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Game Week: Charlie Strong's North Texas Press Conference

Strong dishes on the Mean Green, Longhorn Camp, suspended players and depth charts.

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Sarah Glenn

A quick summary of Charlie's Monday press conference.

I bolded things that struck me as important or interesting:

- Orange polo, buttoned to the top.  Light shining off of his dome.  Strong look.

- Praised team buy-in as they grew to know the staff and each other.

- Jaxon Shipley is day-by-day and it will be a game time decision. He drilled Saturday, but they didn't want to subject him to an entire practice.

- "Team is nowhere near where it should be."

- Started several practices with goal line to set the tone for practice.  Skipped stretching, set the ball on the 5 and blew the whistle.

- Biggest concern?  Depth.

- Called David Ash's camp "unbelievable." In fact, used that word three times in describing David.  Has consistently been impressed with Ash.  Strong appears to have more regard for Ash than large portions of the UT fan base.

- Ash learned the offense quickly, makes the proper throws and consistently gets us in the right plays.

- The defense is experienced and it all starts up front.  They're ahead of the offense.  They're well past basic installation and can do more exotic things now.

- Would like to play both Ash and Swoopes, if possible.

- We have the guys on the OL.  Just need to piece it together.

- The game is never about the opponent.  It's about Texas.

- Charlie feeling pressure?  Nope.  This is what I do.

- "We have two offensive coordinators.  They're pros who have been in this business for a long time.  No issue."

- Strong knew Mean Green Coach McCarney at Florida - "All he ate were Twizzlers and drank Coke."

- "We want to make teams one-dimensional.  We want a team to throw on every down."

- Frequently calls Kirk Bohls "Curt."  Fantastic.

- Which freshmen will play?  S Jason Hall, WRs Armanti Foreman and Lorenzo Joe all named.

- 1st down defense is key.  2nd and 4 is not a good down and distance for any defense.

- No final determination on suspended players: Harrison, Turner, Johnson.  They will all miss North Texas, at minimum. Praised their camps - they've done what is asked so far.

- "Little guys like to talk and chatter, but the game is won up front."

-  No resentment from team after he suspended or removed several of their teammates.

- Kicking game.  "Special teams are critical - we too often brush over it."  Will Russ has punted fairly well.  "Strong leg: he may boom one 60 but the next goes 20."  Nick Rose has been accurate.

- We will play starters on special teams. "If you can't play on special teams, you can't get it done on O or D. Don't complain to me about lack of reps when you won't play hard on special teams."

- Walk-ons.  Mentioned Haines and Templin.  "Why would I hold back a player just because he's a walk-on?  If they're good enough, they will play."

- The players have earned the right to get the decals back on their helmets and raise the Horns.

- Mid-week, a depth chart will be released.  Still working out some stuff at WR, OL and DB.

- Feels good about DL depth.  Ridgeway, Norman, Bluiett and Cottrell are a strong second team.

- LB has good depth.  Legit two deep.  Naashon Hughes now backing up Jenkins.  Cole solid.  Santos a good back-up to Edmond.

- WR - we have a lot of guys, but no experience.

- RB - loves Malcolm and Gray.

- OL - We need 7-8 guys.  Wickline will get it done.


The 2014 Longhorn Football Prospectus: Thinking Texas Football
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