Alex Grinch did some good things for the Oklahoma Sooners during his tenure as defense coordinator. Yet it never reached the heights many expected. They played flash games in which they looked really good, and then in the rest the defense would struggle to slow down Spencer Sanders in Bedlam.
It’s a place where great excitement comes from hiring Brent Venables as head coach. He has probably been the best defense coordinator in the country over the last decade and has more than 20 years of success to rely on. Despite the turnaround on the defensive side of the ball, Venables is the one who has people who are optimistic that the Sooners will not only keep on defense but also show progress.
Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports went through the Big 12 and offered some “exaggerated reactions” to what he saw this spring. Based on their spring game, Jeyarajah believes Oklahoma’s defense has improved.
It’s only been five months, but the Oklahoma team that came out on the field in their spring game looks significantly different from the one that collapsed against Oklahoma State. Defensive players have already begun to show improvements in fundamentals and position awareness. Brent Venables is one of the great defense minds in the country and has become an expert in teaching defense. Between plan and positioning, the Oklahoma defense will be one of the most advanced units in the state. – Shehan Jeyarajah, CBS Sports
As a unit, the defense flew around during the spring game, often coming to the ball carrier with multiple strikers. They looked comfortable in the new scheme and still have a lot of talent yet to break into the scene.
For the Oklahoma Sooners to return to the top of the Big 12 this year with a Big 12 championship, they will need defense to make a big leap under Venables and defense coordinator Ted Roof. The attack should be good, but the defense needs to be more consistent than it sometimes was during the 2021 season.
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