Big meeting puts OU offensive line on same page

DAVID UBBEN Modified: September 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm •  Published: August 27, 2009

/> Voluntary workouts became appetizers for "involuntary” extra work after the rest of the team left. Everyone did footwork drills. Everyone came to campus and did extra lifting.

"Guys took (Stoops’ message) personally,” Good said. "And we ran with it.”

Quite literally.

But the offensive linemen know they can’t change the mind of anyone who doesn’t share their summer on the practice field with them. As preseason camp arrived, so did the media fallout from their less-than-stellar spring.

Sure, Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham are back. But how is Bradford going to have time to throw to Gresham? What good are a pair of 1,000-yard running backs if no one can open holes?

The offensive line says the only opinion it’s worrying about is the one guy who seems to be all out of criticism for the still-gelling piece of the Sooners.

"We can’t take care of the press or whatever, but when the head man calls us out, that’s when the sense of urgency gets going,” Williams said. "His comments mean the most to us.”

No one will know what impact the turbulent summer had on the offensive line until its four new starters are officially christened against BYU on Sept. 5 in Arlington, Texas. The one thing they do know is the talking heads on TV and writers pecking at computer keyboards won’t have anything to do with it.

"I’m not mad at them for saying that,” Simmons said. "But do I agree with them? No.”