A disappointed Charlie Strong spoke to the media on Tuesday. Mentioned that the team hit the wall and didn't push through it. Tuesday practice was sloppy with dropped balls, missed assignments and mental errors. "We're not good enough to waste days."
Strong's press conferences are frequent and short. No fluff. He answers and moves on.
Strong mentioned again that he wants his seniors to step up and lead the team. Someone needs to assert themselves and say something when practice is going badly - why is it always on the coaches to do so? Strong also pointed the finger at himself and his coaching staff for not doing enough to make that point clear. "You'd like to think we have enough seniors in our program that someone would, at some point, take over the team."
One thing to consider - these seniors don't really know how. The previous regime anointed team leaders instead of letting them rise up organically and they grew increasingly paranoid about messaging. Pair that with the governor placed on authentic emotion and an emphasis on stage management and empty display and a lot of these guys don't really know what a player led team looks like.
Miles Onyegbule is done for his senior season. Blew out his knee. Tough ending for him.
TE Greg Daniels is getting his knee scoped. Mentioned Swaim and McFarland at TE, neglecting to mention Blake Whiteley until later. Praised McFarland as having "an outstanding camp." Could the light be finally turning on? If so, that's huge. McFarland is a big target with huge hands who could thrive in Watson's play action game if he'll block a little and not make mental errors. Swaim is certainly our most reliable asset here.
Darius James will be returning to practice in two days. That's important as Wickline tries to find his 8 cross-trained, reliable OL who are ready for game action. It looks to me as if a starting five is starting to gel, but I can guarantee you line-up changes once the season starts.
Sheroid Evans will go full speed "when he gets comfortable." Still a Porsche who spends most of his time in the shop.
Jaxon Shipley still rehabbing his hamstring in The Pit.
Freshman RB Donald Catalon hurt his hamstring. Return date unknown. Depth is reasonably terrifying at HB, even if D'onta Foreman qualifies.
Every day features some portion of 1s on 1s. "Good on good." A definite departure from the previous regime where 1s tended to face 2s or scout teams for almost every snap.
Strong "has an idea of who his starters are" on both sides of the ball. Dylan Haines still running with the 1s at safety.
Freshman WR Armanti Foreman "can turn a five yard hitch into a 20 yard gain." Reading between the lines, I think Strong believes his playing time is predicated mostly on how well he shows he can adjust to coverage. He'll be employed in our screen game, at minimum.
We haven't started on North Texas yet. Still working on us. Want to understand who we are going to be headed into the 2014 season? Read...