Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Landry Jones has twice now passed over the opportunity to leave school for the NFL. Apparently there’s some segment of the Sooners’ fan base that actually wishes he had already moved on to the next level. Instead, he’s back for a senior season where he’s hyped enough to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated and he has his coach, Bob Stoops, calling that portion of the fan base insane for not being happy to have Jones back.
Jones has thrown for more than 12,000 over the past three seasons with 93 touchdowns and 41 interceptions. The Sooners enter the season ranked No. 4 in the nation and open their campaign at UTEP on Saturday.
Bob Stoops joined The Sports Animal in Oklahoma City with Al and Jim to discuss what his sense of this year’s Sooners team is heading into the season, his receiving corps, those not happy that Landry Jones is back for his senior year, how Jones has looked and his leadership ability.
Is it tough to get a read on your team before actually playing a game?:
“I think you always have a decent feel for it, but you always just want to see it. More than anything, you’re just anxious because what you think, you want to see it come true that they’re what you think they are in different areas and different players that are now playing that maybe haven’t played a bunch before. Guys that have played a lot, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting.”
How excited are you about your receivers?:
“[The unit] has a lot of potential, I guess. That’s what the excitement is. It’s hard when you haven’t played a game yet. I think it’s tempered, but there’s a lot of potential there, and I’m hoping that it will come to fruition. I believe we’ve got a chance to be a more improved group by a longshot than a year ago.”
On a segment of Oklahoma fans that aren’t happy that Landry Jones is back:
“That’s insane. But again, that’s just fans, that’s what they do. That’s OK. I’m not complaining about it. Let’s face it: We have one of those jobs everybody thinks they can do it better. That’s all right. But a lot of people are fairly ignorant, too, about what their understanding is of football and how it’s played.”
How’s he looked so far?:
“He’s looked great. He’s throwing the ball really well, just really accurate and he’s got more mobility. He’s running better and I noticed in some of our drills, [he's] escaping a blitz here or there. So, hopefully that can continue, but he’s worked hard on his mobility.”
Does he need to pick up his leadership to another level with so many new pieces around him?:
“Yeah, and it’s natural with all the experience he has to take on more of a leadership role. But he’s been supported more this year, too, just in the guys up front. … There’s been other guys that have stepped up around him, but he’s done a really good job of it, and it’s natural in his position with all the games under his belt and as much as he’s played.”