Sooners developing depth at defensive back

New defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is looking to find ways to handle the explosive offenses of the Big 12. In 2011, the Sooners often had multiple linebackers on the field, regardless of the opponent's offensive personnel. This season, Oklahoma could have as many as six defensive backs on the field at the same time.

“We may play six DBs if we have to,” Stoops said. “You can’t have linebackers matched up on the skill position players we see, week in and week out.”

All too often in 2011, OU linebackers or safeties were chasing speedy receivers all over the field. Stoops has been trying to develop depth in the secondary, noting that several players including Julian Wilson, Jesse Paulsen and Quentin Hayes are helping to create added depth in the defensive backfield.

“They’re giving us depth and that’s what I really like,” Stoops said.

Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Baylor are just a few of OU’s Big 12 foes who often attack defenses with four or five receiver sets and rotate their reps among several receivers.

“We don’t want that advantage always slanted to the offense,” Stoops said. “Sometimes you have to have more defensive backs. We have to try to find better matchups when we play these speed, perimeter teams.”