Berry Tramel: Landry Jones' trip a sign of the times

OU FOOTBALL: Sooners' quarterback spent spring break being tutored by George Whitfield Jr. Trips like Jones' are the norm in this day and age.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 3, 2012

Quarterbacks at the top of their game or trying to get there will cover all bases.

Jones pointed out an indisputable simplicity: He couldn't work out with his OU coaches during spring break, why not work out with someone else who might help him?

Stoops said there are no sensitivity issues. Said that OU's track record at quarterbacks might be “as good as any in the country.”

If Jones wanted to spend his last spring break on footwork and passing techniques, more power to him.

“Why not?” Stoops asked. “I go to pro camps all the time. You never know when you might pick up one or two extra things. Why not share it with coach Heupel? Sometimes you implement it, sometimes you don't. Never hurts.”

Whitfield is known for unorthodox techniques like working out his pupils in the ocean surf and waving brooms at them to simulate a fierce pass rush. Jones never saw the Pacific, but he did experience Whitfield's brooms.

Jones said he worked with Whitfield about four hours a day. The lasting impact might be ball placement.

Jones said he knows he needs to hold the ball higher while he stands in the pocket but hasn't found a comfort zone. Whitfield worked with him extensively on that technique.

“It was fun,” Jones said. “A different look. I've spent a lot of time with coach Heupel. Heup's a great coach. Just a different perspective. I just wanted to get some extra work in. Obviously, there's still things I need to work on, polish up.”

Jones said his coaches were cool with him going, even though Stoops said he didn't know anything about it. Stoops even said he had only heard of Whitfield and didn't know that much about him.

Same with Jones, who via ESPN caught a little of Whitfield's work with Cam Newton. Whitfield contacted Jones' father and suggested he could help Jones. So out to San Francisco they went.

Stoops said he doesn't fear philosophical disagreements between what Jones has been taught at OU and what he was taught out West.

“He seems to be the same old Landry,” Stoops said.

Same old Landry. But not the same old football culture.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

George Whitfield Jr.

Born: Nov. 23, 1977

Company: Whitfield Athletix, which trains quarterbacks.

Pupils: Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Landry Jones.

Staff: One part-time assistant, one intern.

Cost for services: $200 a day for college QBs.

High school: Massillon, Ohio

College: Went to Youngstown State for a year, transferred to Tiffin when then-Youngstown State coach Jim Tressel suggested Whitfield move to a position other than quarterback.

Pro playing career: Arena football, three years, Chicago, Shreveport, Louisville, Memphis.

Coaching career: One year, Iowa graduate assistant; one year, San Diego Chargers intern.

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