Last weekend the Oklahoma Sooner got a scare as they took nearly all 60 minutes to finally finish off the UTEP Miners. For lots of Sooner fans(many of which I heard from in the past 48 hours), this past weekend was a full on nightmare. And for many of them, the boogeyman in their nightmare is Sooners quarterback Landry Jones.
Please keep in mind the Sooners did win by 17 points, and the defense pitched a shutout, with the Miners scoring their only touchdown off a blocked punt.
They did get gashed for several long runs by talented UTEP running back Nathan Jefferey, but all in all the defensive effort was solid.
So, if this Sooner team is expected to compete for a Big 12 title and a BCS bowl bid, the offense is the side of the football that must improve. The offensive line is young and inexperienced, same for the wide outs, and the running back situation is sorting itself out. What’s left? It’s the quarterback. If you were the Sooners coaching staff, do you consider benching Landry Jones in hopes of jump starting the Sooner offense?
Anyone who’s read my work over the years knows that I have never been a huge Jones fan. I have always felt like he lacked the confidence and leadership needed to be a truly great quarterback. I don’t know Jones personally, but I do understand body language and how a confident person carries themselves. I’ve never seen anything from Jones that shows he commands this offense or his teammates.
But if the Sooner do bench him, who do they bench him for? The senior(or should I say junior) member of the depth chart is junior Drew Allen. Allen is relatively untested, and while all indications are he’s got gobs of talent, he’s never been able to crack the lineup far enough in to show us anything.
No my friends, if the Sooners want to shake things up, bring in someone who can command the team and run the offense, you bring in sophomore Blake Bell, aka the “Bell-dozer”. I know what you are thinking. “But Curt, Bell is just a runner, and can’t throw the football.” You couldn’t be more wrong. Coming out of high school Bell was the #6 pro-style quarterback in country. At Bishop Carroll high school Bell was able to run and throw with great success. He’s spent plenty of time in the past 2 seasons working on his passing game as well as his ability to doze over defenders for short yardage touchdowns. His body has changed a ton since high school. He’s gone from a tall lanky runner to someone resembling Tim Tebow. And as he’s gotten stronger, his arm has improved.
I will even take it a step further and say that if the Sooner really want to see what they have they should start Bell this week against Florida A&M at home. This team isn’t nearly as talented as UTEP and would be a perfect stage to compare the 2. Split the game like an NFL team would a preseason game. Send Jones in for the first half, and Bell the second and vice versa. If not for this year, next year for sure, let’s see what this team has to look forward to.
This is of course a hypothetical, but it’s a scenario, especially next week, this team should explore. After the Florida A&M game they get an off week and dive right into a conference battle with Kansas State. What would be the harm of 2 quarters with Bell under center? I doubt it can hurt Jones’ confidence, because I never get the impression he plays with a ton of it. I have been a Sooners fan for 20 years, and I want to see them win every week, and for me I want the staff to do everything in their power to make that happen. If that means making a change at quarterback for the good of the team, then so be it.