Sound the Alarm?

By now, most seasoned Sooner fans can sniff out when Bob Stoops is using his motivational Jedi mind tricks.

He may call out a player in the media. He’ll reward an overachieving walk-on with a move up the depth chart as a way to challenge a slow starter. Hell, last year, he publicly dogged OU’s fans in an effort to hype up the crowd for a primetime game with Texas Tech.
Is it just me, though, or do his recent critiques of the OU offensive line seem different?
Prior to spring practice, Stoops lit into the unit, which must replace four starters this season. No big deal, Homerism thought. Sounded like a good way to let the newbies know what time it is.
The OU head coach’s comments in today’s column from Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World are more troubling, however. Echoing his earlier concerns, Stoops harped on the new group’s work ethic and attitude. This coming a week after he unceremoniously kicked guard Alex Williams off the team for “not doing what he needs to do.”
If Stoops was talking about any unit other than the offensive line, it wouldn’t have me particularly spooked. That even includes quarterback. But strong offensive line play is key to a national championship season, and OU’s new crop is pretty green.
Stoops himself noted that the blockers have time to put it all together. There’s no denying the individual talent among the group. Hopefully, Stoops’ barking is just another ploy to keep the linemen on their toes.
But it sure doesn’t feel like it.

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