Stoops aims to use more tight end sets

January, 22, 2013
1/22/13
4:15
PM ET
Not only did the Sooners seldom use the tight end position in 2012, they altogether abandoned it. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel leaned on four-wide sets and lined up fullback Trey Millard at tight end whenever the situation called for it.

[+] EnlargeBrannon Green
Jim Cowsert/US PresswireTight end Brannon Green had three catches for the Sooners in 2012.
The Sooners scoured the recruiting trail for a junior college tight end but struck out with their top two targets, Beau Sandland and Emmanuel Bibbs.

Despite not landing a juco tight end, Bob Stoops said he wants the tight end packages to be a bigger part of the offense next season. And he feels that, with an extra year in the program, freshman Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant could be ready to hold down the position, along with juco transfer Brannon Green.

“I see it being a bigger part,” Stoops said. “I think it was more the inexperience. We tried it and there were too many, just overall, we didn’t feel they were quite ready to play at the level we needed.”

Coupled with the tight end inexperience, Stoops added that the emergence of transfer receivers Jalen Saunders and Justin Brown swayed the Sooners to run more four-wide sets, too.

“I think [that's the case] more than anything, and the experience that the wide receivers all had,” Stoops said. “As odd as it sounds to say, considering where we started with all of them, they were so productive and doing so well, we felt that was taking advantage of our personnel and experience the best.”

But with Brown and Kenny Stills gone, Stoops said he sees the Sooners returning to more tight end sets in 2013.

“We like our young guys and our guys coming up,” Stoops said. “We want our tight end packages to be more involved, definitely.”

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