Sooners Adjusting to New Leadership on Offense
Originally Published: Dec 22, 2010 8:8 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Sooners are busy preparing for their New Year’s Day battle against Connecticut, but have the added challenge of incorporating new offensive co-coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell.
Kevin Wilson has been the Sooners’ coordinator since 2006, but recently accepted the head coaching position at Indiana. He will remain with the team through the Fiesta Bowl as the fullbacks and tight ends coach, but players have had to get used to receiving orders from new leaders.
“It’s a little weird, I’m not gonna lie,” running back Mossis Madu said. “I’m so used to hearing Coach Wilson running around and yelling at everybody. He’s the type of guys who’s real vocal; it’s loud, but not as loud as it used to be.”
Heupel and Norvell both have been members of the OU staff for years – Heupel as quarterbacks coach since 2006, Norvell as wide receivers coach since 2008 – but they are now taking on added responsibility.
Heupel in particular has assumed a bigger leadership role to go along with his new duties as play caller. While this has been a transition for positions that normally do not have contact with him, quarterback Landry Jones said things have not been much different for him.
There has been plenty of speculation about how much Heupel will change the offense going into the Fiesta Bowl. Being a quarterback coach and formerly a quarterback himself, it is assumed Heupel will open things up more. Jones said that may not necessarily be the case.
“He might have his own style and things like that, so I’m sure play calls will be a little different in certain situations,” Jones said. “But as far as changing the offense or anything like that, we’re still going to do the things we do.”