“One of the biggest ways it’s been different for me is Landry being gone,” Bell said. “He’s usually been taking the No. 1s and me, Drew, Trevor and Kendal have been taking the twos and threes. This time it’s been odd because now it’s us. We take control.”
OU’s coaches haven’t talked about which quarterbacks are getting what reps in practice. Obviously, the foot injury to sophomore Kendal Thompson, which will have him on the mend for all of training camp, has created an even bigger opportunity for Bell and Trevor Knight. Every play — and there are hundreds during a training camp practice — is chance to make a quality impression.
“It opens it up a little bit,” Knight said. “We’d obviously like to have him out there. He pushes, us and he’s a great guy to be around. But, yeah, with two guys out there — and (true freshman Cody Thomas) is taking some good reps as well — but it opens things up a little bit and it’s always good to get more reps in the offense; that will make anybody better.”
At some point, one of them will reach the level of the starter. It’s not an easy bar to get over. Heupel said Saturday that OU’s quarterback will be expected to play at a “championship” level when he steps onto Owen Field Aug. 31 in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. The idea of a learning curve isn’t part of the decision-making process.
When that determination will be comes down to feel by the coaching staff.
“Don’t have a target date,” Stoops said. “Again, I go back, this isn’t anything new to us. I know you don’t want to hear it (but) we’ve won eight Big 12 championships with six different quarterbacks. Not one or two: six. Our method of doing it has been fairly successful, and we feel good about what these guys are doing. We’ll keep bringing them along the way we feel we need to.”