Where will the loss of DeMarcus Granger most hurt the Sooners? Granger was a force in the middle, so strong and such an immovable object that he regularly commanded double-team attention, much like teammate Gerald McCoy at the other tackle spot.
When tackles require double teams, it allows fewer blockers to peel off and get upfield to clear out linebackers and pave the way for big runs. A look at the OU stat sheet reveals that the three linebackers — Travis Lewis, Ryan Reynolds and Keenan Clayton — are the team's three leading tacklers. "(Granger) was very good on double teams,” said Sooners defensive line coach Jackie Shipp. While Granger didn't ring up sacks as a pass rusher, he was effective still by using his strength to push the pocket. The Sooners still have three proven tackles with Cory Bennett and Adrian Taylor joining McCoy, who has become a star. Still, Granger's presence inside will be missed. What are the chances that Granger returns to the Sooners at some point this season? Not great, although the junior stands committed to giving it his best shot. At one point last week, foot surgery seemed almost certain. The issue is that there's a disconnect between tendon and bone, which can be quite painful. Complicating the matter is the fact that Granger is a 300-pound man, so any weight he puts on the foot amounts to serious force that could hamper rehab efforts. So it's imperative that Granger keep pressure off the foot. Meanwhile, his conditioning will suffer.
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Trainers help DeMarcus Granger off the field with an injury during the first half of OU's win over Washington on Sept 13. by CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN