Place Kicking Continues to Be a Concern

A week before the season, it wouldn't be too hard for outsiders to believe if the Sooners had problems at defensive tackle after losing No. 3 overall NFL Draft pick Gerald McCoy coupled with the current absence of defensive tackle Adrian Taylor.

Or it would be possible to believe the offensive line could still be having some issues after the inconsistency they showed in 2009.

But neither of those are the case at all.

Instead, the biggest issue by far is the place kicking situation.

And OU head coach Bob Stoops was quick to admit that was the No. 1 cause for concern this week.

In fact, the Sooners had an open walk-on tryout Thursday.

And while OU head coach Bob Stoops was adamant that it was open to any and all positions, it definitely shows the concern at the position with the number of players that were out there.

"There was like 26 over there," said defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright. "It's the first I've been anywhere where we've had a tryout this late. But hey, if we find a kicker out of it, I'm all for it. That would be great."

That's not likely, although five kickers were asked to return Friday and one has even been invited back Monday.

But back to business, the guys in competition for the job right now on the team include Patrick O'Hara,Jimmy Stevens, Michael Hunnicuttand Bryce Easley.

While O'Hara is listed at No. 1 on the depth chart and Stoops said he has the strongest leg, he has not officially snagged the starting spot, nor have any of the others, mainly because of one thing that's been lacking.

"Just show me who's going to be the most consistent," Stoops said. "And we're tallying everything, and we'll see where it comes out."

That includes all of their performances during fall camp, but perhaps most importantly how they do throughout the first game week, which starts Monday.

"Well we've watched [scrimmages and practices], too," Stoops said. "That's part of it. I mean, I haven't forgot about all of that as well. Everything counts. I mean, you can look at it however you want. Like I said, I just continue to evaluate, the way I look at it."

It begs the question, if there's not a clear cut leader by next week, could it be a gut feeling type of decision?

"Well, we'll see [about that]," Stoops said. "You know, but we'll see where it goes."

He was very upfront, though, about the fact that it's definitely undecided and is a major issue to be resolved.

"Obviously we don't have it figured out yet because they haven't, each one has taken their turn, not to do, not to be as consistent as they need to be," Stoops said.

However, maybe, just maybe, with all this preseason talk about the uncertainty in the place kicking game, one of them will step up at some point.

It just hasn't happened yet.

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