The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

April 13, 2013

A few things to look for in spring showcase

NORMAN — Oklahoma will pull back the curtain at 2 p.m. today at Owen Field. For the first time since the loss to Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the Sooners will be on the field for all eyes to see.

The spring game will have some obvious differences from how the Sooners ended to 2012 season. New quarterbacks are the most evident transition, but there should be several matters worth eyeing this afternoon.

Here are the most important things to watch:

n Which quarterback is making the best decisions: Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight all provide mobility and elusiveness OU’s never really had over the last 15 years. Ignore that today. They’ll be wearing blue jerseys and cannot be hit, so breaking a half-hearted tackle attempt isn’t worth awing over. Which quarterback can deliver the ball to open receivers is the question the coaching staff wants answered. Pay attention to which one does or doesn’t throw the ball into double coverage; does or doesn’t plant his back foot and get rid of the ball and does or doesn’t throw the ball away.

The one who makes the best decisions today is the leader in the race to replace Landry Jones. The ones who don’t are fighting for second place.

n Can the linebackers cover slot receivers: It’s a question that didn’t get an answer last season. OU went with a defensive-back scheme against the four-wide receiver offenses in the Big 12 Conference. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has vowed to keep at least one linebacker on the field under those circumstances and would like to use two as much as possible. Those linebackers must be able to cover slot receivers, or at least tackle them quickly after catching the ball, for them to be used in those situations. Today will provide a good test.

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