Why defensive coordinators might come to the Big 12
Parnell Motley leads the Sooners onto the field. (Oklahoman photo)
My online chat Wednesday ran long and still we didn’t get to all the questions. I answered 76 questions – maybe a record. But there are more. I saved the questions that had been submitted and will answer them now:
Guest: “The Stoops era is over now and it's time to move on. Defensively, I don't understand why 11 is still starting. He's a major liability in deep coverage and does not play big in man on man match-ups. Obvious to fans but apparently not coaches. My view is that we don't have the talent we once did with the like of Calmus, Williams, Frazier, et al... that's the difference in my opinion regardless of who's coaching...”
I agree that OU’s talent is below the Sooner standard, though I can’t for the life of me can’t remember who Frazier is. Anyway, I do disagree about Parnell Motley. He gets beat a lot, but he makes some plays, too. I don’t see where OU has two cornerbacks better.
Guest: “What are the odds Pop turns Josh Huestis into Danny Green?”
Slim. If you don’t know, the Spurs signed Huestis on Wednesday. Interesting player. But Huestis as a shooter is only a half-step above Andre Roberson. Green in college was a 37.5 percent 3-point shooter.
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Gust: “OU scored over 40 against Georgia, 45 against texsa, would bama and Georgia's DC's be as smart if they were in the big 12?”
No. They would not be hailed as the oracles of great defense. But they might be the best thing this side of Gary Patterson.
Guest: “Why would an up and coming DC ever come to the big 12? Sounds like career suicide.”
Two reasons. 1) Money; and 2) Challenge. Why would LeBron come to the West? Why would Baker Mayfield come to OU when Trevor Knight had just slain Alabama? Some people are ultra-confident.
Guest: “With the new redshirt rule, do you think that will affect recruiting? Meaning, if they see players getting redshirted without playing in the 4 free games, would they look at teams that will give the 4 automatic games?”
I don’t see it. Most players don’t believe they’ll redshirt. Most players believe they’ll start as freshmen and win the Heisman as sophomores. Most players don’t know what the new redshirt rule is, even if explained to them.
Guest: “Do you think Mike Stoops should have been fired after the Georgia game (or sooner)? After all the defensive collapses, why was the Texas game the last straw?”
Well, it would be disingenuous for me to say yes, because I didn’t say it at the time. The Texas game was the last straw for me, which is why I wrote what I wrote. That the end had come, though I figured it would be season’s end. The OU defense was really good in 2015. Not so good in 2016. Up and down in 2017. I mean, last year, the Sooner defense had some really good games. But this year, it’s been a quick descent into madness. Culminated by Texas. The Longhorns went from 10 offensive points in seven possessions against Kansas State to 48 offensive points in 12 possessions against OU. The only decision Lincoln Riley had was now or later. Not if, when. He chose now because there’s bark left on the tree. This season can be salvaged.
Guest: “I read that Stoops did try to hire Jim Leavitt several years ago but it got blocked by Boren and company. Since we all know Lincoln will ask for Bob's input, any chance an attempt to get Leavitt would succeed this time and would Leavitt be successful at OU in your opinion?”
I have no idea if Leavitt would succeed. But he’s got a lot of baggage and I would say that it’s unlikely that he would be OK’d as a possible hire. Physical and/or verbal confrontations with players don’t play well in 2018.
Guess: “Long time reader first time writer. Great work with the online OU articles, blog, videos, etc. Who do you think are likely candidates for OU DC this off season. And more importantly, can anyone stop the Air Raid?”
The Air Raid can be stopped, but not by a coordinator. It’s got to be stopped by quality defenders. The Sooners need better talent all across the board. OU went from the Big 12’s best defense in 2015 to middle of the pack the last two years to down near the bottom this year. That’s not Air Raid-related. That’s talent-related. Candidates? I have no idea. People have mentioned the old guard like Gene Chizik or Pac-12 coordinators like the guy at Utah and the guy at Washington. But I have no idea.
Guest: “Should we expect to see a Texas Tech or East Carolina style D with Ruffin? Both of those possibilities really have me fired up.”
You should expect to see an Amani Bledsoe/Curtis Bolton/Parnell Motley type of defense. That’s the reality.
Anonymous: “Who is the Mike Stoops of the Thunder?”
Best question of the day. The fall guy. The guy who shoulders all the blame. Used to be Kendrick Perkins. Probably now Billy Donovan.