Landry Jones pumping up
“He really did that a year ago and has done the same here,” coach Bob Stoops said. “He is a great worker. His
strength has improved and he is constantly working on it and his footwork, strength and body. Again he
is a big strong guy and that works hard and looks good.”
Jones is all the way up to 230 pounds. He weighed 211 when he first got to OU. He’s noticeably stouter this spring. That should only help him stand tall in the pocket and deliver throws with more power and zip.
“I definitely changed my body more this winter,” he said. “During the season, you are really just trying to survive. During the winter you build on what you already had. I’ve gotten a bit faster and put more muscle on.”
Jones said during the spring, he’s really focused on quickening his release and his footwork, two areas he really improved on from his freshman to sophomore seasons.
BRUCE KITTLE, who just five years ago, was coaching seventh grade football in Iowa has to pinch himself that he’s now an assistant at OU. Kittle was promoted from recruiting coordinator to offensive tackle/tight ends coach in the off-season, taking Kevin Wilson’s spot on the staff.
“To to tell you that I thought I would get it done in five years, it’s a little bit more than surreal,” he said.
“Every morning my feet hit the ground, I drive in and park in the stadium and I walk into the OU Sooner football office, and this is my job. I still have to pinch myself a little bit.”
Kittle graduated from Iowa in 1983 with a degree in business. He obtained his law degree from Iowa in 1989 then received a master’s in divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1998. Years later, he decided he wanted to be in football.
“Kind of a funny thing, my different jobs and career changes, I get cold calls from all over,” he said. “Anytime an article runs on my history, I get calls from people asking me how I did it, why I did it. I don’t know if there’s a good answer. I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t spent too much time doing things I really didn’t believe in. I feel very blessed to be in this spot.”
LONDELL TAYLOR learning how to play linebacker is a bit like Bob Stoops “reading Japanese” the coach cracked. Taylor, a walk-on out of Vian, has been playing pro baseball since being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 13th round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Taylor originally had a scholarship and signed with OU before deciding to pursue his baseball career.
“We’re still working through that with him,” Stoops said. “There’s a lot of understanding that needs to still happen there. He’s got a lot of developing that way to go. Physically, he’s done a great job. It’s just getting him to understand everything. I think sometimes it’s a little bit like me reading Japanese when you’ve been away that long.”
Stoops could once read Japanese?
“No, (laughing) I guess I should say he’s further along than that. But you get what I mean. The terminology is just different than what he’s heard the last few years.”
THREE INTERESTING NATIONAL STORIES have been penned about the Sooners in the last week.
* From SI.com, about linebacker Tom Wort, who isn’t a stranger in a strange land, but a stranger in his homeland.
* From Rivals.com, about the working relationship co-coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell now share.
* From Dr. Saturday, about defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland, the “missing link” on the Sooner defense.
STOOPS ON EMBRACING THE POSSIBILITY of being preseason No. 1: “We are always talking, regardless of what our expectations or rankings are, our expectations internally are always pretty high. Our whole focus is then talking to them about what are we going to do about it and how are we going to go about earning this. That’s what we did in the winter and I felt great about the way we came out of that. Now the second part of the whole year process is spring ball and how are we going to change and develop as a team in the way we go on the field. We talk a lot to our guys about earning what you get so hopefully they have had that kind of attitude.”
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