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Football Talk

Some quick hits on items of interest.

OU center Ben Habern is out for a month with a broken arm. In OU training staff time, that's about four days with the help of a household stapler, ridicule, and lidocaine. This is a notable development. He's one of their better O-Lineman and makes the protection calls for a pass-heavy offense. He'll be replaced by LG Gabe Ikard which means Stephen Good is back in the starting line-up. No doubt Diaz is interested in testing Ikard with some looks in Dallas to see what his uptake is.

Nolan Brewster is leaving the program because of concussions. We wish him the very best and success in all he does. He was logging some productive snaps and he's a great program guy. Does that create an opportunity for Christian Scott? I don't know. He was in the doghouse long before the car repo. He's listed 2nd on the depth chart behind Gideon, but I suspect Phillips is the true back up. Interestingly, the coaches have had Scott returning kicks too.

I expect one of Quandre Diggs, Adrian Phillips, or Carrington Byndom to start at one safety spot next year. My early money is on AP. I'm not optimistic about Kenny Vaccaro's return - the NFL has to notice what we are seeing every week. 215 pound safeties who like to thump with legitimate coverage skills don't grow on trees.

DeMarco Cobbs and Chet Moss are back and that means the cup of LB depth brimmeth over. There's an immediate role for Cobbs given his athleticism and aptitude for blitzing. Similarly, he's a potential impact guy on special teams. I'm not sure where Moss fits in so long as Steve Edmond stays under 265, but I'm pretty sure our return and coverage teams could use another physical, reliable tackler.

Talked to some people close to the program and they're concerned that Justin Tucker kicked his leg out in Fall camp. Punting and kicking put different stresses on you and though the staff was very conscious of his reps, he has lost something - most evident on kickoffs. His leg will come back when it does. I can't get an answer on why Will Russ couldn't spell him. Presumably not yet ready for prime time.

What's up with DJ Monroe? It's one thing to replace him with Marquise on kick returns, but now that they're interested in preserving Goodwin and spelling him from the unit, they're going with Fozzy to pair with Diggs. At least that's according to Mack Brown's Monday press conference. However, the depth chart shows a pairing of DJ Monroe with Fozzy. I'll be monitoring DJ's opportunities against ISU to see if there's a larger potential issue. We've only returned one kick this year to the 40. We've got a kick return issue. Not a kick returner issue.

Lots of concerns about QB depth. Mykkele Thompson has been tabbed for emergency duty and was running QB drills this week.