– After a sloppy start to the week, the team got it together today. He was not happy at all Wednesday, but today’s practice was much more productive, especially the offensive efficiency. Stoops admits at times it’s tough to take off his defensive coordinator hat, but today he had to just sit back and applaud the offense, “If we don’t make plays down the field we ain’t going to win football games.”
– Part of the reason the offense looked better was the return of Blake Bone. After a minor injury sidelined him Wednesday, today he was back, and his presence was much needed, “he makes a difference.” His P.I.C. is on the rise too. Dorian Baker had offseason knee surgery, but told us on Twitter earlier this week that he’s back to running, and should begin routes in two weeks.
– Mike Edwards has great instincts. After redshirting last season and arriving to campus late, Edwards finally has five practices under his belt, giving Stoops a chance to see his intangibles in action. “We put guys in position but ultimately sometimes you gotta to have instincts, you gotta to make plays and I see a nice comfort zone with him,” Stoops said.
– Replacing Bud and Za’Darius won’t be easy. But neither was replacing Avery Williamson, but as D.J. Eliot reminded us today, Josh Forrest did a pretty damn good job of rising to the occasion. Forrest led the team in tackles with 110. Eliot also said that it’s going to take a group effort in order to continually make big plays (like Bud’s Pick 6, For the Win).
“We’re working with Jason Hatcher and Denzil Ware. We’ve got some guys coming in the Fall that will be playing those positions so we’ll just have to have somebody step up and fill those roles. On top of that, you’re going to have to make up for the plays those guys made, not necessarily with their position but as a defense. So we may have to make more plays at inside linebacker, may have to make more plays in the secondary, might have to make more plays at defensive tackle but somebody has to step up.”
– Blake McClain is working the nickel and strong safety. They’re trying to get the two-year nickelback (not the terrible band) starter on the field as much as possible. By moving him around some, it gives Kendall Randolph extra opportunities to make big plays.
– Matt Elam is down to 360, but still wants to lose more. He came to campus near 400 pounds. He’s lost plenty, down into the 365-360 range but wants that to be closer to 345-350 by the end of Spring practice. With the release of the media guide, I’ll have complete updates of all the weight gained/lost over the offseason later.