great way to play really fast and really good early.

That's our goal. We want to come out and play well early to get a lot of confidence and momentum going.


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