The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

November 12, 2013

OU coaching staff defends Heupel, play calling

NORMAN — Many are calling on Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops to take play-calling responsibilities away from Josh Heupel and give them to receivers coach Jay Norvell in light of OU’s offensive struggles.

They both have

co-offensive coordinator titles and Norvell was the offensive coordinator in previous stops at Nebraska and UCLA.

Norvell, however, defended Heupel Tuesday night and said the entire offensive staff is part of the game-planning.

“We all have a job. Coach Stoops hired us to be offensive coaches. We’ve worked together a long time. We see a lot of things eye-to-eye. We put it together — all of us as offensive coaches. We talk about situations. We also communicate on game day. That’s just part of what we’ve done. It really hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years,” he said. “I don’t see it changing much either in the future.”

Seen it before: Blake Bell is in a strange situation. He spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons as the quarterback fans wanted the Sooners to turn to every time Landry Jones struggled. Now, many are calling for him to be benched.

Bell said he learned a lot from Jones about how to handle the criticism.

“I was in the locker room and in the meetings with him. I could hear some of that stuff out there. I knew the type of player he was and what he did for the team,” Bell said. “It wasn’t that big of a deal to me because as a player you don’t listen to any of that stuff.”

No easy fixes: Coaches say a lack of consistency is OU’s biggest offensive issue. Guard Bronson Irwin, who will play in his 36th consecutive game Saturday against Iowa State, said the problems cannot be easily repaired.

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