I don't want to take too long making this point, because it seems to me to be a simple one.
David Ash has only had 3 months and 14 practices since the Holiday Bowl.
Framed another way, he has had the same number of months and about 45 fewer practices than he had between the punch-in-the-gut that was the OU game and the Holiday Bowl. This may seem obvious to a lot of people, except for the fact that, well, it doesn't seem to seem obvious to a lot of people. As much as we wish it to be, it is not next season yet. We live in real time, and it is April 3. More importantly (or less, depending on your priorities) David Ash also lives in real time, and he is still enjoying his Freshman year at the University of Texas.
Thankfully, most of our burnt orange brethren have calmed down since November, and the general paranoia toward the quarterback position has subsided noticeably. It's encouraging to be able to scan a comments section without some Chicken Little wanting us to start Connor Brewer by the beginning of October, as if our problem last year wasn't having a true freshman QB trying to call audibles against an OU overload blitz. But there are those out there who write stuff on the internet and other places who wonder if Ash has made the requisite progress yet.
The way I see it -- though feel free to correct me if I'm missing anything -- is if Ash has made this much progress in the past 3 months (and also the 3 months before that), then I'm as excited as hell to see what he will look like in 18 months leading an expected-to-be-loaded team into the 2013 Red River Shootout with hopeful hopes of a national championship.
[Yes, I know how learning curves work, but still, his physical tools in most respects are at least as good as Colt's, and he is improving mentally. Plus, how good will he really have to be with that backfield and defense? Greg McElroy anyone?]
In summary, I guess my ultimate point is this -- sometimes the big picture can be surprisingly comforting. I suppose this applies to other areas of the team as well.