IRVING, Texas — Sam Bradford had a dream season in 2008. The Oklahoma quarterback won several individual awards including the Heisman Trophy while leading OU to the BCS title game.
During his redshirt sophomore campaign in Norman, Bradford was 328 of 483 for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns as he became the first OU quarterback to win two Big 12 titles.
Yet, OU coach Bob Stoops says the expectations for Bradford remain the same.
"It's going to be hard to improve on those stats," Stoops said during Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday. "We aren't concerned about statistics. It's making the smart plays, being consistent playing in the system and avoiding bad plays. It's managing the game, that's all we him want to do."
With the departures of NFL Draft picks Manny Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias, Bradford will be searching for new targets at the receiver position in 2009.
"Sam will have a good number of targets," Stoops said. "Ryan Broyles was a big play guy a year ago he'll have to step up and be more so (this year)."
Fortunately for the Sooners, tight end Jermaine Gresham, a potential first round draft pick returned for his senior year. And the versatility of players like Brody Eldridge and running back/slot receiver Mossis Madu lessens the pressure on the Sooners' wide receiving corps.
"Kevin Wilson has been able to play to our team's strengths," Stoops said. "We come out in two tight ends because those guys are such good players."
In addition to the return of potential first round picks Gresham and Bradford, redshirt junior defensive tackle Gerald McCoy also passed on NFL millions for another season in crimson and cream.
"I think those guys coming back says a lot about the overall program," Stoops said. "They wanted to participate for one more year to be here with their teammates."
"There's a value they see in graduating and a value in being more prepared for that situation when it comes. It's pretty special, (because) it says a lot about the quality of individuals they are too."