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Power Lunch Chat with John Helsley transcript, Nov. 9, 2012

The Oklahoman's OSU beat writer John Helsley took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11:30 a.m. on Here's a look at today's Q&A.
by John Helsley Modified: November 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012

The Oklahoman's OSU beat writer John Helsley took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11:30 a.m. on Here's a look at today's Q&A.

John Helsley 11:00 a.m. Greetings on a happy Friday! Glad you joined me for this OSU Power Lunch. Much to talk about, with the basketball teams opening the season tonight and all those old friends coming in from West Virginia for what amounts to a key game for both sides, when talking bowls and Big 12 finish and such. Much to discuss. Here we go...
Forrest 11:00 a.m. Gina had a good OSU Notebook in paper this morning. when Lunt got hurt last Saturday I immediately stated wondering about being injury prone. I thought Monken's quotes were good. "You really don't know sample size yet." But my thought about this is concerning Walsh. I really think he has great upside and could be a very good college qb for us. I like his body language as well as his play. And Clint showed that body language last week.
John Helsley 11:03 a.m. Forrest, Mike Gundy is committed to a spread offense that relies on attacking the defense through the air across the field. Lunt gives the Cowboys the best fit for that long-term. Chelf showed, again in a limited sample size, that he may be able to do it, too. Walsh would be great in OSU's old offense, but really struggles to make the throws to the outside. Not saying he can't be a winning QB. But in this offense?
Guest 11:03 a.m. Who's the big lanky white guy OSU got last year? Soucek? Is he going to play much this year?
John Helsley 11:04 a.m. When talking to Cowboys coaches and players, they always rave about how much he's improved. Remember, he didn't get to Stillwater until late August last year and played catch up in both learning the offense and getting in shape. He worked hard in the offseason and appears to have made great strides. He'll have to stay out of foul trouble -- one problem -- but has skills. And with OSU's lack of size, he must play a role.
Mark, Edmond 11:05 a.m. Do you think it's possible DeForest gets tossed at the end of the year and he ends up back in Stillwater? Did they fill his position?
John Helsley 11:06 a.m. Mark, I really don't see him losing his job. He inherited a defense ill-fitted for the Big 12. Very little speed on that side of the ball. Worked in the Big East, although they were hardly dominant then. DeForest has a three-year contract. And he's a good coach. Unless Holgorsen gets some sort of outside pressure, Joe is back in Morgantown.
Guest 11:07 a.m. Will the Cowboys be more than Lob Stilly this year? Think they can actually win some games?
John Helsley 11:09 a.m. While they are embracing the Lob Stilly fun, the offense should be much more versatile. Marcus Smart brings a new element to the PG position. He can penetrate and pass, which should help all those around him. Phil Forte looks like a deep threat along the lines of Keiton Page, without the need to shoulder the load. They'll keep dunking, but they should be much more balanced. And, yes, they should be good enough to win more games. I've got them in the NCAA Tournament.
Jeff 11:09 a.m. If Joe Randle were to fumble again this week is Jeremy Smith healthy enough for Randle to get benched?
John Helsley 11:10 a.m. Jeff, Smith's condition is getting better. He played more at K-State. If Randle fumbled, Gundy might want to send a message and turn more to Smith. But keep in mind, Randle is vital to the offense. As a runner. As a receiver. As a blocker. Can't see him sitting for too long.
Alum in AZ 11:11 a.m. In a crisis situation, who would fill the QB situation if Lunt, Walsh, and Chelf can't go? Chilcoat? Moore? Or Randle?
John Helsley 11:12 a.m. Great question. Cilcoat would seem to be next in line. And they've gotten him some practice reps the last couple weeks. If that didn't work, though, it would be interesting to see what they might do. It would definitely be a crisis situation. Moore and Randle, might be fun. What about Gilbert -- he was a high school QB...
Forrest 11:13 a.m. Concerning KO returns. Were the short kicks by Sharp on both the KSU return the Texas Return intentional or is it just too much to expect it go deep in the endzone every time. (w/o wind of course) i felt if we did not allow those two KO returns for TD's then we win both games. Not bashing Sharp as he is awesome. Just wondering. Also we had lane breakdowns. you could see it coming.
John Helsley 11:15 a.m. One of the short kicks was intentional, but Sharp said after the game that he kicked it too far, taking away any effectiveness. Otherwise, he just didn't hit the ball solid on some of those kicks. Bad time to have an off night, but you're right, hard to complain with what Sharp's given the Cowboys all these years. The lane breakdowns were obvious. On the TD return, however, the kick was such a low line drive I wonder if the coverage team had fully gotten in their spots...
Brian Wick 11:15 a.m. W/Cobbins out for awhile, what kind of lineups do you see Ford going to?
John Helsley 11:17 a.m. Brian, I think we see all kinds of lineups. Small. Big. A lot of mixing, especially early on, as Ford tries to see what works best. If it works, I could see Ford going small and pushing the pace. Even before Cobbins was hurt, there was an emphasis on the guards crashing the boards to help with rebounds. Should be interesting.
Jeff 11:17 a.m. Maybe I am crazy but I think Markel Brown has a huge year. I think he will finally be a basketball player with great athletic ability instead of a great athlete playing basketball. Similar to the improvement Desmond Mason made between his sophomore and junior seasons. Thoughts? Am I nuts?
John Helsley 11:18 a.m. Not crazy at all. He's really worked on his shot, which would really add another element to his game. And I think he benefits the most from the addition of Smart, who really makes everyone around him better. Smart can penetrate and dish, and I see Brown on the receiving end of many of those assists. The Desmond comparison has some merit.
John Helsley 11:19 a.m. There you go folks, a new look for the band. White hats -- good guys now?
Guest 11:20 a.m. Do you think OSU is a Joseph Randle injury away from not qualifying for a bowl game?
John Helsley 11:22 a.m. A Randle injury would be a tough blow to stomach in a year that has produced too many gut punches through injuries. But I don't know if I'd write off bowl chances. This coaching staff has done a remarkable job of piecing things together to keep the offense moving. Smith is returning to speed. Dez Roland showed some speed on that kickoff return for a TD. I think the Cowboys find some wins without Randle.
Forrest 11:22 a.m. John, considering your answer on Sharp kicking it short. Why? There is zero possibility for a big play if its not returnable. Therefore we set our-selves up to fail.
John Helsley 11:23 a.m. The Cowboys have been working on a "sky kick" designed to send the ball high, allowing the coverage team time to get down field just when the return man takes the ball in. Sharp kicked it too far and not high enough. They were just trying something different after the earlier struggles.
harry man 11:23 a.m. why is john helsley not on this tv show friday's 11 am
John Helsley 11:24 a.m. So I can be here serving you, and all the others, Harry Man.
Alum in AZ 11:24 a.m. Only points matter, but who gets more Yards Offense this week? Can West Virginia even get within 100 yards of OSU?
John Helsley 11:26 a.m. Teams have started dropping defenders deep into coverage against WVU and the Mountaineers haven't been able to adjust. It'll be interesting to see how much of that the Cowboys do. And if WVU has anything new to counter with. Either way, I see OSU winning the yardage battle and the game.
Jeff 11:26 a.m. For me, the kstate game highlighted even more how much experience plays a part in success. How many OSU players played meaningful snaps on offense last season for OSU? Ksu? Huge difference. Do you agree?
John Helsley 11:28 a.m. Oh, absolutely. Young players, no matter how talented, make mistakes. Many aren't apparent to the casual eye. A receiver cutting a route short. A missed block. Game management. Experience is a major factor. And it factors into confidence as well.
CL 11:28 a.m. That's apparently exactly what Burns said about the white hats
Forrest 11:28 a.m. I like the band uniforms, CL.
Alum in AZ 11:28 a.m. Great to see the band get new uniforms. How old were their previous ones? They seemed unchanged form when I was in school.
JJ 11:28 a.m. Looks too much like Texas band
John Helsley 11:28 a.m. A little feedback there on the uniforms...
harry man 11:29 a.m. what upsets does john helsley have this weekend?
John Helsley 11:30 a.m. Oregon State over Stanford. Head to Vegas.
Guest 11:30 a.m. Speaking of Randle, is he going to stick around for his senior year or do you think he'll leave?
John Helsley 11:33 a.m. Excellent question that will probably come down to how much fun Randle is having at this level. He's not going to go in the top half of the first round, if in the first round at all. Running backs overall aren't going as high in the draft as they once did. The NFL game has turned so heavily to the pass game and defending the pass game. So there will be reasons to return to OSU. And the Cowboys should be very good next year.
Brian Wick 11:33 a.m. How many minutes do you see Kirby Gardner getting this year?
John Helsley 11:35 a.m. I didn't see him really playing a major factor, then he scored and ran the offense pretty well in the exhibition game, albeit against bad competition. I now see him having a role, maybe as a backup PG to give Smart a blow.
John Helsley 11:36 a.m. Time for a couple more questions...
Forrest 11:36 a.m. Thank you John, and I really enjoy you doing the OSU report on the Morning Animals. got to go.
John Helsley 11:36 a.m. Hey, thank you, Forrest! Have a great weekend.
Brian Wick 11:36 a.m. Who is your breakout hoops performer this season.
John Helsley 11:37 a.m. Markel Brown, if you can call him a breakout, just because of his overall game. Otherwise, it's Marcus Smart. Cowboys fans are really going to like this kid. Plays hard. Does all the little things. Don't just look at his scoring total, look at the assists and steals and rebounds. He'll fill up a stat sheet.
John Helsley 11:37 a.m. OK, folks, that's going to wrap things up. Great questions today. Really enjoyed spending some time with you all today. Have a great weekend.!

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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