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Oklahoma football: Defense will be a focus during spring ball

Coach Mike Stoops and staff are experimenting with new ideas to make their unit more flexible and aggressive in a league full of high-powered spread offenses.
by Jason Kersey Published: March 7, 2013

Then in the Cotton Bowl, Texas A&M embarrassed Oklahoma, with Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel racking up 516 total yards and four touchdowns by himself.

“I think our scheme did a little bit of an injustice to our linebackers a year ago,” Mike Stoops said. “We're gonna try to keep two linebackers on the field as much as we can in each situation.

“We have to find a better way to combat some of the things. Our players need to understand how they are going to attack us. ... Having more flexibility and diversification leads into that.

The spring also brings changes to the defensive coaching staff.

Jerry Montgomery was hired to replace tackles coach Jackie Shipp, though Montgomery will coach the entire line.

Bobby Jack Wright, who previously coached defensive ends, will now take over cornerbacks.

In addition to his coordinator duties, Mike Stoops coached Oklahoma's secondary last season. Now, he'll focus on safeties.

“A year ago, it was hard coaching six guys,” Mike Stoops said of the secondary. “One guy is coaching six players; that's crazy in a very important element to the game.

“I think Jerry will do a great job, and I think being able to coordinate a defense and having a guy like Bobby Jack will enable me to do my job better and coach our secondary better.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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