Bob Stoops finalized the reorganization of his coaching staff on Monday. Everything went according to plan – if we're talking about the head coach's plan and no one else's.
Bringing in Kerry Cooks from Notre Dame to coach defensive backs didn't surprise anyone. Neither did hiring Dennis Simmons of Washington State as a receivers coach.
On the other hand, the only people who saw Cale Gundy joining Simmons as a receivers coach are liars. Gundy rightfully has earned a reputation as one of the best running backs coaches in the nation. With the shift to the Air Raid, maybe Stoops wants an ace recruiter overseeing the pass catchers? Even so, moving Gundy out of his wheelhouse in exchange for Jay Boulware comes off as odd.
But if the news about Gundy was strange, the moves – or lack thereof – on the other side of the ball might leave Stoops open to even greater scrutiny.
If you had linebackers coach Tim Kish keeping his job, you were in the distinct minority. Kish has struggled mightily in the last three years to recruit linebackers to OU, which is magnified in a 3-4 defense. That has left the squad perilously thin at the position.
To be fair, the lack of bodies at linebacker has made evaluating the performance of the position group nearly impossible. However, few would argue that the play of the LBs has really stood out under Kish's watch.
Maybe they're just missing the tender loving care of Mike Stoops. We'll find out this fall, as OU's defensive coordinator will now oversee the outside linebackers. (Kish has the inside positions.)
Frankly, the decisions regarding the D feel like the head honcho is really sticking his neck out. Kish has turned into a message board scapegoat for everything that is wrong with OU's program right now. Meanwhile, Mike took so much heat for his defensive schemes last season that the possibility of Bob canning his brother didn't seem particularly absurd.
If the defense doesn't take some major steps forward in 2015, retaining Kish will undoubtedly become a talking point regarding Bob's fitness to continue as the Sooners' head coach.