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More from Mack Brown

  • Jeff Howe

    On the freshmen, Mack said that the NCAA allowing freshmen to come enroll in January and June has been huge and it makes freshmen more prepared to play than ever. He said he felt it helped both quarterbacks and A.J. White tremendously to go through spring ball.

    On the running game, Mack said that the philosophy has not changed, just the way they plan on getting there. He said he does expect to see more play action because of being under center, but overall he said the offense will still be up-tempo and run most of the same plays they always have. He said they threw the ball more last year because Colt McCoy was so accurate and they had a good group of receivers, and with Garrett Gilbert and these receivers they don't want to get away from the pass. They just don't want to be faced with 2nd and 12 situations and Mack consistency in the run game is the main thing he wants to see. He also mentioned that they'll still have running plays from the shotgun and that they need to still need to have the misdirection plays to go to, but they've worked a lot up front on double teams, down-blocking and downhill running this fall.

    On Cody Johnson, Mack again talked about how his work ethic and dedication has changed. He said the Texas defense doesn't like to tackle him time and again and how he's done a great job to not be complacent with just being a short yardage/goal line back. Again, Mack talked about scaling back how much Fozzy Whittaker works in order to help him stay healthy and that all three backs will play against Rice.

    On Dravannti Johnson, Mack said it took him a while to get used to things but he's coming into his own. He said they love the fact that he's a 250-pounder who can rush from the outside and drop into coverage and also runs well.

    Mack said that one of the reasons they initially went to a no-huddle offense was to get Colt McCoy out of the huddle with a veteran line group. He said they like they up-tempo style and he said that it helps the defense to see it practice so that way they are prepared for it in a game.

    On the freshman quarterbacks, Mack said both guys are good friends and it was not any easy decision. He said they talked to Connor Wood and he's fine with the decision. If both guys stay healthy this season the plan is to redshirt Wood. Mack added that the things they've noticed about Case McCoy is that he can command the huddle, he's accurate and throws well on the run.

    This post was edited by Jeff Howe 4 years ago

  • Jeff Howe

    Mack talked about the difference between Case and Colt and said it's different because Colt redshirted and Case is with the second team. He added that they would have no problem with Connor Wood as the backup and Case McCoy getting the redshirt.

    He said that it's a tough balancing act between getting Case McCoy reps while still developing Garrett Gilbert. He added that Gilbert had very few turnovers in fall camp - only two interceptions that he could remember.

    On Garrett Gilbert, Mack said that everyone had questions about Vince Young and Colt McCoy so the fact that some question Gilbert is no different.

    He said they are excited about the left side of the offensive line. He said that Kyle Hix and Michael Huey have been great on that side of the line. He said there are concerns on the right side because of inexperience.

    Mack added that Hix and Huey should both be redshirt juniors but that those guys have done great for not getting to go through a redshirt year. He said they like to redshirt linemen if at all possible. He said that Trey Hopkins has done well and so has Dominic Espinosa for being true freshmen linemen. Mack also said that the lineman as a group love coming off the ball in a 3-point stance.

    On the defensive line Mack said that Tyrell Higgins is athletic and smart and talked about an interception he made recently where he tipped the ball to himself and ran it back the other way. Mack added that they like Alex Okafor's ability to play multiple spots and that he's working all four spots along the defensive line. The hope is that he'll be able to help generate a pass rush presence inside similar to the way they hope Sam Acho will.

    Going back to wide receivers, Mack said that James Kirkendoll has been very consistent. He said the first guy Garrett Gilbert talked about at Big 12 media days when Mack met with the players was Kirkendoll. He said he thought Kirkendoll played well last year, but he didn't finish the year as consistent has he wanted to.

  • Jeff Howe

    On Rice...

    Mack said Rice will base out of a 4-2-5 defense. They are a "bend-but-don't break" unit and will only blitz about 20 percent of the time.

    He said he's unsure which QB will play but they recruited Nick Fanuzzi and Taylor Cook so they know what those guys can do.

    He said Vance McDonald the TE is a guy who the Rice coaches seem high on and they are familiar with and respect both Tyler Smith and Sam McGuffie at RB.

    He said Rice S Travis Bradshaw reminds him of former Baylor S Jordan Lake.

    Mack talked about how good Jackson Jeffcoat and Reggie Wilson have been in camp thus far. He said both guys have lived up to every bit of the hype they had coming in and both will play on Saturday.

    Mack said one of things he really wants to see from this team is how hard they will play. He said the 2008 and 2009 teams played hard, but he said he didn't think the 2006 team and the 2007 team played hard all the time and you never knew what you were going to get. He said this team is too inexperienced and can't afford to not play hard in every game.

    Lastly, Mack said Justin Tucker will handle the place kicking and John Gold will punt. He said the staff hasn't completely scrapped the rugby punt just yet.

  • Thanks for the reports...much appreciated.

  • Interesting note about the 2006 and 2007 teams not consistently playing hard. I wonder what changed between 2007 and 2008....

  • The note on Dravannti Johnson is very important guys. Goes back to conversations about the eventual weight of Steve Edmond and Kendall Thompson. Both guys will be 250-255-pound LB's at Texas.

    National Director of Scouting & Recruiting Analyst @GerryHam247

  • Jeff Howe

    Lark 47 said... (original post)

    Interesting note about the 2006 and 2007 teams not consistently playing hard. I wonder what changed between 2007 and 2008....

    The 2007 A&M game, lol.

    Those bowl practices were some of the most intense and physical of Mack's tenure. By all accounts he was not happy after the A&M game with the way the team played. The two and half quarters of the bowl game, the Horns looked like a completely different team than the one we had seen all year.

  • Gerry Hamilton said... (original post)

    The note on Dravannti Johnson is very important guys. Goes back to conversations about the eventual weight of Steve Edmond and Kendall Thompson. Both guys will be 250-255-pound LB's at Texas.

    Can you clarify a little? Are you saying if both guys cant learn to cover and develop drop-back skills, they will end up with their hand on the ground?

  • Jeff Howe

    MBarnett said... (original post)

    Can you clarify a little? Are you saying if both guys cant learn to cover and develop drop-back skills, they will end up with their hand on the ground?

    I think what Gerry is getting at is they like the versatile guys who can offer a lot. I don't think it means that if those guys get that big that they automatically spin down. Both of those guys can cover, especially Kendall Thompson, and just because they are at a certain weight doesn't mean you have to pigeon hole them into one spot.

  • Jeff Howe said... (original post)

    I think what Gerry is getting at is they like the versatile guys who can offer a lot. I don't think it means that if those guys get that big that they automatically spin down. Both of those guys can cover, especially Kendall Thompson, and just because they are at a certain weight doesn't mean you have to pigeon hole them into one spot.

    IIRC, Mack mentioned the LB issue during the recruiting PC in Feb...talked about Hicks, Benson, etc being able to play multiple positions & not wanting to label a certain player as MLB, OLB, Buck, etc

  • And the versatility these types of players provide allows a defense to better disguise what they are doing by not tipping off personnel groupings. And if someone gets in the hurry-up against you, you have guys who can handle all three downs, albeit at different positions.

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