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February 11, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Jake Trotter

Jake Trotter
  (4:02 PM)

K, guys let's get rolling

Jack (Dallas )

Jake, thanks for all your hard work. So what are you hearing about coach Patton. He he leave for Indiana of his own volition or was he forced out by coach Stoops? Also, I keep hearing Mangino named mentioned as a possible replacement. What is the pct of Mangino returning to the team? Would hiring Mangino be a preemptive move in case that either Heupel or Norvell leave the team? Both Heupel and Norvell have been flirting with other teams.

Jake Trotter
  (4:05 PM)

Thanks, Jack. To me, this smacks of the Willie Martinez situation. Going to Indiana to coach special teams is not a step up for someone who is coaching o-line at OU. Mangino is a possible candidate to replace Patton, but he's not the only candidate. If OU did hire Mangino, I don't think it would be a preemptive move to have a backup coordinator in place. The hire would be done on its own merit, and OU could go get Mangino to coordinate down the line likely if they wanted.

LASooner28 (Manhattan Beach, CA)

I think OU is going to miss James Patton more than people realized. He worked wonders putting together a badly injured line week in and week out. Do you have any feelers yet on who the Sooners might be looking at to replace him??

Jake Trotter
  (4:06 PM)

I don't have any solid yet on the replacement options, but I've heard rumors of a couple of guys. The job is attractive and should get plenty of suitors. People didn't realize how much they'd miss Kevin Wilson until he was gone, too.

JakeJones (Okc)

Do you think there will be more coaching shake up's? I have heard rumors that a defensive assistant coach could be replaced.

Jake Trotter
  (4:06 PM)

I've heard the same rumors, but ultimately I think this is the only move that will be made this year.

James Patton (Norman -> Indiana)

I feel like I did a pretty good job recruiting and dealing with the OL issues. Who will replace me?

Jake Trotter
  (4:07 PM)

You could easily make the argument that Patton had a better year than other OU assistants, and no one had more adversity with his position group than JP.

Tony Andre (Miami Beach, FL)

Hey Jake. I see that Patton is going. Even though I kind of wish Kittle would've bounced too, you don't really think Mangino is the hire here do you? I feel we need some good energy in the program. We need the next Sumlin or Kevin Wilson I think (wishful thinking I know).

Jake Trotter
  (4:08 PM)

Everyone has assumed that Mangino would be the slam dunk replacement. I don't believe it's a slam dunk.

Justin B (Canada)

So did the OL coach leave on his own, or was this to make room for Mangino?

Jake Trotter
  (4:08 PM)

Would you go from coaching at OU to coaching at Indiana, all things being equal?

Jim S (Los Angeles)

Stanford, SC and OU are looking for OL coaches. Please rank the jobs.

Jake Trotter
  (4:09 PM)

1. OU, 2. Stanford, 3. USC (sanctions)

John (Tulsa, OK)

Hey Jake,Rumor has it Trevor Knight has been killing it in winter workouts with a 380 bench and other numerous impressive numbers. It has also been rumored that he has been throwing the ball really well this winter. With coaches saying they likely won't name a starter until August unless one of the 3 dominates could you see Knight winning the job? Thanks!

Jake Trotter
  (4:10 PM)

I wrote about the QB derby for SoonerNation today, and I agree and/or have heard everything you mention. I still believe the job is Bell's to lose. However, if Bell struggles and opens the door, Knight is very capable of taking the job for good. Should be an interesting offseason.

Ezeukul (west pole) [via mobile]

Is this the deepest we've ever been at the skill players pos.? I think with a top 30 def we could be grubbin some tostidos.

Jake Trotter
  (4:11 PM)

No, I don't think this is even close to the best group. 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008 and even 2012 all seem like better skill groups to me.

James (OKC)

Jake, will you be attending any of the spring ball practices? I'm interested in knowing what is going on with our young players. Also, can you clarify the status (within the team) of the following players: Jaz Reynalds, Daniel Brooks, Tylor McNamera, Nathan Hughes, Quentin Hayes, Marquise Anderson, and Denzel Williams? I guess I want to know who is healthy and in good standing with Stoops.

Jake Trotter
  (4:13 PM)

I will be covering spring ball extensively. Danzel Williams is off the team, and Marquis Anderson's status is tenuous coming off a 2nd-half-of-the season suspension. Reynolds will have a shot to play this spring, but he has a lot to prove on and off the field. Same with Hayes. McNamara is coming off shoulder surgery but should end up being the No. 1 TE. Brooks is looking pretty good considering the gruesome knee injury he suffered in high school.

Jim (Oklahoma)

Losing so many players this year. Which side are you more concerned with our Defense or Offense?

Jake Trotter
  (4:14 PM)

Defense by a landslide.

Justin B (Canada)

Can you do a whole chat on OU Basketball?

Jake Trotter
  (4:14 PM)

Don't think I'd get enough questions.

Justin B (Canada)

A lot of fans want T Knight at qb, saying that B Bell isnt an accurate passer. Any truth to that, or is this just the backup qb syndrome?

Jake Trotter
  (4:15 PM)

The backup QB is always a hero -- until he actually gets to play.

Ron (Muskogee)

How did you rank our recruiting class? Who are your projected instant impact players?

Jake Trotter
  (4:16 PM)

ESPN ranked it 16th. I think Byrd, Taylor, Thomas, Ward, Dimon and Ford are all freshmen that could contribute right away.

Soonerfandave8 (OK)

Enough speculation about who replaces Patton, who is going to be actually playing in the spots he coached? Ikard Evans and Shead(granted the are healthy)?

Jake Trotter
  (4:17 PM)

Evans and Kasitati are supposed to be limited participants in spring ball. Shead's back is worrying me -- and seems to be worrying them, which is why they brought in Dionte Savage. If I had to guess, the starting lineup will be RG Irwin, C Ikard and LG Shead/Savage/Evans, although they could go C Darlington LG Ikard.

Frank (OKC)

If Stoops did in fact hire Mangino, would that put greater pressure on Josh Heupel? It just seems like the fans have not been too happy with his play calling and a hire of this kind would only put Josh under even greater scrutiny

Jake Trotter
  (4:18 PM)

Eh, I don't think so. I think Bob would manage that so there would be clearly defined roles.

Jack (Tallahassee, FL)

What is your early prediction for the starting spot alongside Colvin at corner? Stanvon, LJ Moore, or someone already on campus? Based on Stoops' tone on signing day, I think i'll go with Stanvon.

Jake Trotter
  (4:19 PM)

Yeah, I'm buying it, too. Cortez Johnson will have the first shot, but Taylor seems to be Colvin Jr.

Jason (Ardmore)

How many conference victories do you think MBB will get and do they get in tourney and what seed?

Jake Trotter
  (4:19 PM)

Yes, and eight seed.

Jeff (Thornton,CO)

Nice call Jake, on the Patton move!!! Makes sense he went to Indiana since I believe Wilson is the one who pushed for his hiring from their Northwestern days. So...Mangino not a slam dunk??? Could Chuck Long be in the mix???? Maybe with some change in coaching assignments???

Jake Trotter
  (4:20 PM)

Chuck Long coaches QBs, so I don't think that would be a good fit. They need a proven OL coach, especially since Kittle is so inexperienced.

Byron Dale (Jenks)

I know Jalen Saunders did some spot duty punt return work last year but a guy (if healthy) that I would love to see back there is Daniel Brooks, any idea if he has recovered from his knee injury and what position they see him playing?

Jake Trotter
  (4:21 PM)

Yeah, if he's healthy, they'll give him a look.

sj (waco)

Jake, you said in your "8 simple rules" article yesterday that Gary Simon's standing was "tenuous at best". I'm not sure what you mean by that. Can you elaborate for those of us outside the rumor mill?

Jake Trotter
  (4:22 PM)

Simon is in hot water for some off the field issues, which is why I have a hard time seeing him emerge as the starting CB opposite Colvin.

Kris (Des Moines)

Aren't the coaching changes to the coaching staff just covering up the fact that Stoops hasn't gotten to job done? It smacks of what Mack Brown is doing down in Auston. They both need to look in mirror in my opinion.

Ben (IA)

who are you hearing is the leading OL coach candidate? How soon will hire be?

Jake Trotter
  (4:24 PM)

I think they would like to make a hire before the second junior day. Definitely before spring ball, which starts March 5.

Brad (Norman)

Any chance we at least entertain the idea of hiring someone without ties to Bob and Mike? Hearing West Virginia's OL coach could be a candidate and he has ties to Mike. We need someone with a physical attitude rather than finesse!

Daniel (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

You hearing anything about WV's Bill Bedenbaugh being a candidate for the O-Line coaching position at OU????

Jake Trotter
  (4:25 PM)

I believe that's one possibility. What will be interesting is that Alabama and USC are looking for o-line coaches, too. How that will affect OU's search, I'm not sure.

Soonerfandave84 (OK)

Jake, any word on DJ Ward and Ahmad Thomas? I think they should play next year and coming in early is going to help a lot.

Jake Trotter
  (4:25 PM)

No doubt. But guys could fight for playing time early, and Thomas, perhaps even a starting role.

Zach (Washington)

Who do you see from this years recruiting class making an immediate impact next season, if anyone?

Jake Trotter
  (4:26 PM)

Ward, Dimon, Taylor, Thomas, Byrd, Ford and the juco guys.

JakeJones (Okc)

Do you think recruiting played into Patton's "Moving On"?

Jake Trotter
  (4:26 PM)

Hard to say that Patton has recruited worse than other positions on the team.

JakeJones (Okc)

Are you surprised it was Patton that left and not Kittle? Seems like Patton was more qualified than Kittle as a coach.

Jake Trotter
  (4:28 PM)

Not surprised. I actually had heard this might happen last year. So maybe it was just a matter of time. But it's hard to argue Kittle deserved to stay over Patton, going off recruiting and on-field performance.

Arthur (Haskell)

We lost a lot of talent but I think we did a good job of getting linemen, and secondary replacements? Secondary/defense better or worse this year?

Jake Trotter
  (4:28 PM)

Worse.

Tony A (Miami beach)

2000? I don't think you could compare guys like Savage, Fagan, and Woolfolk to today's skill guys. 2003... maybe. But agree completely with you on 2004 and 2008.

Jake Trotter
  (4:29 PM)

You're forgetting Quentin Griffin.

Benjamin (Washington, DC)

Look at Patton's haul over the past few years and you can put it up against anyone's. Not to mention how he coached guys up.

Jake Trotter
  (4:29 PM)

Ty Darlington was a terrific pull. He was a rotation player as a freshman, and played well.

Logan (Norman)

What about Kendall Thompson? Barry Switzer seems to think he's the man for the job. Any chance he'll come into play this spring?

Jake Trotter
  (4:30 PM)

He's the darkhorse. But I think the odds favor Bell and Knight.

Jeff (Dallas)

You think the defense will be worse?! Can it really get any worse?

Jake Trotter
  (4:30 PM)

The secondary will be... how could it be better losing 3 key starters?

Soonerfandave84 (OK)

Of the big 3 in OK next year(Parker, Hansen, and Clark) Which is the best get? Im saying Parker, but a case can be made for the others as well.

Jake Trotter
  (4:31 PM)

Given where OU needs help, I'd say Parker is the most important get. Though Hansen clearly is OU's QB target at the moment, and Clark could be a Top 50 prospect nationally.

sj (waco)

I know other schools use Kittle's lack of experience against him, but how many guys will he have to put in the NFL before that starts to fade? Not sure he always gets a fair shake...

Jake Trotter
  (4:32 PM)

He's on his way to putting Lane Johnson in, which helps combat that a bunch.

Tony (Fort Worth)

What are you hearing about that Juco DT that didn't sign (I forget his name)? Do we have a good chance at landing him or is he still headed to the SEC?

Jake Trotter
  (4:33 PM)

Toby Johnson? Auburn is the favorite to land him, followed by Miss. St and then OU.

Dr Oot (Green Country)

I love all these dooms day'ers. "It's all Bob's fault, he should look in the mirror." Yeah Bob has no idea what he's doing, can't remember the last time we won the conference, gave UT a butt whooping, or won 10 games.

Adam (TN)

With OU trying to gain a strong foot hold in Cali, do you think Stoops would ever look at hiring one of the USC coaches that left the program? Polamalu is one that comes to mind.

Jake Trotter
  (4:34 PM)

I mean, that would be one of many options he might consider. I haven't heard that one, though, specifically.

Mike (Stroud)

Wasn't Blake Bell originally recruited because he was a good passer? The running came later?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

Correct, he was recruited for his arm. People forget that.

Robert (Dallas )

I don't know his name but that UCLA OL coach sure did a number on Patton. Do you know if OU is looking at him at all?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

I have not heard that, either.

Wilcon (Merry bike)

Can lj Moore make an immediate impact?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

Sure, but if I have to pick him or Taylor, I'm picking Taylor.

Jeff (Dallas)

Better job for coaching O-line: OU or USC?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

Only one of those schools isn't facing sanctions.

OklahomaJC [via mobile]

Mr. Trotter, Can you fill me in on who will be Stoops' QB, as well as what offensive approach we'll see now that Landry Jones is gone ? I, myself don't see Blake Bell slinging the ball around fifty times per game. Thank you.

Jake Trotter
  (4:36 PM)

I don't either. Even though Heupel has indicated to the contrary, I think they have to tailor the offense to Bell's skill set, which probably means fewer 4 and 5 WR sets.

Robert Chadwick (San Antonio,Texas)

What are your thoughts on Kendall Thompson it seems the buzz on who will win the starting qb job is centered around Blake Bell and Trevor Knight.

Jake Trotter
  (4:37 PM)

I like Kendal. Good feet, good work ethic. But going off what I've been told by several people who get to watch practice, Knight is the bigger threat to Bell.

Soonerfandave84 (OK)

Jake, all 5 of the guys in this class in the secondary could play in some capacity next season with 2014 Taylor Moore Byrd and Thomas could be a very young but talented group an DE may be grown up by then too. Plus DT should be more stable so it seems LB is really the only issue on D in 2014. I think OU has a good chance to run the table that year, whats your take.

Jake Trotter
  (4:38 PM)

No doubt OU figures to be better in 2014 than 2013.

Benjamin (Washington, DC)

Hey Jake. I feel for Patton, I think he was the wrong goat.If not Mangino, then who?

Jake Trotter
  (4:39 PM)

Yeah, me too. Really good guy also. Down to earth, low key -- unique qualities for a college-level coach.

Bill (Norman)

Is Shipp the other coach you are hearing about being replaced?

Jake Trotter
  (4:39 PM)

I've been led to believe there's been some tension with Shipp and his job performance, but I don't believe he's getting replaced.

Benjamin (Washington, DC)

People have seen Blake Bell throw maybe 20 times in game, most of those being run first type plays. Bell can spin it.

Daniel (Tulsa, Ok)

Bill Bedenbaugh has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Patton, what are your thoughts Jake???

Jake Trotter
  (4:41 PM)

Not so sure he's the leading candidate at this point as much as A candidate.

Clint (Texas)

Is Drew Allen an after thought at QB? Assuming he stays.

Jake Trotter
  (4:41 PM)

He's not staying.

Mike (Stroud)

I know there are a lot of comparisons that call Bell a bigger Klein, but what well know QB would you compare Knightr to?

Jake Trotter
  (4:42 PM)

Similarities to Manziel, although Knight is bigger and not as shifty or fast.

sj (waco)

Jake, just trying to rationalize why the change with Patton. Any chance that OU is looking at going with a differrent scheme, i.e. less of a zone blocking scheme, perhaps a more physical approach?

Jake Trotter
  (4:43 PM)

No, and if they did, I don't know why that would cause them to feel they needed to change OL coaches.

Clint (Texas)

I hope stoops doesn't hire someone that's in the past been one of his buddies for OL.

TG (Tulsa)

What about former OU lineman Brad Davis ? He is a OL coach somewhere.

Jake Trotter
  (4:43 PM)

Yep

Jeff (Fort Worth)

Aside from USC still facing sanctions, it seems to me that Bob Stoops has much greater job security than Lane kiffen. Also, i feel that OU would atleast be able to match whatever USC paid. So yes, I agree with you, at the moment OU does seem to be the better job.

Bill (Norman)

Polamalu coached RBs at So Cal

Boneman (Norman)

Jake, don't you think half the questions people ask you on here would be answered if they joined as insiders and read the forums?

Jake Trotter
  (4:44 PM)

Yes, I do.

Jeff (Fort Worth)

A few months ago Stoops said something about turnover not being conducive to sustained success. Then he goes out and replaces another coach. It is so difficult to understand and anticipate what Stoops is thinking and what he plans to do next

Logan (Norman)

What's the bright spot for our team next year? Seems to be a lot of doom and gloom lately around Norman.

Jake Trotter
  (4:45 PM)

Still some firepower offensively. As Jay Norvell said last week, the QB battle will "energize" the rest of the offense. And maybe some scheme tinkering will energize the defense, too. Honestly, there's not a game on the schedule that OU can't win next season, even though I don't think they'll have Top 10 talent.

Brandon (SLC)

Can you remember an offseason with so much uncertainty? Feels like the only real candidate would be 2006 with the Bomar situation.

Jake Trotter
  (4:46 PM)

2009, there was a lot of uncertainty, though that was after the season started. Yeah, this one ranks up there, especially with the new QB.

TG (Tulsa)

I heard Bobby Jack may retire ????

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

That rumor (BJW going to director of football operations) has been around for a year or so, too, but I don't see it happening.

Clint (Texas)

People keep saying about how great the kid from Edmond is(forgo his name) but according to scout he's a 3 star and the 18th ranked qb. That's nothing too get all worked up about considering Cody Thomas was ranked higher and tougher competion.

Jake Trotter
  (4:48 PM)

ESPN scouts really like Hansen. I put a lot of stock into what our scouts say. I can vouch for them. They do their homework, big time.

JakeJones (Okc)

Which players have the most to gain from the upcoming combine? Can Lane Johnson make it to the first round?

Jake Trotter
  (4:48 PM)

No doubt. The question now is, can he make into the Top 15 of the first round.

Jeff (Dallas)

Well, I'll agree with you on the secondary being worse this year, but given that was a strength last year, I am hoping that improvements elsewhere (front seven)will make the 2013 D better overall.

Jake Trotter
  (4:49 PM)

You and Mike Stoops both.

Mark (Tulsa)

Is there any speculation on why Patton left? Was it because of poor recruiting numbers?

Jake Trotter
  (4:49 PM)

Again, I don't believe that Patton's recruiting was worse than a couple of other OU assistants'

Jeff (Dallas)

Do you see a potential position change for Kittle? I'd like to see one man coaching the line and think that only coaching guards could be a deterent to good O-line coaching candidates...

Jake Trotter
  (4:50 PM)

That might be a possibility. OU had always gone with 1 o-line coach before Kittle was hired.

Kliff (Tulsa )

I can't imagine Stoops pulling a Willie Martinez on Patton if Stoops did not already have a list of coaches that he plans on interviewing. I think our OL performed rather well considering all the injuries, but the recruiting and run blocking has been subpar for a number of seasons. I like Mangino, but I would prefer to de a much younger coach take Patton's spot. It seems that most coaches are realizing the benefit of having a young coach that recruits can identify with.

Jake Trotter
  (4:51 PM)

Mike Gundy went young with all three of his hires. Fact is, this staff is getting older. Heupel, I think, is the youngest, and he's, what, 37?

Jeff (Tulsa)

I feel like bell is going to bring a lot of drive & determination to the table , like tebow did for the gators. He gets pretty fired up when he plays which I think is going to push the team to play harder, a maybe wrong but I think we're at least going to win the division. Do you agree?

Jake Trotter
  (4:51 PM)

No, I'm not predicting OU to win the Big 12 right now.

NateHeupel (Oklahoma)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Stanvon Taylor was promised a legit shot at WR in order to keep him from straying. Why do we think he'll get a look at CB before LJ Moore does?

Jake Trotter
  (4:52 PM)

They brought in Taylor to play CB. He could end up at WR, but they're going to sell him on the chance of playing early as a CB.

Bob (L A )

Is Landry Jones a first rounder? Who else do you see getting drafted aside from L. Johnson and T. Jefferson?

Jake Trotter
  (4:53 PM)

No. Maybe not even a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Stills will get drafted. After that, I don't know. Hurst, Harris, and King have a chance to be late-round picks.

Dr Oot (Green Country)

Can we steal Wickline from OSU?

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

No, but that would be a coup de grace hire.

Sgt. Friday (Facts, OK)

Any word on your stuff getting stolen out of your car, was it the jail breakers?

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

No word yet. Just got the estimate on the damage done to my car -- $1,900. That doesn't include the ipad that was jacked, either.

Kris (Des Moines)

PSA: Landry Jones has not been a first rounder since he decided to come back last year.. Stop asking...

Jeff (Dallas)

Was Demontre Hurst not invited to the NFL combine? He was solid to great at OU, and I feel like that is a mistake. What's the knock on him?

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

He was not. I was surprised, too. Especially with McGee and Wort getting the invite over him.

Clint (Texas)

Do you just do OU football? Or is it all OU athletics.

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

95 percent OU football.

sj (waco)

I realize its a big if, but looking at the schedule next year, it seems to me that if OU could get through Texas undefeated the rest of the schedule sets up really well for them the run the table. Not making a prediction, just pointing out the fact that the schedule looks frontloaded

Jake Trotter
  (4:56 PM)

I don't know about that. Stillwater is the second-toughest game on the schedule, and it's the season finale. Wouldn't sleep on Waco, either.

Jeff (Dallas)

Of the top instate kids for the 14 class, who are we most likely to land?

Jake Trotter
  (4:57 PM)

Hansen and Parker seem like OU's to lose at this point.

Adam (TN)

I bet someone from aTm stole your wallet. I mean they stole plenty from OU this year already.

Bob (L A )

Jake there is also some inherent danger in going with coaches that are young. Some of these guys may be good recruiters that players can identify with but can they really coach. Junior always gets a bunch of 2* and 3* recruits, and yet little Bro seems to have some of the best lines all the time

Jake Trotter
  (4:58 PM)

Fair point. You can't even evaluate OSU's o-line recruits, but Wickline has such a track record of developing his guys. Development is something overlooked, but very important. Recruiting, however, is important, too.

Kris (Des Moines)

I have queezy feeling in my gut tonight. Please tell me OU doesn't give back what they earned with a loss to TCU tonight...Please...

Jake Trotter
  (4:59 PM)

I actually think TCU is going to go 1-17 in the Big 12.

Jake Trotter
  (5:00 PM)

Guys, that's it for today. Thanks for all the questions. It's been an eventful day in Sooner Nation. An eventful day in Trotter Nation, too. Wish me luck on tracking down my ipad. I already miss it. See you all next Monday.

Jake Trotter
  (5:00 PM)

Guys, that's it for today. Thanks for all the questions. It's been an eventful day in Sooner Nation. An eventful day in Trotter Nation, too. Wish me luck on tracking down my ipad. I already miss it. See you all next Monday.