Q&A with Kevin Wilson

OU's offensive line coach and running game coordinator gives us a pre-spring look at the offensive line. Jammal Brown (pictured right) is one of three returning starters on the Sooners' line.

On the state of the offensive line coming into spring practice
"Coming into spring last year we hadn't played well because we were young. We had a great program, great team, but our line had been up and down a bit the year before with so much youth that had to be played. Last year it was very easy for me to challenge them, because it was very vivid they knew they didn't play well. Now, we've played better, but not great yet. But I think we surprised people that we did play as well we did.

"One of my goals is going to be to keep these guys focused on being the best you can. As soon as you start thinking you're good, you're not that good. If you lose your edge as a lineman, you lose your work ethic you lose and everyday intensity. You're not a good lineman if you can't practice everyday. So we sold that last year and those young players of mine really bought into that and embraced that. They did a very, very fine job. I've got to keep my guys humble, but at the same time maintain a positive outlook."

On returning a solid corp this spring
"We do have a lot of good players. We do need to replace a couple of the inside guys. I need some quality depth at the tackle spots. I need a Brett Rayl or Chris Messner to step through and give us some quality depth and challenge."

"I think Davin Joseph's improvement made Mike Skinner play the best that I saw him play in the two years that I watched his tape. The competition is a beautiful thing, and allowed Mike Skinner to maybe play his best football his last four or five weeks, because Davin was taking plays away from him and he didn't want to lose them. So, we've got to keep that competition going and keep continuing to mature, as far as getting stronger and tougher, which will enable us to have that mix of the run and pass and protect the quarterback."

On finding replacements for departed guards Mike Skinner and Brad Davis
"We've got a couple spots to replace with Brad (Davis) and Mike Skinner, but with Kelvin (Chaisson), Chris Bush and Abner Estrada all having played this year, and a couple of them having started some games, we should fill those shoes in the right way."

"The key is guys like Jammal Brown, Wes Sims, Vince Carter and Davin Joseph. If they keep realizing how good they can be, and if we keep pushing them they could have the kind of careers like a Teddy Lehman or Rocky Calmus."

On who to watch at left guard
Kelvin (Chaisson) was actually the young man that we had penciled in last spring in preseason that Brad beat out. He (Chaisson) came in and played well in a couple games after Brad's injury. I wouldn't be surprised if Chris Bush or Abner Estrada made a push. We had all those three guys at center, but there's not much difference between the center and guard."

"I think Chris (Bush) really played well in the couple of games he was in for Vince Carter. He played every play against Baylor, except for four or five plays. He started against Texas Tech when we played very well up front. We had some great competition and a lot of good experience. Abner Estrada has a nice little knack to be a good player."

On if any of the freshmen will make an impact "I don't know about the young guys coming in. We'll wait until they get here, so I'm not counting on those guys."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories