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Mike Sherman: OU, Mike Stoops have 'something to prove' in 2012

Mike Sherman answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at
by Mike Sherman Modified: August 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm •  Published: August 6, 2012

The Oklahoman's Mike Sherman answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at

Sounds like Mike Stoops will have the OU defense playing with more passion and intensity. Seems like that's what they were missing.

Saying yes will make it sound like Brent Venables was sipping tea and reading a book on the sideline during games last year. Not true. He's as intense as anyone you will see. I think that stuff is overrated. Hollering, carrying on, etc. But there's something to be said for a team and a coach (or coach and a defensive coordinator) with something to prove.

I asked Bob Stoops Saturday if last year hurt his pride. He said yes, but his pride is also hurt by a bad offensive performance. But you just know how watching his secondary must have made him feel. Plus Mike is still stinging from getting fired at Arizona. OU had some problems in the secondary, but remember the 2002 Bedlam game? Mike Stoops was co-defensive coordinator in Stillwater that day. He's not a miracle worker, but I think the combination of his approach, skills as a coach and motivator and OU's talent and motivation will produce signficant improvement.

Shouting on the sidelines? That really doesn't matter.

Will Justin Brown start for the Sooners?

Eventually, yes. The Sooners' base offense is usually a three-wideout set, and I'd have to believe the knucklehead factor (Jaz Reynolds) and the inexperience factor (good freshmen like Sterling Shepard and others) creates an opening for a guy like Justin Brown. He's got the experience, maturity and talent to take advantage of it. It will be interesting to see how he adjust to a more complex and wide-open offense. That could take some time, but OU has it: (UTEP, Florida A&M scrimmages).

Does OSU have the receivers to make life easier for a freshman QB?

Good question. We'll see. Tracey Moore gets suspended for a confrontation with a coach at the Fiesta Bowl and he's in line to be the go-to wide out. He's not Jaz Reynolds (four suspensions) but you can't feel all that confident about his ability to step in for Justin Blackmon. Wes Lunt doesn't sound like your typical freshman quarterback, but the Cowboys receiving corps is a question mark until proven otherwise. I think they will prove it. The talent and opportunity is there, but this question is why OSU needs it defense to be better. I think it will be.

I keep seeing stuff about how David Stern wants to limit NBA players' participation in the Olympics. With a 23-and-under rule in place, this would be the first and only Olympics for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Good or bad?

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by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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