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April 15, 2013

Sooners have plenty of work to do after spring game litmus test

NORMAN — One spring practice remains, but the grunt work of Oklahoma’s spring practice ended with Saturday’s Red/White game. However, the game didn’t serve as a finale. It was more of very early term test to gauge where the team is at four months before the season begins.

OU coach Bob Stoops certainly didn’t see a finished product at Owen Field.

“I don’t know that a coach is ever satisfied. You always want more. But I think the coaches have done a really good job working with these guys and we’ve made a lot — we’ve taken a lot of good strides in places we needed to,” he said. “In 14 practices, that’s not enough. They need to have a really big summer. I believe our players are aware of that. If they do, then we’ll build on it in the summer. But the big part will be their commitment here through the rest of spring and in the summer, are they going to make the gains they need to in the out of season?”

This offseason workouts are going to be critical for the Sooners in many areas. Junior quarterback Blake Bell certainly looked like the most poised signal-caller during Saturday’s scrimmage. However, this is going to be his first offseason as the leader of an offense that is changing to adapt to his strengths and that of sophomore quarterback Kendal Thompson and freshman Trevor Knight.

Bell admitted what OU displayed this spring wasn’t the well-oiled machine it needs to be. It lacked the chemistry that comes from hot summer days running pass drills on the practice fields south of Owen Field.

“We have a lot of guys that are hurt up front and we’re kinda dinged up this spring and there’s some guys sitting out and not playing,” Bell said. “As we go through the summer and we got our timing down with routes with all the guys and keep working, I think we’ll get there. Right now, no. That’s not bad, but we have to keep making strides.”

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