The level of honesty from this staff can be almost jarring. I absolutely love it. The inherent weakness of a place like the University of Texas is complacency and self-satisfaction. This staff has an antidote to that - namely, ruthless competition and complete honesty - as you'll soon see from their Fall camp press conference comments.
On freshman class: When you have young guys like this – and this is something that I've learned about them and you're a pressure team as it is – go blitz them. That's your gap, let them loose, and let them go have some fun. You find things what they can do. We have to adjust some things as coaches defensively to what our kids can do
He's talking about the linebackers here and I was glad to see this quote given that was something we specifically predicted in our season football preview. We're going to blitz quite a bit and that's going to have its plusses and minuses in a league with offenses built around blitz beating routes and zone cutback running games. Strong's preferred defense uses linebackers primarily to clean up messes, not necessarily to take gaps. However, we have a very competent defensive staff and they'll adjust to the personnel and experience at hand. It's going to introduce a higher level of beta to the defense and its incumbent on the secondary and defensive line to limit volatility.
On Malik Jefferson: Malik right now is playing a position he didn't really play in high school at inside linebacker. It's a learning curve for him right now. He doesn't know what he doesn't know. He does have some ability and once he figures it out, he'll be a really good football player. Right now, people have him on such a high pedestal and he hasn't played a single down of Division One football. He's still a freshman.
That's exactly what Malik and the fans need to hear.
On where the program is at: I think the foundation has gone in strongly. If you look at this recruiting class, that's where it starts. It starts with the players. Every great coach out there had great talent. Right now, this recruiting class that is coming in, that's the foundation. That's the research we put into that class and that's the direction we want this program to go in. We need to continue to recruit that way.
Amen. It's not getting fixed in Year Two. I'm also in complete agreement on the 2015 recruiting class. Reviewing them all again for the TTF preview and breaking down their film reconfirmed that this is a foundational group with the potential to be pretty special. Research is the key word there and I think the staff did a nice job of doing their homework to find some less heralded recruits that are going to end up being multi-year starters for us.
Brian Jean Mary
On the returning linebackers and if they're feeling pressure from incoming class: I think there's just competition in the room. The best coach in the world is competition. Obviously we picked up the competition in the room. I don't think there's necessarily heat but there's going to be a different standard to get on the field.
If you don't think there are 6-8 positions on the defense wide open for competition, think again. There are more dudes written in pencil than the average fan thinks.
On incoming freshmen defensive backs: Those guys have to put themselves in a situation where we trust them. We know that they care and that's what they need to show during this fall camp. If they do with the athletic ability they have then we will feel good about putting them out there. A lot of that will be on them as we coach them and teach them. A lot of that is going to be on them. Anytime you play with freshmen you're going to have learning experiences because everything is new to them. Again those guys have done a good job this summer. They've come hungry. They want to come play and they are going to get an opportunity to compete. push from the bottom to get better.
I think either one of two things is going to happen with the young guys: they are going to bypass those guys or push those guys to be in a position to help us a lot.
Noticing a theme yet?
On senior RB/WR Daje Johnson's hometown reputation: I don't know if it's been warranted to be honest with you. We've got a thing in our meeting room called the square of truth. It's the film.
That needed to be said.