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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Roundtable: No. 1 offensive concern

By SoonerNation staff

Every Thursday, the SoonerNation staff will answer a roundtable question about OU football. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.

Today's question: What is OU's biggest offensive concern going into the offseason?

Blake Bell
Is Blake Bell ready to go from being the "Belldozer" to a full-service quarterback?
• The singular biggest concern of the offense is quarterback. In who will the quarterback be? And how well will he perform? Even with all the questions on defense, quarterback play will be the biggest determinant in what OU's record is in 2013. Blake Bell has a lot of experience for a backup, thanks to the Belldozer package, but he is yet to prove he can throw the ball out of a base package, and Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson have no game experience. Whoever wins the job will be operating behind a veteran offensive line with several playmakers at running back and receiver. So the offense has a chance to put up points again in 2013. But much of that will hinge on the QB.
- Jake Trotter

• The No. 1 concern is the ability to run the football whenever the Sooners decide to run it. Has OU had success running the football? Absolutely. Are the Sooners striving to be a balanced offense? For the most part. Can OU run the ball whenever they want to? No, not really. The Sooners averaged 4.83 yards per carry this season but finished five different games, including all three losses, with a per-carry average of less than four yards. It's possible to have an explosive offense and still have offensive packages that allow you to run the clock and run the football when necessary. And, with Landry Jones moving on to the NFL and the offense in transition anyway, there's no better time to begin making that one of the foundational traits of OU's offense.
- Brandon Chatmon

• Much of the focus for 2013 is going to be on the quarterback, but who is the QB going to throw the ball to? The wide receiver situation isn't as nearly as dire heading into 2013 as it was 2012, but it's also not secure with Justin Brown and Kenny Stills departing. There's no security blanket for the QB right now. Is Jalen Saunders a No. 1 guy? Is Sterling Shepard ready to take that throne? What about Class of 2012 studs Durron Neal and Derrick Woods? How will they factor in? Will Trey Metoyer re-emerge? A young quarterback can be helped out with a veteran receiving group. But OU's 2013 quarterback won't have that luxury. They're all going to grow (and make mistakes) together. Patience will be vital.
- Bob Przybylo