Landry Jones' return has received mixed reactions from Sooner Nation

Fair or not, many fans compare Jones' performance to a pair of OU's greatest quarterbacks — Jason White and Sam Bradford. But that is to be expected.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 13, 2012

But even McCormick admits that he didn't always feel this way about Jones' return.

He watched the Insight Bowl with a few other Sooner fans at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Shreveport, and at some point during the game, every person in the group said they were ready for Jones to go. That included McCormick.

“My biggest angst with LJ,” he said, “he just doesn't seem to step (up) when we need it the most. Josh and Sam always played their best when it mattered the most.”

Ah, yes, comparisons to other Sooner quarterbacks. Maybe it's unfair to think every player who steps under center should win a national title like Josh Heupel or at least play for a national title like Sam Bradford and Jason White. But among OU fans, that is the reality. That is the expectation.

Landry Jones hasn't taken the Sooners to those heights yet.

That hasn't set well with every Sooner fan.

Also high on their list of pet peeves is inconsistency. There are times when Jones goes along looking sharp and throwing well, and then almost out of blue, he starts to struggle. His feet get happy. His passes go high.

Worse, some of those struggles have come at the most inopportune time. Big games have been a mixed bag for Jones. Some have been good. Bedlam, 2010. Florida State, 2011. Some have been bad. Texas A&M, 2010. Bedlam, 2011.

Add the fact that the Sooners' most consistent offensive scheme last season didn't even involve Jones being on the field, and that had some fans ready to hand the offense over to Blake Bell and the Belldozer.

“Half of me wanted him back,” Sooner fan and Houston resident Ken Lawson said of Jones, “and the other half wanted BB to get the nod.”

And really, that sentiment might be as symbolic as any when it comes to what OU fans think of Jones.

They are conflicted.

Lawson, who graduated from OU in 1982, has decided to put aside his concerns about Jones.

“The table is set now,” he said, “and I am behind him a hundred percent.”

Others aren't so sure.

“Landry Jones has all the physical attributes of a great QB, and he knows it,” said stay-till-the-end fan John McLaughlin. “I believe that leads him to rely too much on those physical attributes.”

He wishes Jones were more like Bradford in avoiding bad decisions and being smart with the ball.

“I know Sam Bradford is a tough act to follow,” McLaughlin said, “but Landry Jones is not in the same class.”

Winning every game is any quarterback's top priority, but if Landry Jones does that this fall, he just might win something else in the process.

Sooner hearts.


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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