DALLAS — It was no surprise, but the first question posed to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on Tuesday morning at Big 12 Media Days was on the Sooners' quarterback situation.
The question concerned Blake Bell, the presumed starter at the position after running the Belldozer package in each of the last two years behind Landry Jones.
“You're kind of making assumptions if you feel he's the guy,” Stoops said. “We've never been real excited about naming a guy too early.”
Over the past two seasons, Bell has run 102 times while attempting just 20 passes.
“We have a history in my going on 15 years of having guys at quarterback that are really excellent throwers,” Stoops said. “And Blake fits that mold. We would never recruit a guy that we didn't feel would be a great passer.”
But Stoops reiterated that both Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson are still in the mix to be the starting quarterback.
“They all, through spring, had their ‘uh-oh' moments,” Stoops said. “They also have made great throws down the field that you want them to make.”
COLVIN DEFENDS LYNN
When talking about defensive players that could surprise this season, Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin repeatedly brought up Gabe Lynn's name.
Lynn has been subject to plenty of derision from media and fans, especially after Texas Tech's 41-38 upset of OU in Norman in 2011.
“Gabe takes a lot of criticism from a lot of people and he's dealt with it all well,” Colvin said. “I've never heard Gabe talk negatively on anybody talking about him. I just want to see him make plays like I know he can. I grew up with Gabe so I know what he's capable of, and I just want to see him go out there and just play freely.”
Colvin said Lynn's move to safety, which happened last season, should help him be successful this year.
“I'm excited to see him go out there and shock a lot of people,” Colvin said. “I know he will.”
STOOPS STILL FEELS APPRECIATED
Stoops has heard the criticisms and felt the growing discontent over disappointing finishes in recent years.
But entering his 15th season, Stoops said he doesn't feel like he's not appreciated.
“I've never been appreciated by everybody, even in 2000,” he said. “So not everyone's going to — that's always going to be the case and any time you've been somewhere 15 years, that's something to consider.”
ROBERT SMITH TALKS SOONERS
Former Ohio State and Minnesota Vikings running back Robert Smith was at the Omni Dallas Hotel this week, covering Big 12 Media Days for ESPN.
Smith, who works as a college football analyst for the network, said he thinks Oklahoma's offense will be OK in 2013 — even with a new quarterback — but that he's unsure what to expect from the Sooners defensively.
“You're replacing a lot of guys,” Smith said of OU's defense. “You have a lot of inexperienced guys, but maybe guys who have a little more time to understand what coach Mike Stoops is trying to do.
“Offensively, they have so much talent at receiver and running back. I heard coach Bob Stoops made the point not to give the crown to Blake Bell already which I thought was kinda funny. I think they'll be fine offensively. Defensively, in the Big 12 it depends on how it all comes together and how healthy you stay.”