Sooners Co-DC Heading to the Green Bay Packers
Jerry Montgomery was promoted from defensive line coach to
co-defensive coordinator in January and is now off to the NFL, such is the case
for Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops trying to piece mail together a
staff for the 2015 season.
Stoops has undergone a massive overhaul of his coaching
staff after finishing the 2014 season 8-5. Adding to the frustration of the
season, the team was an AP Top 5 ranked team entering the season leading to
grumblings from Sooner Nation when all was said and done.
Due to an underachieving season, gone are co-offensive
coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell replaced by Lincoln Riley from East Carolina
University. A new wide
receivers coach was named, Dennis Simmons off the Washington State
staff, and running backs coach Jay Boulware was moved to inside receivers
coach. Cale Gundy is in charge of the running backs and was promoted to Associate
The only person on staff on the offensive side of the ball with
the same title from a year ago is offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.
The defense was shaken up as well after 2014 defensive
coordinator Mike Stoops’ unit failed to stop anyone’s passing game. The squad
finished ranked No. 117 in the nation in pass defense allowing 276.2 yards per
game. Stoops was given help with Montgomery
adding co-defensive coordinator responsibilities on top of coaching the
Now Bob Stoops must rethink his strategy on not only finding
a defensive line coach but also if he should hire a defensive coordinator or
add a co-defensive coordinator to the staff.
The possibility of Stoops firing his brother Mike, which
would make most Sooner Nation fans happy, would have happened already if that
was the team’s new path. Now Stoops must find someone willing to come in as a
co-defensive coordinator or risk allowing his brother to tank the OU defense
for another season.
Mike was moved from coaching the secondary to coaching
outside linebackers in OU’s 3-4 defense. Tim Kish was the linebackers coach
last season but in 2015 his sole responsibility is inside linebackers. Taking
over for Mike in the secondary is Kerry Cooks. Cooks spent the last five
seasons coaching defensive backs for the Fighting Irish.
will be missed. He spent 2013 and 2014 as the defensive line coach at OU heading
to Norman from the University of Michigan.
The Sooners finished ranked No. 51 in total defense last season thanks in
larger part to Montgomery’s
defensive line. The front seven held opponents to an average of 106.4 yards per
game, ranking No. 8 in the country; but why run it if you know you can pass it
against the defense.
Saban released a statement regarding Montgomery taking a job with the Green Bay
Packers stating, “This is a rare opportunity for Jerry and his family to join
one of the finest organizations in the National Football League. I appreciate
the positive impact that Jerry has made with our defensive line the past two
seasons, as well as his many other contributions to Oklahoma Football.”
An often overlooked problem with NFL staffs plucking college
coaches in February is how the change affects high school seniors who signed
with a given college on National Signing Day. Oklahoma
signed four defensive linemen in the 2015 class, DE Gabriel Campbell, Yazoo City, MS; DE
Kenneth Mann, Burleson High School, TX; DT Neville Gallimore, Canada Prep; Ontario;
and DT Marquise Overton, Jenks High
Gallimore and Overton were rated as 4-star linemen with offers
to top programs like Alabama, Auburn,
Mississippi State, TCU, UCLA, USC, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Notre
Dame, and Florida
was known as a great recruiter leaving the kids he lured to Norman to fend for themselves going forward.
Would the four defensive linemen signed had made a different
college choice knowing Montgomery
would not be their position coach?
Photo credit: kfor.com; Jerry Montgomery.