The Oklahoma Sooners went with a lot more four-wide receiver sets in 2012 than is typically seen in a Bob Stoops offense. As a result, the tight end position, usually a staple for Oklahoma, was largely written out of the offensive gameplan. That left Brannon Green with very little to do and kept him from being a contributor down the stretch. For the Sooners to find success in 2013, Green has to be a much bigger part of the offense.
Stoops admits that the tight end position was not a priority of his offense a season ago. He felt that the offense was better suited with more speed on the edge with the four wide receivers. That decision was validated by the strong arm of Landry Jones, who led the Sooners to a co-Big 12 Championship and a 10-3 record in his senior season. But Jones is gone now and took some of that receiving talent with him, which makes getting back to a tight end friendly philosophy even more important.
With Blake Bell likely taking over the playcalling duties next fall, the Oklahoma offense will rely much more heavily on the run. That means that Oklahoma will want some bigger bodies in the game to help block on the edge that can also release into pass routes and make catches when called upon. That’s where Green comes in, with plenty of experience and a big body to hold up when asked to block. His hands are still somewhat unproven, however, after catching just three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in 2012.
As Bell works to get comfortable as the full-time starter for Oklahoma, having reliable check-downs and easy completions in the middle of the field will be a huge boost of confidence as he refines his ability in the passing game. Green can quickly become his best friend if he shows he can make plays over the middle and be a reliable option every time his number is called. Will he be enough to restore the tight end position to a place of prominence in the Oklahoma playbook?