The Oklahoma coaches were generally pleased with the scimmage on Wednesday. In fact, after watching film of the scrimmage they are optimistic they will be a very good football team in 2007.
I am not saying they feel they will win a National Championship, because they don't have a Joe Namath among the quarterbacks, but the staff feels this team will be talented enough to win contend for the Big 12 and National Title. And, if they catch a few breaks they can be right there.
OU head coach Bob Stoops wasn't totally happy with the scrimmage, but he also liked a lot of the things he saw. When the defense gives up a few plays that can get coach Stoops in a bad mood, and when he sees some players walk onto the field or back to the huddle that can get him in a really bad mood. However, coach Stoops told this reporter that he saw a number of good things as well.
At this point, Oklahoma feels like things are going well with the quarterbacks. Joey Halzle threw the ball very well until his two interceptions, and they were impressed with Sam Bradford and how we recovered from his interception.
Keith Nichol looked good, but he being brought along very slowly. He has a certain package he's working on in practice that's different from the other quarterbacks, and that's what he ran in the scrimmage. Now that the first scrimmage is in the books they'll begin to expand what he does within the offense, but he still won't be up to speed as far as what the other two QBs know until two-a-days.
So it's still a wide-open race and if they had to choose one, it would be an interesting debate at this point. That being said, Oklahoma thinks no matter who they go with at quarterback they'll have more more big-play ability than they did last year with Paul Thompson.
The Sooners love their weapons on offense and believe their line could be dominant. They hope they can have the kind of offense that can pound people with the running game, which will open up more things in the passing game.
The offense looked pretty good against what is going to be a very good defense. The offense didn't have Malcolm Kelly, Allen Patrick or Jermaine Gresham, yet they managed to move the ball against a good defense. The defense wasn't at 100 percent either up front as DeMarcus Granger and Alonzo Dotson didn't play, and those two will make a big difference up front.
The coaches are estatic about the offensive line and feel it is going to be a major strength on the team. The majority of the line is back and Phil Loadholt is gonig to be an upgrade over Chris Messner, and Messner was pretty good for OU. The coaches love the backups as well, as Chase Beeler, Cory Brandon, Kody Cooke and Sherrone Moore are good players. The battle at right tackle is outstanding between Branndon Braxton and Trent Williams is going to go until the first game. Braxton is still working to get into better condition, but he is getting better each practice.
Adron Tennell and Brandon Caleb are having great camps ,and so is Quentin Chaney. Joe Jon Finley is in the best shape of his life and is having a great camp, and Brody Eldridge continues to be one of the best all-around players on the team.
On defense, the linebackers are still learning their way. Rufus Alexander is no longer out there to line everybody up and somebody else needs to step up. Curtis Lofton is winning the middle linebacker job right now because he knows more about the defense, but Mike Reed is picking up more every day and when he hits someone you know it.
Lofton is very talented and that is a great competition at MLB. Ryan Reynolds is getting better every day and he had a solid scrimmage. He is going to be a great player.
Gerald McCoy and Adrian Taylor were outstanding at defensive tackle, and Auston English and Jeremy Beal look like they are going to be outstading at defensive end.
Reggie Smith and Marcus Walker are having great camps, but so is D.J. Wolfe. Wolfe will get a shot at safety when practice resumes on Monday. Also, Brian Jackson is beginning to make a move at safety.
Spring Football News and Notes
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
Video: Bob Stoops after 66-59 win at TechOU coach Bob Stoops' opening statement following Sooners wild 66-59 victory at Texas Tech.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 10:43 PM
Video: Baker Mayfield on record-setting nightOU quarterback Baker Mayfield talks about his record-setting seven-touchdown performance against Texas Tech in his return to Lubbock.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 10:30 PM
OU commits Barnes, Rising with major injuriesOU commits Robert Barnes and Cameron Rising both suffered major injuries Friday evening.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 2:33 PM
OU back to the WR target boardJalen Reagor is out of SoonerSquad17. So who's in? Trying to figure out the answer.
Sooners IllustratedFriday at 6:22 AM
SoonerSquad17 more than a class, it's familyOU's SoonerSquad17 is a lot more than a No. 1-ranked class... it's a family.
Sooners IllustratedFriday at 6:20 AM