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OU Football: A newfound appreciation for a quarterback named Landry

COMMENTARY — Through three Big 12 games, OU quarterbacks have combined for the kind of production a certain underappreciated passer regularly tallied on Saturday afternoons. Perhaps its time to say some things to Landry Jones that went unsaid.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: October 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm •  Published: October 14, 2013

Dear Landry,

Hope things are going well in Pittsburgh. I had a chance to visit there a few weeks ago for the first time. Had dinner near one of those rivers. Saw the football stadium. Really liked the downtown.

But enough about that.

I'm sure you're aware of what's going on with the Sooners. They're having some struggles, and the biggest ones are at quarterback.

It's given Oklahoma fans a chance to reflect, and there's a sentiment that's bubbling up.

Sorry.

You took a beating while you were here. Even though you started 50 games and won 39 of them as OU's quarterback, the criticism was constant. Your parents even took to wearing headphones playing gospel music to block out any disparaging remarks as they sat in the stands.

It wasn't nice, and often, it wasn't even fair.

And now, it looks downright silly.

In their first three Big 12 games, including Saturday's beatdown from Texas, Sooner quarterbacks Blake Bell and Trevor Knight have combined to throw for 404 yards.

You had games that were better than that. Three of them last season, to be exact.

I talked to lots of Sooner fans over the past few seasons about you. All of them had opinions, but over the years, there were several constant refrains.

You couldn't get comfortable in the pocket. You couldn't run. You couldn't keep from making bad decisions at inopportune times. You couldn't get fans fired up. You couldn't win big games.

Never once did I hear someone say you couldn't pass.

Now, folks are starting to realize how important that was.

For years, Sooner fans took that for granted. A quarterback? Of course he's supposed to be able to throw.

What Sooner fans wouldn't give to have that kind of certainty now. What they wouldn't give to have you back.

Of course, rarely are struggles in the passing game only the fault of the quarterback. They certainly aren't with these Sooners. As Bob Stoops said Monday during his weekly press conference, this loss to the Longhorns was a team effort. There were issues with receivers dropping passes and making mistakes in their assignments and with offensive linemen missing blocks and getting beat physically.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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