OU football notes: Adrian Taylor progressing well from broken ankle; DeMarco Murray to see big workload

BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: July 29, 2010 at 10:00 am •  Published: July 28, 2010

DT Adrian Taylor progressing well from broken ankle

Adrian Taylor's broken ankle suffered in the Sun Bowl was so gruesome, CBS wouldn't show replays of the injury.

At the time, some wondered if Taylor's football career was over.

But OU coach Bob Stoops says the senior defensive tackle is progressing well and should be ready for the 2010 season.

"The trainers anticipate him being cleared to practice as soon as we start," Stoops said. "I will be very wise in watching and giving him a little at a time.

"Adrian's played a long time. So I'm not interested in seeing him wear it out in practice. We'll feed it to him very slowly. For instance, two-a-days, I'll only let him practice once. Or even one-a-days may only put him in certain segments of the practice to bring him along.

"But he's progressing well, and they feel he's close to being — he's not quite there yet, but he's close to being back 100 percent. And just watching him, talking to him, walking through the office, he's making good progress and feels good about it."

Taylor's return will be key to a defense replacing Gerald McCoy at defensive tackle. Until Taylor returns, the position will be manned by Jamarkus McFarland, Stacy McGee and Casey Walker, none of whom have ever started a game.

RB DeMarco Murray to see big workload

Throughout his career in Norman, DeMarco Murray has had to share the spotlight at running back. First, with Allen Patrick and Chris Brown. Then, with just Brown.

But this season, count on Murray's workload to increase — perhaps to an Adrian Peterson-like number of touches, Stoops said.

"He's had some bad luck with some odd, different injuries, and I really believe coming into this year, with his experience, his ability to run but to catch the ball out of the backfield, we really anticipate him having a really big year for us," Stoops said. "We're hoping in line or similar to a guy like Adrian Peterson, that kind of opportunity to run the ball or have his hands on the ball that number of times is what we're hoping for.

"We'll see how DeMarco feels through the year. All guys are a little bit different, what they're able to handle. We'll be aware of that. But we anticipate him ... having definitely more carries than he's had and more opportunities of not only carries but catching the ball as well."

Stoops: O-line improved

Whether Murray is able to have an All-Big 12 caliber season depends heavily on the improvement of an offensive line that was erratic and banged up all last season.

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