Oklahoma’s offense stuttered series after series early, essentially stinking for the better part of the opening hour of Saturday’s scrimmage. And Paul Thompson instructed us to not believe our eyes. Good advice, really. Apply it to all of Saturday night - the good that followed, the bad and indifferent - save for the kicking game, which delivered much-needed positives. This OU offense, after all, was not the OU offense of 2006. Welcome to the shell-game summer for the Sooners. Open-then-shut practices. Evasive comments. This summer, what you see initially is quick to disappear. What we saw Saturday was only the setup - see the pea, under the shell on the left - leading to the slight-of-hand switch already in motion behind closed doors. It was a chance to work on a select few things in the stadium, before a crowd, little else. “There’s more to come,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “There is no sense broadcasting it and putting it out there for everybody to see.” Some deceptions were openly evident Saturday night. One carry for Adrian Peterson? Try 31 come that annual trip to the Cotton Bowl. Manuel Johnson? Now you see him - now you don’t, taking a seat after one series due to a slight ankle sprain. He’s pushing it against Oregon. Malcolm Kelly? Don’t see him at all, excused to serve as best man in his brother’s wedding. See him a bunch this fall. Some deceptions were more subtle. The Sooners barely varied their formations. Both offense and defense stuck to the basics. They sent young players out to see how they’d fare and tested older players to see how they’d respond. “Wanted to see who would play hard,” offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “It was more about that than who would execute. “If we wanted to, we could stack this thing to make us look good.” So what shape will this offense eventually reveal? Be patient. You won’t be seeing it anytime soon. Ten practices haven’t allowed Wilson and his staff ample time to determine what best suits Thompson’s skills. Yet we know with some amount of certainty it won’t resemble what was trotted out Saturday night. Without a spy kit, don’t expect a glimpse before the Sept. 2 opener, if that soon. We might have witnessed the last open scrimmage of this preseason. Coaches will have to put their offense through a full test at some point. And they’re not going to relax their stance concerning outsiders, no matter how true to the crimson empire. Welcome to the shell-game summer.
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Sooners not only team to lose QB
Sooners, Irish feature Heisman hopefuls Lights, camera... A crew from ABC was in Norman Sunday working on a special on Bob Stoops and the OU program. Stoops is one of six coaches who will be featured on “Liberty Mutual’s Coach of the Year.” The one-hour programs are tentatively scheduled to air on Saturday afternoons in September. Along with Stoops, the programs will profile Texas’ Mack Brown, USC’s Pete Carroll, Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Ohio State’s Jim Tressel and Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis. Sunday, the ABC crew interviewed Stoops, coaches, players and others. The crew also filmed a team meeting.