NORMAN — New Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh inherited a unit this spring that struggled through injuries and depth issues last season.
After 15 practices with the group, Bedenbaugh is impressed but — like most football coaches — feels significant improvement still needs to be made.
He's one of three new assistant coaches on Bob Stoops' 2013 staff, joining defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jay Boulware.
Bedenbaugh, who came to Oklahoma from West Virginia, spoke with The Oklahoman last week about his unit and the impact new assistants can have on a coaching staff.
Q: After a spring with your new offensive linemen, what were you most impressed with?
A: The biggest thing is I think they're extremely smart. They're one of the smartest groups I've worked with. They really want to be great, they work hard, and that's half the battle.
What do you think those guys still need to work on?
Everything, just like everybody. I know that's probably not what anybody wants to hear, but offensive line is constant repetition. It's constant improvement. You're always working to get better because — as much as we want to — I don't know that you'll ever be as good as an offensive line coach wants you to be.
So there are always, constantly, things to work on. Steps, where you put your hands, where you put your aiming point, your set, whatever. It's constantly improving that, and also working on your athleticism and strength, and playing with good leverage.
Last season, Ty Darlington came in at center, allowing Gabe Ikard to shift back out to guard. Is that a combination you'll use this season?