Coach Stoops met with the media this afternoon for his weekly presser as he will do pretty much every Tuesday during the season leading up a game. These will generally be quite uneventful with Stoops generally taking the standard "coach speak" route. However due to the uncertainty surrounding a couple players availability, this week figured to be a little different from the norm. As always, in the interest of bringing you any and everything we can OU here is a recap.
Bob opened by thanking the fans for their support. The Tulsa game will mark the 75th consecutive home sell out. Said OU averages over 71k season ticket holders and has a waiting list at least 10k people long. Crazy. Sooner Nation baby!
Offensively, Stoops is excited to see more playmakers throughout the team. Gave credit to Broyles for how incredible he is and Landry as well, but he thinks the guys around them are going to play a much larger role this year. He mentioned Hanna, Miller, Franks, Reynolds, and Stills specifically. Also said Kameel Jackson has shown a lot of promise.
Spoke very, very generally about the RBs. Basically just said they'd use multiple guys (duh) and if somebody has a hot hand, they'd stick with him until he needs a break. In other words, Stoops Coach Speak 101.
Defensively, he spoke about the loss of T-Lew and Box and how difficult they would be to replace. Was very high on Tom Wort. Said he is a totally different guy from last year. Last year was his first time on the field because of his knee injury, so now with a year of experience he's much better prepared to have success. Stoops said, in his mind, outside of QB that MLB is the most difficult position to play in their system.
Continues to rave about Corey Nelson (definitely not managing expectations on this kid IMO). Said the front four is going to be better than people are giving them credit for (read all those critics boys!). Said they're not real deep in the secondary right now, but he feels good about the guys they do have.
He made an interesting comment when talking about the guys who might return kick offs. He said they don't like to use WRs on kick returns because they're a little smaller and might not hold up as well. Doesn't like to put them through that additional physical punishment if they can avoid it. I'd just never really heard him say that before so I found it interesting.
Then he opened it up for questions and as you'd expect the first several were with regards to Ronnell Lewis. Asked if he expects to hear anything on Ronnell between now and game day he responded, "I hope to." Followed by whether or not he needs to hear something before he would be permitted to play, Stoops response is "Yes." So that depth chart yesterday was apparently a form of optimism. The media pushed him on it and as he does, he pushed right back. Said he deserves some privacy.
Stoops said guys like Frank Alexander, Tom Wort, Jamell Fleming, Demontre Hurst are stepping up in their leadership with Travis being out. Said Corey Nelson could be that kind of player as well. He was asked if it would be realistic to expect Travis back by when he said he'd be back (by FSU) and he said it's too early to tell and whenever it is it will be up to the doctors.
He also said he likes a 12 team conference better than a 10 team (Bob, phone for you. It's Dan Beebe. Your not toeing the company line Bob). Which pretty much goes against everything he's said since it went to 10 teams, he even said having the championship game would probably be better which is a complete 180 from his recent quotes on the subject.
Bob tries to make a funny by saying there is a rumor that the Longhorn Network is goign to show his coach's show (lord knows they need the content), he thinks it's pretty funny but the other guys in the room don't laugh quite as hard.
Jarvis Jones is probably a little ahead of schedule. Said he's been running, training, and progressing very well.
Asked who will wear Box's #12 on Saturday, Stoops said he wanted to announce it on Friday. Said Travis and Landry will play a significant role in deciding who gets the honor each week.