The Norman Transcript


April 18, 2013

Sooners want to work tight ends back into game plan

NORMAN — The offense Oklahoma is trying to build requires a lot of pieces. Some are essential, while others are more bit parts.

The tight end spot fell into the latter category last season.

The absence of the position from the Sooners’ passing game last season was a major change from prior seasons. It wasn’t a change OU wanted to make.

“Literally, we played in a different offensive scheme than we had. Basically, we changed it halfway through two-a-days. How many times in the Coach (Bob) Stoops era had you played without tight ends? Last year we played without them 90 percent of the time. We were a lot different than we had been in the past,” OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We want to play with a tight end. We will play with a tight end as long as we’re going to play at a level that gives us a chance to play.”

The reason OU didn’t employ a tight end outside of short-yardage situations last season was simple: It had better receiving options.

The wealth of wide receivers OU possessed made four-receiver sets feasible the majority of the time. Also, OU only had one healthy tight end — Brannon Green — available by November.

However, the lack of a tight end made the Sooners the spread offense they’ve never aspired to be.

ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden noticed the difference when he analyzed former OU quarterback Landry Jones for next week’s NFL Draft.

“Remember, Oklahoma didn’t have a tight end much this season. In the past, they’ve had a tight end and a strong running game and a play-action passing system,” he said. “With the injuries they had at the tight end position, it made them more wide-open and it puts more on your quarterback. They didn’t run the ball particularly well or often and were one-dimensional.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NCAA Womens Gymnastics Sooners vault to program’s first women’s gymnastics national championship

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It’s probably not the way Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler drew it up. Probably, in her mind’s eye, when she saw the program she’s taken to the NCAA championships so many different times finally claim national supremacy, she ...

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners demolish Longhorns in series finale

    Disappointed. Confused. Shocked. Embarrassed....

    April 20, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder withstand Grizz charge to take Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Style points don’t matter in the NBA playoffs. It’s all about getting wins and moving on. So, despite watching a huge lead dwindle down to a single basket, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is pleased his team was able to ...

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luke Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald believes he’s got the right game on the right course — and is ready to make up for so many near-misses at the RBC Heritage. Donald had an eagle and six birdies to shoot 66 on Saturday and take a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Nets’ experience trumps Raptors in Game 1

    TORONTO — The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors....

    April 20, 2014

  • Heat open quest for another title

    MIAMI — If the Miami Heat are going to watch their season and reign atop the NBA end at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats, then fates of the franchises will have to change in a hurry....

    April 20, 2014

  • Warriors beat Clippers, 109-105, in playoff opener

    LOS ANGELES — Klay Thompson scored 22 points, David Lee added 20 and the Golden State Warriors got Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Saturday in their playoff opener....

    April 20, 2014

  • Cardinals edge Nationals, 4-3

    WASHINGTON — Lance Lynn was sharper than he had had been all season, which made it all the more frustrating for him when he failed to make it out of the sixth inning....

    April 20, 2014

  • OU gets rare hot start, but fails to finish in loss to WVU

    A slow start wasn’t Oklahoma’s problem on Saturday. Perhaps that issue has been rectified. What was evident after its 9-5 loss to West Virginia is it has more problems than solutions....

    April 20, 2014

  • Teague leads Hawks past top-seeded Pacers in Game 1

    INDIANAPOLIS — Atlanta’s Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers’ grand playoff plan. As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly. The Pacers didn’t have an answer....

    April 20, 2014