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Oklahoma football: Silence is part of the job description for OU quarterbacks

COMMENTARY — Trevor Knight hasn't done many interviews, but chances are he'll follow in recent Sooner tradition and won't cause a stir with his words.
by Berry Tramel Modified: August 28, 2013 at 9:30 am •  Published: August 27, 2013

— Trevor Knight was a no-show Tuesday night in the OU football interview room.

Most media were disappointed, and some fans will be the same. They'd like to hear from the newly-crowned Sooner quarterback, who has faced the microphones just once since the spring game, and that was 3½ weeks ago, when Blake Bell was the heir apparent.

Not me. I wasn't disappointed. I didn't figure Knight would talk Tuesday, despite being told otherwise. Bob Stoops and Josh Heupel are growing too fond of the muzzle. Keep the quarterback quiet as long as you can.

Needlessly, if you ask me. It's not like Sooner coaches have to worry about loquacious quarterbacks. Sam Bradford and Landry Jones have conditioned Soonerville with seven straight seasons of quarterbacks with boring personalities.

No reason to think Knight is going to be any different. In fact, it's one of the job requirements. Strong and accurate arm. Good decision-making. Show no personality, even under threat of Chinese water torture.

Mobility is optional. The Sgt. Schultz routine is not. “I know nuuuuuuuuuuthing.”

Stoops' best quarterbacks have been — how to put this delicately — dull. Bradford, Jason White, Heupel himself. In that group, you've got two Heismans, three All-Americans, one national championship, four national title games and not one decent quote.

Here's what's maddening. They didn't come by it honest. Since White's playing days, he's become an engaging interview with lots of good insight. I called him last week for a story. And Bradford is much more chatty since becoming a St. Louis Ram.

Of course, Heupel's about the same, having never left the cocoon.

It's not like every Stoops quarterback is monotonous. Nate Hybl and Paul Thompson both were great talkers; smart, funny, personable, while somehow avoiding tipping us off on a trick play for Texas or locker-room gossip.

After their careers, I worked radio with both. They were enjoyable and entertaining and never once betrayed state secrets. Remarkable what a sharp mind can achieve.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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