'Fearsome Foursome' Add Boost

When last season ended, speculation had already begun about whether or not four key players would opt for the NFL or come back to play at OU another year.

In the end, quarterback Sam Bradford, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, offensive lineman Trent Williams and tight end Jermaine Gresham all decided to return for another year in the crimson and cream uniform.

And it might have already started to make its impact.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that [it has had an impact]," McCoy said.

Bradford hesitated at first to admit it having an immediate impact.

"Um, that's really hard to say just because we never left," Bradford said. "We were always here."

But then he said it has probably provided some of the young guys with guidance.

"Obviously, we had the opportunity [to leave], but I think us coming back especially for some of the young guys, I think it probably has provided a boost knowing that we have some leadership coming back on this team," Bradford said.

McCoy said leadership and guidance to young players is exactly the impact their return will have.

"I guess you can say it would have been different because that would have been four leaders who left, but now you got those guys back, and we're back to lead the team," McCoy said. "We know it's our team. We know the roles we have to play this year, and we're just ready to do it."

With the return of Bradford, the Sooners obviously return the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner and a very dynamic quarterback that can torch defenses over the top and is solid in his decision making.

With McCoy, OU brings back a leader inside the front line of the defense, a guy with the ability to get to the quarterback and force mistakes.

Williams keeps one veteran up front and provides some reliability and stability for an otherwise very inexperienced offensive line.

And Gresham clearly returns as a threat for Bradford to toss the ball up to in the back of the end zone and on the boundaries, where he was extremely effective last year.

The one constant for all four, McCoy said, is the fact that they need some improvement before taking on the next level.

"I mean, us four [deciding] to come back was, I think, a good decision for our levels. We've got a lot of learning we still have to do, and you know a lot of working on some things."

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