Fall camp is officially here. Mack looked to be in good humor, optimistic, mildly pissy only with respect to the QB situation, and offered some amusing one-liners. It was a long press conference, but chock full of interesting tidbits.
...see if they can get him on the next flight home which will be probably back the 9th, 10th - somewhere like that. So we will get him back for practice hopefully the end of this week or next week for sure, and then he will have to go through the orientation period of a couple of days in shorts and shells
No problem. Given Goodwin's seniority, the length of camp, and our non-conference ramp-up, he should be an asset at WR #3 when it's nut-cutting time. The biggest concern is that though he's fit, he's not in football shape, hasn't been doing a lot of lateral work and stop-start, and his chances for injury are pretty high in his first weeks back.
Speaking of injuries:
From an injury standpoint. [DB] Adrian Phillips, [DE] Jackson Jeffcoat and [TE] Greg Daniels will be released so they will be full in practice. [CB] Quandre Diggs, [WR] Bryant Jackson, [TE] Caleb Bluiett and [DE] Reggie Wilson will be limited. But Quandre could practice. He could play if we played today, but we'll be careful with him early in practice. And then we'll work Bryant, [WR] Miles [Onyegbule] and Reggie Wilson back into practice slowly.
Great news on Phillips, Jeffcoat, Daniels. Had no idea that Wilson was limited or had an issue. They're going to be smart with Quandre and I'm glad.
There seemed to be a panic over [QB] David Ash last week. He's fine and will be released in practice
Panic is when I can't find car keys in the morning. That Friday was a Dutch tulip futures market. Ash should sleep with his hamstring on a pyramid of Charmin and a graduate assistant should be assigned to rub it with a fine chamois.
[OL] Camrhon Hughes for his knee, had a knee operation. He will be redshirted and out for the year.
This is a bummer for Hughes and the scout team reps and meetings would have been helpful, but this redshirt is a net benefit for his development.
BTW, our uniforms need tiaras, capes, and luge helmets emblazoned with flames:
But our players are constantly asking, "Are we ever going to change our uniform or are we ever going to do anything different?" And what we tell them is, we are not. We'll have burnt orange and white. May move a number around. A couple of years ago we had the number above the Longhorn. But we are who we are, and that uniform has been like it is for many, many years. And as long as I'm the coach, we will not have any drastic changes, and it will be burnt orange and it will be white.
Yay! Now that this is settled, let's all name the defense. I like The Burnt Orange Crunk Mafia Killaz!
What we have done for the players is we have allowed them to design practice uniforms, and we will rotate those on a daily basis. But they will get to wear some orange and black and some different colors and that's what they get to play [in]. That's what they want to do and they are excited about it, and we think it will help recruiting...
I love the image of Kenny Vaccaro as Vera Wang fussing over Steve Edmond's draping. "This SIMPLY WON'T DO! I said crushed velour!"
In practice, our players can wear Mexican sun dresses and goldfish heeled pimp shoes if it makes them happy. Just don't mess with the franchise.
We are so far ahead of where we were at the Holiday Bowl when we finished because we know more about each other. Bennie Wylie had two summers with Jeff Madden to get the guys ready, and we are much stronger.
"Jeff, I'm going to work the guys for the morning session."
"Morning workout session."
"Have 'em do bench and then run in the sand or some shit."
"Well, maybe we'll do more than that."
"Suit yourself." (opens Krispy Kreme container)
I can just tell by the guys reporting and listening to what I heard this summer that the guys had a great summer and were in great shape. We added a nutritionist, and she's done a tremendous job and we've dropped in body fat and the guys were more ready to go than ever before.
We'll see on the nutritionist. If she's imparting lessons like: fried food bad, soft drinks naughty, Skittles are not a performance enhancer (sorry, Marshawn Lynch), then we're on our way.
We have a couple of systems that are in place, one called due diligence, that monitors what they say. It doesn't follow their Facebook. It doesn't infringe on their privacy. But if something pops up that's negative about our team, talks about race, talks about guns, talks about drugs, talks about sex, a number of different subjects that they should not be discussing on their Facebook or on their Twitter, then it pops out to our compliance department immediately and they talk to their young men and they handle it.
"So, in closing, when you mentioned that - and I quote - you're going to shoot some of these low-performing crackers on the team and steal their drugs and have sex with their girlfriends - close quote - some flags went up. We think you might have phrased it differently."
Changes in recruiting with 2014 early offers:
We are constantly reevaluating everything we do after 14 years on a daily basis. [Twenty-fourteen] seems to be a great class. A number of those young men wanted to go ahead and commit and all of the guys were worried that we had not offered them.
That's it. They're getting offers from the reigning national champions, national powers, and every other school in Texas. Texas is so far behind the psychological curve by withholding an offer that catching up on the top guys becomes a herculean effort. Establish parity, take away the early leverage, and then we're back in the driver's seat. The problem is that we're now playing a dangerous game of "Guess the future of a 16 year old."
And then you get into the approval, the offer, how long do you wait and it's six months' difference, and we felt like we had a great hold on the evaluation process and we had about a two week discussion. Very honestly that was a pretty big change for us, and we felt like it was best for the time and moved forward and did it and feel good about where we are and moving forward with it.
This sort of thing under previous regimes - at least on offense - would have been disastrous. Can you even imagine?
There are still requirements that have to be in place for young guys like that going into their junior year. If their academics drastically change to a negative, you wouldn't take them. If they got in trouble, you wouldn't take them. And obviously if they are not competing for their [high school] if they call and say the guy is not trying anymore and you shouldn't take him...
The problem here is that while Alabama, LSU, FSU, A&M and others carpet bomb offers, it costs them nothing, because any kid who actually tries to commit who doesn't develop will be told his offer isn't committable, and any kid who is committed but doesn't develop will be excised when a better option comes along.
On rare occasions, Texas has ditched committed prospects, but almost always because we thought they didn't fit our culture or were behaving idiotically. Not for lack of actual development. And we have the 13-12 record to prove it over the last two seasons to prove it.
The million dollar question is: can we effectively super-early recruit without a trapdoor policy - however subtly exercised - based on pure development? Not citizenship or academics. Development. Dunno. That's the Brave New World.
Longhorn Network will carry the first two games live of the season. They will also carry some practices or parts of some practices as we get started even in preseason.
Peter thinks this final attempt at exerting leverage means a major provider cracks. While I agree in principle, it's absolutely clear to me that all of the major carriage providers have an implicit agreement with each other, a line in the sand, an invisible "Thou shall not pass" against all sorts of other content that providers will try to jam down their throats after they cave to LHN - and it will take someone to break. But that's the problem with cartels. Someone always break or cheats. See OPEC.
Summer for us is about a number of things, but it's really about teaching and developing leadership because we found that it's not there in a lot of cases. A young guy may want to be a leader but doesn't understand what that means.
Ash, David. He's not talking about our defense. The rub is that many teams rely on a senior-laden OL for stability and leadership when there's a young signal caller (see Texas 1998, 2006) but we don't have that either.
So it will be fun to see how the guys really produced over the summer and how much they improved. And I just saw [QB] Case McCoy downstairs. So you all will talk to him in a minute. He weighed 185 at the end of the Cal game, and he weighs 200 pounds right now. He also gained four pounds of muscle, muscle mass and really cut his body fat. So guys can make tremendous improvement over the summer and it sounds like he did that.
Case gained 15 pounds. 4 of it was muscle. 11 of it was Jaxon Shipley's foot on the back of the scale.
Funniest line of the presser:
Running back rotation. You've got some good talent there. What are you going to do with them to make sure you utilize them and what do you do with Daje [Johnson] and D.J. [Monroe], and how do you separate the "Daje" and "D.J." when you are yelling at them?
Mack shoot! Mack score!
And I also feel like with all of the money that everybody is making in college football that every athlete ought to add a stipend to their scholarship and make more money. There's more pressure, there's more involved for them, so I think that it's time to do that.
What does Donna Lopiano think of that? Of course you think there should be a stipend. You're not paying for it. You don't have to balance the realities of Title IX and you still collect 5 million large per.
On the QB controversy:
I do think that some people panic over it and say it should have been done in June, should have been done in spring. I love the fact that if you're not really sure and it's not clearcut that the guys have had to compete and lead the team all summer. The players will have a much better feel now than leaving spring practice who has had the best summer and who has been the best leader and who organized the seven on sevens and who do they believe in right now.
I agree with Mack in theory that a close QB competition makes fans unduly hysterical. I vastly prefer them to Gilbert-style coronations. However, I think the concern among many fans is that it actually is a tight competition when the upside seems to rest in one camp. Let's at least give that option a chance to flame out before option #2.
Also, would love to be a fly on the wall with respect to player feedback on the QBs in 7 on 7. Case is the more active campaigner and assertive personality, but do players value upside over assertiveness?
Mack gets a tad pissy at the end of the QB chat:
We had people graduate as quarterback - that's the course that most of our fans and media took, because we don't have a controversy. God, you'd like one. And I don't want to disappoint you all.
We don't want a controversy. Mostly because it means suffering through reading what the average Longhorn fan believes constitutes acceptable QB play.
I don't think we are where we want to be but we are sure headed there and our concern now is that we are pretty set with first group and now we need to get seven, eight, nine, ten guys going and you have to evaluate your two freshmen, Curtis Riser andKennedy Estelle and see where they fit in the mix as they get started.
My suggestion for Riser and Estelle - unless they're absolutely needed on the 2nd team of the depth chart and will get snaps in every game - rhymes with WED-SHIRT. We need to bite the bullet on this some day soon.
On offensive identity:
We have got to figure out the passing game. I mean, we've got to throw it better, and we know that, and how much of that is play action, how much of that is drop back? How much is fourwides? Who are we in the passing game?
We're a play action passing team. We go four wide on 3rd and 9 or if the other team's third corner runs a 4.8 40 and is named Chazz Parkington.
Kendall Sanders at DB?
I don't think so. We have such a need. We have a bigger need at receiver right now than we have at defensive back
Curses. Foiled again. And there's a rousing endorsement of our WR recruiting pre-2010. BTW, we'll probably field the 6th best WR unit in the Big 12 this year. Wrap your mind around that. At freaking TEXAS. Must. Not. Dwell. On. Past. Sins. And we don't have to - 2012 should be pretty fun.
Thoughts? Questions? Proclamations?