The Norman Transcript

Sports

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
Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock Paris didn’t give up when instant success eluded her

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners will have to do the right thing eventually

    Don’t read anything into the non-suspension suspension Oklahoma leveled at true freshman running back Joe Mixon Wednesday....

    July 31, 2014

  • In this case, Sooner fans can rest easy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooner Caravan ended its summer run at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. OU coach Bob Stoops did not take questions, but one of the major topics was the $370 million renovation to ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

Facebook