Jumping in mid-stream and a-bloggin’ away as Tom Herman rocks the mic at Big XII Media Days. BONUS COVERAGE of Texas player interviews!
On Rebuilding the Longhorn Brand and Re-Awakening Excitement
The biggest thing is our guys’ buy-in and they have done that - our buy-in level is really high from players that truly believe.
This team wants to be remembered as the team and the group that turned things around. The belief is there and they’re going to be the best-trained group in the country. I’m not going to turn that into an expectation of wins and losses but they know that excellence is expected every day and every play.
I also want to call out our social media team who have done an excellent job of re-branding Texas and making us one of the cool places to be.
Shane did a great job as a true freshman in a new system despite being banged up for much of the year. He’s also done a great job this summer working to become more of a leader. But I don’t get confidence on any QB while we’re playing in t-shirts and shorts - it has to come in pads.
There’s no depth behind Shane and Sam - there’ll be a package for Jerrod Heard if a bomb blows up and both Shane and Sam go down.
His Situation Relative to Mack
There are some parallels, though Mack wasn’t facing the sustained drought that we came into.
Mack’s first class (Chris Simms, Corey Redding) turned the tide on the necessary talent to compete.
Shortly after Mack got here, Moncrief-Neuhaus got remade into a facility that was the model for programs everywhere. It’s not that right now, but we’re going to get it back there.
The 2018 class has seen two winning Texas Football teams since they were ten years old - it’s a different perspective than what you or I or older Longhorn fans have.
College Football Challenges In The State of Texas
ROASTED a reporter who forgot that Houston finished in the Top 25 last season.
The OOS recruiting doors are open in a way that they haven’t been in the past - he played a role in that pulling guys like J.T. Barrett to tOSU in 2013.
Why Has The Program Struggled Despite Strong Recruiting Rankings
“I don’t know.”
There was a huge storm with a coach, AD, university President leaving, new faces coming in, the AD flopping and a new one coming in, now there’s a new coach - there’s been little top-down continuity. Haven’t spend a lot of time thinking about it beyond that - it’s in the past and our job is to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Some Awkward Question About The Conference
Our job isn’t taking care of the Big XII - our job is win games and graduate players and that in turn takes care of the Big XII. I’m not an ambassador for the Big XII - I’m an ambassador for Texas.
Your Players Haven’t Won - How Do You Deal With That?
Only three guys have been on a winning Longhorn team - three redshirt seniors.
We make everything competitive - we make winning tangible (rewards, recognition, better food) and we make losing AWFUL. We make it hurt - it’s not fun, it’s humiliating. That’s what it’s like on Saturday so you should learn to hate it NOW.
We put guys through chaos and torment - we want Saturdays to be easy in comparison and we want that hate of losing to be so strong that it drives them on every play.
It means a lot to be recognized by peers like David Beatty and Matt Rhule - they both know the game.
The buy-in from guys has been very good - kids were eager and willing coming off three straight losing seasons and understanding they needed to do something different.
I’m flattered to be compared to Coach Harbaugh - won’t be doing any sleepovers or climbing in anybody’s treehouse, but it’s very complimentary.
I don’t worry about how the Big XII goes - my job and loyalty is to UT and thinking about anything else is a distraction to my job. If we do what we should do and succeed how we should succeed I have no doubt that the Big XII will benefit, but we don’t think about it beyond that.
Connor Williams Interview (on LHN):
It’s not for me to say I’m the best tackle in the country - I have to believe I’m the best and go out and try to play that way.
Meeting the new coaches was a little nerve-wracking but I love them so far.
In terms of coming out early, I haven’t thought about it but if we all succeed as a team this year then we all have a chance to succeed individually.
Some Thoughts And Reflections
It was interesting to see confirmation that Jerrod Heard is the de facto #3 for Texas heading into the season. I strongly expect to see a Some Of Sam package from the start to get the freshman’s feet wet and unlock some other aspects of the run game, and Heard will probably rep similar plays with Inverted Reads, QB lead sweeps, Speed Option and the like getting into the mix. Texas’ depth at wideout affords the luxury of cross-training Heard, though we’ll hopefully see him strongly in the mix at the Z spot and in the slot since he may be our scariest player with the ball in his hands and a bit of open space this season.
The second most Herman-y of the presser’s Herman moments was the outright hilarious death glare he gave to the reporter who said that no Texas school finished in the Top 25 in 2016 (omitting Houston). Watching Charlie Strong fuck with Kurt Bohls was one of the prior regime’s few press conference joys, but Herman’s apparent motto of “I don’t suffer fools, I make fools suffer” could make some of these deals into Must See TV. Low-info print guys may have a hard time of it, and anybody rolling into push a slapdick click-bait narrative had best pack some asbestos undies.
The MOST Herman-y of the presser’s Herman moments was how strongly he emphasized a willingness to make players’ lives hell to inculcate a hatred of losing. Early reports of 4-am Air Raid workouts, losers eating burnt biscuits and hot dogs and the like were easy to misconstrue as just petty hazing and putting guys in their place. But Herman’s fire on the topic came across as genuine, and by the evident player buy-in across the program it’s seen as genuine in the locker room as well. Every rep, every step and even every punishment are imbued with purpose, and learning to loathe losing makes for as good a purpose as any.
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