Coach Wilson Talks Offensive Line

With the loss of the big bruisers up front like Duke Robinson and Phil Loadholt, OU head coach Bob Stoops was looking for more out of his offensive line early in the spring.

So, Stoops called them out, saying they hadn't had the winter that other groups on the team had, and they were the "weak link of our team."

But apparently there has been some progress since Stoops called them out.

"I think [they look] pretty good," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson after practice Tuesday.

The daily grind, though, is what the young line must work on.

"The thing with those guys is when you're young is learning how to come every day, learning how to compete every day, learning how to get beat and play the next play," Wilson said. "And those guys are just learning how to play. They're learning how to do it every day. They're learning how to do it hard every day."

That, he says, is not easy because it's not something many players coming out of the high school level are accustomed to.

"I feel that in this day and age, a kid learning how to practice hard and compete, prepare like a true, tough, competitive champion is no different than learning a foreign language or learning some upper level math. It's extremely [new]," Wilson said.

And the necessity of competing hard every day is the talent level discrepancy from high school to college.

"It's always been easy," Wilson said. "[Players sometimes think] ‘I was always gifted. I was always better than everybody, and now everybody's doing it, and I have to go through it every day.'"

He told a story about a player coming to him one time and questioning playing at the same level every day.

"I had a kid one time tell me, ‘You want me to do my best every day,'" Wilson said. "I was like, ‘Yeah, that's what I want you to do. I want your best every day.' And that's a difficult thing to learn. That's what these young linemen and young receivers are doing."

Nevertheless, the players have apparently stepped up to the challenge from Stoops, which Wilson briefly joked was just for the media.

"We challenge all the time; that was filler space for you guys," Wilson said. "The thing is those guys are pretty good, and there are a lot of guys across our team that [get challenged]."

What will remain to be seen, however, is if they will build upon their recent progress.

"It's no different than when I yell at one of my kids," Wilson said. "When I discipline one of my children, okay, they're pretty good short-term, but how are you like two weeks from now when you're trying to snitch that cookie out without asking somebody or you're slapping, you know, one of your siblings around or something like that."

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