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Bob Stoops on Spring Practice

Bob Stoops answered the media's questions and gave his thoughts on Oklahoma's spring football drills on Tuesday. Several positions and names were mentioned and the coach gave his thoughts on most of the position battles.

Mossis Madu and Justin Johnson will carry the bulk of the load for the running backs this spring. So what everyone is wondering is, what kind of impact will that have on the Sooners' depth this fall?

"There is a perfect chance to build depth with Mossis Madu and Justin Johnson. They will get the bulk of it; we will give Matt Clapp some back there as well. But those guys have not played much at all and it will be a great opportunity. We already know what the other guys can do, so it is perfect."

Of course you would think that the offensive line is set with all five returning starters coming back but that doesn't seem to be the case.

"There is still going to be some great competition there. There are a lot of guys that are coming on that are going to have their chance to compete. Cory Brandon, Brian Simmons and Donald Stephenson are all coming back. There are a number guys who have a chance. We just have to get them out there and get them working."

Sam Bradford is coming off the best freshman quarterback season in NCAA history. We were all pleasantly surprised with his on field performance and Coach Stoops talked about what made him so great.

"He had an amazing year. All you have to do is compare his statistics to the All-Americans or offensive players of the year in our league and he is there. When you look at wins and losses, you look at touchdowns and interceptions, you look at all that and he is right there with anybody in the country. He is an exceptional player. He did everything we asked him to do; direct the team and direct the offense. The things you may take for granted, we don't. Things like command of the huddle, command of the line of scrimmage, we were very clean in all those areas.

"Everything we have asked him to do he has been exceptional, so I think you have to be careful that he doesn't go out there and try to be superman. That is not what we ask our guys to do. We rely on everybody; do your job, do what you're asked to do, direct in a positive way. I think with another year under his belt he will be more of a leader vocally. He was a great leader in his actions last year, but now with more experience I think more of that will come. In everything he is doing I think he will just get stronger with his arm and more precise with his steps. He has a lot of room for improvement but I am sure he will make it."


Turning to the defensive side of the ball there is a big question mark in the secondary where the losses of Reggie Smith, Marcus Walker and DJ Wolfe leave some big shoes to fill.
"Nic Harris won't be in there because of his shoulder surgery, but he has played a lot of football and will be fine and back once the summer comes. Other guys will get a lot of snaps. Quinton Carter, Dominique Franks, Jamell Fleming and Brian Jackson have had a great winter. They will be competitive and we will pay very close attention to them all the way through, because there is a lot of potential there."

There is also a solid chance that Lendy Holmes is looking at another position change.
"I think it depends on who plays the best out of the other guys. Lendy has the unusual ability to really be solid at corner or at safety and he has been that way for us. So I think that is a plus that he has the ability to do either one. We will just see how the other guys do and see what is best for him."

One of the good things that has happened to the Sooners this off-season is the granting of a sixth year of eligibility to defensive end John Williams due to medical hardship.
"It is good to have him back. He has had two back-to-back years of really unfortunate incidents that are really unusual as well. It is positive in that he gets the chance to play a full year and it makes a huge difference to have him and Auston English, both starters last year, back."

After a disappointing loss to West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl to end last season we can't help but wonder if that will linger with this team into the spring. Coach Stoops says no!
"Each year is a new team. I've never seen one year tie to the next. We have won the National Championship before and it didn't have anything to with the next year and we have lost in it and it didn't have anything to do with the next year. Each year is a different team, with different players. In the end you have to go at it again. I will say we have been pretty consistent in going after the Big 12 Championship and we look to do that again next year. Hopefully, we can finish the year a little bit better."