Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Stoops waiting to make call on Bradford
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops' announcement that he's willing to wait perhaps until Saturday to decide on Sam Bradford's availability is significant.
If Bradford was unable to play this week against Miami, I think Stoops would have said so. But the fact that he's stretching the decision out for a couple of more days indicates that Bradford's recovery is such that he could play Saturday night against the Hurricanes.
Obviously, Stoops has to be careful about his call. But he said he would make his decision after watching Bradford in practice, consulting doctors and seeing if Bradford can do the things necessary to operate the Sooners' offense.
"I'd love to give you an answer so I don't have to answer it the entire week," Stoops said. "But it's too early to get the answer. I'm not able to give the answer yet until we see what Sam is capable of throughout the week."
Bradford sustained a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder in the Sooners' 14-13 season-opening loss to BYU on Sept. 5.
Bradford has returned to throwing and Stoops has been pleased with his early work.
"I will say to this point that everything he has done last week and this week as we have progressed, he has handled well," Stoops said. "He has not had any setbacks. That's positive in that everything he has been going through and done he has handled in a positive way and made daily progress. That part is encouraging, but it's too early to determine his status for Saturday."
Stoops said that the Oklahoma offense won't change if backup Landry Jones plays. Jones passed for a school-record six touchdown passes in the Sooners' most recent victory against Tulsa on Sept. 19.
"We are still very confident in what Landry Jones has been able to do to this point of the year," Stoops said. "He continues to be more and more back there. He has executed and handled himself incredibly well. That gives you a good feeling regardless of Sam's situation."
But if Bradford was definitely out, Stoops would have mentioned it. He went to great lengths at his press conference to say he wasn't cloaking anything for Miami.
"They've watched us the last two weeks without Sam," Stoops said. "In the end, we aren't a different offense. You have an advantage if a guy plays or not if you have a different style of offense and you bring somebody else. That's not a big deal."
In other news from the Sooners' news conference:
- Stoops said that the baseball infield at Land Shark Stadium would be replaced before Saturday's game. Some had wondered if the Sooners' speed would be negated if they had to play on part of the field still having a baseball infield.
- Stoops said that injured tight end Jermaine Gresham will declare for the draft after the season and won't return to college, despite his season-ending knee injury.
- Stoops also said he doesn't anticipate middle linebacker Mike Balogun being able to play this year after he was decertified by the NCAA for playing semi-professional football after he turned 21. "Right now, I don't see it happening this year," Stoops said. "It's not likely."