In preparation for the start of the 2023 season, Oklahoma Football had its annual media day on Tuesday. There was a lot to take in from the entire day's session, which was attended by the coaching staff of the Sooners as well as a handful of newcomers.
Brent Venables and his staff entered Oklahoma's second season with optimism, yet the real test will come when Oklahoma takes the field in 2023.
Here are five lessons learned from the day's conference.
1. A More & Improved Competitive Depth
If I had a dollar for every time a member of the media used the term "competitive depth," I could go to Bruam's and get a double cheeseburger combo and a shake.
What was a problem last year is no more. Compared to 2022, the Oklahoma Sooners are a significantly stronger team. Some of that is because of the transfer additions they made, and a lot of it is because all the guys that were here in year one have improved physically and mentally. in particular, the freshman.
The program's expanded experience was frequently mentioned. from a deeper comprehension of duties on the field to a clearer awareness of expectations on and off the field.
This season, the Sooners' depth and talent should help them out in the closing minutes of games. The spread, money line, and total are the three most common ways to wager on the Super Bowl. When you click on bet on the super bowl in the days before the Big Game, the majority of sportsbooks will list these as the primary alternatives.
2. Confident and improved bunch
The Oklahoma Sooners sounded like a squad that had placed the 2022 season in the rearview mirror, starting with the coaches.
as they ought to. Compared to a year ago, this team has seen significant change. In many areas, they'll be younger, but there's a chance they'll be stronger there. Like cornerback, where a more physically fit, rugged, and athletic bunch will emerge with players like Gentry Williams and rookies Jacobe Johnson, Jasiah Wagoner, and Makari Vickers competing.
3. The Need for Speed
There are a few players who have distinguished themselves with their exceptional speed, even if the wide receiver position battle has yet to be settled. Each of Gavin Freeman, Brenen Thompson, and Jaquaize Pettaway has an additional tool that might aid Oklahoma in producing huge plays in both the passing and reversal games.
The Denver Broncos' Marvin Mims is in training camp, so the Oklahoma Sooners need a serious downfield threat to start the intermediate game. They appear to have such choices.
4. Offensive Line Almost Set
There was hope about the Oklahoma Sooners up front despite losing three-fifths of their offensive line to the NFL due to multiple transfer additions made over the prior couple of years.
Additionally, three of Oklahoma's starting offensive lineman this fall came from different institutions as the Sooners prepare for their fall training camp.
According to Jeff Lebby, here is how the offensive line now stands as they enter their first week of practice.
There are several players vying for the starting position at left guard as well as a berth on the two deep. At left guard for the Oklahoma Sooners, Caleb Shaffer, Jake Taylor, Savion Byrd, Cayden Green, and Troy Everett will compete for the starting position.
5. Third and Fourth Downs
Efficiency down the field and over long distances was a hot topic among coaches on both sides of the ball.
The Oklahoma Sooners must not only improve their ability to convert on third and fourth downs, but also improve their position by converting on first and second down.
Additionally, they must consecutively string together effective offensive plays and ineffective defensive plays.
The best approach to be effective on third down is to simply avoid the down altogether, as Jeff Lebby stated during his time with the media on Tuesday. The Sooners must make the most of their opportunities on defense by avoiding allowing third-and-long conversions, something they frequently did last season.