Oklahoma's new offensive coordinator focused on wins, not stats

Sunday, December 18th 2005, 12:50 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ New Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson sees his job as being more than just keeping the Sooners' offense rolling.

In seven seasons under coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma has averaged 36 points per game and won 74 games. In Wilson's eyes, the second figure is far more important than the first.

``My job is not going to be about stats,'' Wilson said Sunday after being introduced as Chuck Long's successor at offensive coordinator. ``It's going to be about winning.''

Stoops waited less than an hour after Long was introduced as San Diego State's new head coach Saturday night to name Wilson his new coordinator for the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 29 and beyond. Wilson had previously been a co-offensive coordinator, while Long was in charge of the offense and play-calling.

``We don't feel our direction and what we're doing will change really at all,'' Stoops said. ``We'll just continue to develop the way we have. I like the fact that our offense doesn't really change personalities.''

Wilson said his top priorities are taking care of the ball, playing physical football and maintaining a balance between the pass and the run.

That doesn't mean he'll have a 50-50 split between pass plays and run plays.

``To me, balance means you can do both. You can run it when you have to run it, you can throw it when you have to throw it,'' Wilson said. ``If you need to throw it every play, you throw it every play. If there's situations where you need to run it every play, you can run it every play.''

A former offensive lineman who was in charge of Oklahoma's line and coordinating the run game, Wilson pointed out that he worked with quarterbacks for four seasons while he was the offensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio) and Northwestern.

``I'm not a guy that's adverse to throwing the football and throwing it a lot,'' Wilson said. ``I'm not a hammer, hammer, hammer guy.''

Wilson said the Sooners' offense won't change to reflect what he's done in the past. He said he used a spread out of necessity at Northwestern because the team lost all of its tight ends and fullbacks after his first season.

At Oklahoma, he's helped develop the I-formation based running game that propelled Adrian Peterson to an NCAA freshman record 1,925 rushing yards and a second-place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting last season.

``I think one of the keys in running an offense is you can say what you want to do, but you have to be flexible enough to do what works within your guys,'' Wilson said.

``The bottom line offensively: You've got to do what your offensive line can do and what your quarterback can do because if you can't block, it's not going to work and if your quarterback can't handle it, it's not going to work,'' Wilson added. ``The great skill players make them all look better than they really are.''

Wilson said he plans to meet with quarterback Rhett Bomar and discuss the redshirt freshman's preferences for the offense. Bomar was previously under the tutelage of Long, who was Oklahoma's quarterbacks coach.

Bomar will now have film sessions with pass game coordinator Darrell Wyatt and running backs coach Cale Gundy, and Wilson will also meet with him separately for about an hour each day.

``Rhett as a young guy has gotten better and better, so his upside in a lot of things is going to be stronger in years to come,'' Wilson said.

Stoops said he hasn't set a timetable for filling Long's opening on the coaching staff and won't discuss publicly whether he'll be looking for a quarterbacks coach or shuffle his staff and hire a coach with another specialty.

``There are a lot of different directions you could go,'' Stoops said. ``Ultimately, I think you get the guy that fits the best.''