The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

March 8, 2013

Practice sessions will be testing ground for new defensive tactics

NORMAN — There have been obvious changes since Oklahoma last stepped onto the field. Three new assistant coaches along with a competition between Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight for the quarterback job are the evident ones with spring practice set to begin Saturday.

However, it’s on the defensive side of the ball where OU realizes a dramatic leap is needed.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in trying to re-establish ourselves as one of the top defenses,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said Thursday. “At times, I thought, last year we played well. But down the stretch, when we really got against some really good offenses, we didn’t play nearly as good as we need to here at Oklahoma. We’re always going to have great expectations for what we expect to do when we step on the field.”

There is a defensive overhaul afoot, although OU coach Bob Stoops didn’t do much to announce what they were. He did say newly hired assistant Jerry Montgomery will be in charge of the defensive line. The ends and the tackles had been broken up into separate meeting rooms since 1999. The hope is this will help create a cohesive defensive front.

As far as reports about OU shifting from a 4-3 alignment to a 3-4 (or 50 front), the spring will serve as an experimental phase.

“It’s something we’ll do some in the spring, but we won’t do it solely,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “We’ll still be in our four-man front as well and we’ll work some different guys in the rotation there inside. We’ll also experiment because I think it’s a positive to be able to jump into a 50 and do some of that stuff like we had in the past.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

    What Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes did following the two-hour rain delay against Texas was telling. It didn’t pay off in the Sooners’ 8-1 loss that secured a series sweep for the Longhorns. But it declared where the Sooners are and that some ...

    April 15, 2014

  • OU v Texas Longhorns dominate mistake-plagued Sooners to take command of Big 12

    It took over 41⁄2 hours for Oklahoma and Texas to reach a conclusion that seemed inevitable on Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park....

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red-White Game more of a treat for the fans

    Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent....

    April 14, 2014

  • Lady Bears snap Sooners’ win streak

    The winning streak is over, but the Sooners are leaving Waco with what they came for....

    April 14, 2014

  • Longhorns hand Sooners second straight loss in series

    A day after dropping a drama-filled, extra-innings contest to Texas on Friday, Oklahoma played like it took the loss as hard as could be expected from the series opener of a bitter rivalry....

    April 13, 2014

  • Red White Defense rules the day at spring game

    Fans want to see offense in spring games, and there were a lot of devotees at Oklahoma’s Red-White Game on Saturday. If 43,500 in attendance were hoping for a big day from quarterback Trevor Knight, they walked out of Owen Field ...

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooner faithful best barometer for progress

    The headline, already up at Oklahoma’s athletic website by 6 p.m. Saturday, read “White Team Prevails in Annual Spring Game,” and if there’s a more meaningless summary of Sooner fortunes, in any sport, before next year’s spring game, I ...

    April 13, 2014