There appeared to be only one serious injury in Saturday’s Red/White Game. Guard Stephen Good was carted off the field after suffering an ankle injury in the first half.
After the game, OU coach Bob Stoops said Good’s injury wasn’t serious.
“It was just had a sprained ankle with Stephen,” he said. “That’ll heal up. No big deal.”
The Sooners were able to accomplish a huge goal of leaving spring practice healthy. The only other injury during spring practice that sidelined a player for a significant amount of time was a knee injury to tight end/tackle Eric Mensik. He is expected to be fully healed by the summer.
The Sooners will have two new starting linebackers this coming season at both middle linebacker and strongside linebacker. Figuring out who those spots will go to is still a guess. Travis Lewis is solidified at the weakside spot. Tom Wort had a solid day at middle linebacker Saturday and so did Ronnell Lewis at the strongside spot.
Depth has been an issue at the linebacker spots for the last several years, but Venables likes the quality and numbers he’s seeing develop.
“There are still things they’ve got to get better at, but they’ve got a fearless attitude. They’re not afraid to work hard. They can all run and strike. It’s a great group. And they’re very hungry,” he said. “They’re willing to fight for the opportunity to be on the field. They’ve done a great job. It bodes well. We’ve got a great group of guys coming in that can push them, too, guys that can all run and can think. We’re finally to a point where we have some real quality depth there.”
Big day for Macon
Defensive end Pryce Macon hasn’t done much in his first three seasons at OU. He’ll be a senior next season and thus far his career totals amount to eight tackles and one sack in nine career games.
But he had two sacks Saturday and Venables said Macon’s willingness to keep fighting for playing time should pay off next season.
“If you stay, you’ll play. It’s a process, and you’ve got to invest in it. It’s not going to happen right away for most guys,” he said. “You appreciate his attitude and the support he’s had at home. You wish more kids had that patience. Good things will happen for him. He will help us.”
More for tight ends
Tight ends caught eight passes in Saturdays game and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said a goal for the 2010 season will be to make the position a bigger part of OU’s passing.
It was a huge part in 2007 and 2008, but when Jermaine Gresham got hurt last season, so did passes to the tight ends.
“Not that we’ve got the next Jermaine Gresham, but just to make them defend it,” Wilson said. “Last year, with the injuries, we lost the tight end. Changed the offense, changed the run game, we lost it in the passing game. We’ve tried to get back to that a fair amount.”
John Shinn 366-3536 firstname.lastname@example.org