The Norman Transcript


October 4, 2013

Spark or not, Bell adding fire

NORMAN — Former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Chuck Long used to have a grading system for quarterbacks. It was a long list with lots of ways to gain or lose points. Total it up at the end, and that’s the winner.

I don’t know if current OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, who was coached by Long in the 2000 season, used a grade sheet when he decided between Blake Bell and Trevor Knight back in August.

It likely wouldn’t have mattered. What Bell has brought to the Sooners in the last two games is hard to put a value on, because it simply isn’t coachable.

Emotional sparks simply don’t come about in that way.

“Blake’s a guy we can all get behind — just like Trevor was. When he has that passion for the game, you know how much it means for him, and you want to fight for him,” OU center Gabe Ikard said of Bell. “As linemen, we love seeing a quarterback showing emotion and showing that he cares. It makes you want to block for him and play harder. When your leader is fired up, it’s always a good thing.”

The Sooners haven’t had a quarterback like that in some time. Even Sam Bradford, who is the gold standard for quarterbacks in the post Barry Switzer era, did not wear his emotions on his sleeve. And just about every quarterback starting with Heupel in the 1999 season has been that way. They played the game with a poker face.

Bell would like to be that way, but he understands the value of external passion.

“I feel like everyone on game day, you’ve got to have a little fire in you,” he said. “Being a quarterback, you have to have that cool. You can’t get too high or too low. There are some times when you have to get the plays going or get the team going. I feel like the guys on the team look at you and see he’s fired up, so we have to get fired up. There’s got to be a happy medium.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cody adds former champions Maple, Howe as assistants

    A great wrestler doesn’t necessarily make a great wrestling coach. On the other hand, it’s not a bad place to start....

    July 30, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014