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Bradford, Gresham Continue to Lead OU from Sidelines

Sam Bradford (left) and Jermaine Gresham (right) talk as the team runs onto the field before the Sooners take on Idaho State. Sam Bradford (left) and Jermaine Gresham (right) talk as the team runs onto the field before the Sooners take on Idaho State.
Sam Bradford (left) helps lead his teammates before the Sooners take on Idaho State. Sam Bradford (left) helps lead his teammates before the Sooners take on Idaho State.
Bradford (left) walks out of the tunnel with his teammates. Bradford (left) walks out of the tunnel with his teammates.
Injured tight end Jermaine Gresham (left) talks to his teammates as they walk on the field before playing Idaho State. Injured tight end Jermaine Gresham (left) talks to his teammates as they walk on the field before playing Idaho State.

Originally Published: Sep 17, 2009 10:30 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NORMAN, Oklahoma – The loss of Sam Bradford has hurt the Sooners on the field, but the injured Heisman Trophy winner is still an active leader from the sidelines.

Bradford has been particularly helpful in preparing replacement Landry Jones for his new job as OU’s starting quarterback.

“I couldn’t ask for more from Sam and coach [Josh] Heupel,” Jones said. “You’ve got a Heisman runner-up, a guy who has won a National Championship, and a guy who went to the National Championship game and the Heisman winner, so you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Bradford’s first full game out of action came against Idaho State, but he spent the entire game walking up and down the sidelines encouraging his teammates and acting as a unofficial assistant coach.

“He’s just a great team guy,” said head coach Bob Stoops. “I know he’s given Landry a lot of support, and his fire and his spirit is still there with the team. His presence is still around practice every day.”

Bradford’s obvious tendency is to spend time exclusively with Jones, but offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said he has requested that Bradford spend time with every unit on the offense.

“Last week, one of the comments I made was, ‘Make sure to get around all groups, don’t prepare like you’re just a quarterback and live in your quarterback world just with Landry. Feel free to get with the linemen and keep encouraging those guys, or the receivers,’” Wilson said.

Bradford’s injury will keep him out of the Sooners’ game Saturday against Tulsa, but he could be able to start Oct. 3 on the road against Miami. Tight end Jermaine Gresham, on the other hand, will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Gresham has also been an active leader since his injury, despite the fact that he is on crutches. He was on the field with Bradford before OU’s win over Idaho State. However, Gresham was not on the sidelines during the game because coaches were worried his limited mobility might not allow him to get out of the way if a player was pushed out of bounds.

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