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Texas Longhorns Football: Shawn Watson on Tyrone Swoopes Development

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Shawn Watson had a lot to prove to Longhorn fans before the decimation of the offense, but he certainly isn't short on trying to create some confidence and positivity for his young, raw QB.  His comments about Baylor and Phil Bennett's results on a bad Baylor defense may have contained a hidden message for all of us...

I don't get a chance to see much media what they're saying but I can tell you their defense is very good. I've known [Baylor defensive coordinator] Phil [Bennett] for a long time. He's done a great job developing that defense over the years he's been there. I think last year, they obviously were much, much, much improved. They had some really good football players. And what happens to a program when you get players who have been developing the system, you get younger players behind them to see how to play. When those older players do leave, like they had a handful leave, the younger players knew how to step in and play because they had good examples in front of them. The scheme's been taught over a number of years now. They're playing really good team defense.

Are we sure he was just talking about Phil Bennett and Baylor?

Discussing Tyrone's ability to audible at the LOS and get us into good plays:

We keep it simple. Our system and those types of triggers are pretty easy for a quarterback but yet at the same time, he's got to be able to adjust on the move and that's not the easy part. That's been his development. It's easy when it's static and you're not at the line of scrimmage initially but when it changes during the cadence, not coming unraveled, staying poised and getting the communication laid, which is what he's gotten better at

That last piece is particularly important for Baylor and OU.  They're going to show us a lot.

How is #18 coming along this week?

He had a great day at practice today. Every week, I'm just amazed how much more he's taken on from what he just learned. I've used players from my past like, "Here's how you do it, here's the experience they had, here's what they did with it, here's how we managed it and here's how we got through it." It's fun coaching him. I love coming to work. I do. He's putting everything in to becoming a good football player.

Is Swoopes becoming a leader?

He's impressive with what he's doing in practice and the way he's managed himself in games. He's gained their trust and their respect and now it's time for him to really live his conviction. That's where I've got to step in and help him and teach him how to do that. It's a natural process. Be who you are and let what's inside of you out. When you put a lot into it, it should be easy to let it out. So my whole purpose with him is to put a lot into it, take pride in what he's put into it and let his conviction out.

Let's keep any more Longhorn convictions to a minimum, coach.

Is it a struggle to bring along the offense with inexperience and personnel issues?

It's a challenge but that's what we're hired on to do. You have to use all your resources that you have available and be creative with what you've got. It's a challenge. We've had to play to what we can do. We're working Ty[rone Swoopes]. I think I've got Ty to a point where his decision-making has been on. He understands. He's had enough reps at what we do. I chart everything he does. I know exactly how many reps he's taken on every pass that we've made and I see his growth. I grade him every day and his grades have continued to grow, so he's allowed us to push forward and use some of those other pieces. And then developing guys like Armanti [Foreman]. We've got to develop him. Our tight ends are back. We're using them in the run game. We're using them in different things, formationally. It takes all hands on deck, all of us, every guy on the staff. We've put a lot into each week trying to move us forward because we've changed our entire personality because we had to.

There it is.  Same candor and long-term optimism as with Strong, but this thing is a long term project.  Re-tooling the offense into manageable bites was a necessity and now we're looking for ways to create protection or a running game with the tight ends and find big plays with Armanti Foreman.