October 11, 2006

Manuel Johnson adds new dimension

Oklahoma has always been successful in following up a victory or a loss to Texas in the Bob Stoops era. The Sooners now take on Iowa State this Saturday in Norman with an offense looking to rebound from a 10-point performance against Texas.

While there are several questions about the strength of the Oklahoma offense outside the program, the return of Manuel Johnson is providing a nice boost for Paul Thompson and the OU offense. Wide receiver coach and passing game coordinator Kevin Sumlin talked about the offense following the Texas loss and the emergence of Johnson on Saturday.

Q: It has to be good to have Manuel Johnson back in the lineup doesn't it?
Kevin Sumlin:
There's no doubt, he didn't even dress for the first game. He didn't play for the first two games and that injury is one that has taken a while to come back from. That happened in the first scrimmage so he missed two weeks of two-a-days, he didn't practice for the first couple of weeks of the season and now he's coming back and he's healthy.

I think that's exciting now. I think for us, it's good for our offense and good for our team and good for our quarterback that we can establish three guys instead of just one guy and a complementary guy.

I think all three of those guys right now, and there's some other guys behind them that are capable of making plays for us and they can be home run hitters for us.

Q: Reggie Smith not play on Saturday, is that a product of Manuel coming back into the picture?
Sumlin:
Reggie's not playing last week was more of the fact that he didn't practice very much. That contributed more than anything else. The plan was that Manuel was going to play and start anyway. That really didn't have anything to do with that. He didn't practice very much.

Q: So you still want to play him on offense through the rest of the season?
Sumlin:
You bet. That came about last week because of the injury last week.

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