Adding a new twist to a familiar ritual, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops seemed to be downright chipper Thursday as he addressed the media prior to kicking off spring practice this weekend.
Not a lot of meat on the bone, of course, but I did come away with a few thoughts:
*I joked earlier today about Stoops' glowing report on the squad's progress in the weight room so far this offseason – them and everyone else, right?
In fairness, however, Stoops has used the occasion to dog players' work ethic in the past. He doesn't always blow smoke about these workouts, so I guess that's a good thing.
*If you're looking for any red flags, direct your eyes to the offensive line. As Jason Kersey discussed in the most recent podcast, Adam Shead's absence isn't unexpected. Yet, it doesn't bode well for the likelihood that he'll ever regain peak form, let alone play again.
Meanwhile, Tyrus Thompson's status bears monitoring. He ended last season on the disabled list, so, again, Thompson sitting out isn't a surprise. Still, it doesn't inspire a ton of confidence that his injury won't linger.
*The big reveal (to me): Stoops said Charles Walker is tipping the scales at 300 pounds. (For the record, the latest roster on SoonerSports.com lists him at 289.)
I had questions about where Walker might play this fall, but that sounds like defensive tackle. If he stays around three bills, it raises the possibility that he could shift out to defensive end in the 3-4 against bigger offensive personnel groupings.
*A little surprised that Stoops mentioned Stanvon Taylor as a candidate at nickel.
*Based on how how often Stoops mentioned Jordan Smallwood, he might make a nice sleeper candidate to sneak into the starting lineup at wideout.
*I can't wait to see how the second-string quarterback position shakes out. Stoops confirmed that Blake Bell has moved to tight end exclusively. Are the coaches really ready to ride with Cody Thomas in a pinch?