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Inside the Team: Practice No. 4

News and notes from Wednesday's spring practice.

Josh Cochran, a junior starting offensive lineman, fractured a leg Wednesday at practice and will miss the remainder of spring ball.

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Junior right tackle Josh Cochran suffered a lower leg fracture that will keep him out the rest of spring.

I'm told Cochran was hurt during a drill. The injury didn't appear to look bad on the surface, but I'm told everyone realized it was serious when Cochran tried to get up and couldn't.

Kennedy Estelle replaced Cochran at right tackle.

Texas sports information director John Bianco later released a statement that Cochran will be out the remainder of the spring. Texas trainer Kenny Boyd said in a statement he believes Cochran should be ready to go for pre-season drills in August.

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Staying with the offensive line...

It was an up and down day for the OL as a group. There were times where the execution was there and things were clicking, but they were inconsistent.

Dominic Espinosa is said to still be having some deficiencies at center.

“I guess if you're expecting this line to be an overpowering group, they're not,” a source told Hookem.com. “You see flashes where they're really good, but they're still having times where they're getting dominated by the defensive line.”

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I'm told Donald Hawkins and Sedrick Flowers were good in one-on-one drills, particularly Hawkins because of his aggressiveness.

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One source expressed some continued concern about Dominic Espinosa, especially during the one-on-ones.

“Right now I see the same guy I saw last year,” the source said. “He's great at making calls and he plays with a lot of effort. When he's going against a guy like Malcom Brown who is just a superior athlete and is stronger than he is, that's when you see him struggle.”

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In the live portions of practice, Sedrick Flowers still got the first team reps at left guard over Curtis Riser for the injured Trey Hopkins.

Malcolm Brown might have been the best player on the field Wednesday.

The rest of the starting line-up remained the same as it has been since the start of camp.

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Practice yesterday included a lot of situational scrimmaging.

I'm told the coaches were blowing the whistle to stop plays in an effort to keep guys on their feet, but at the same time there was a big emphasis on making contact and wrapping up on every single play.

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I'm told junior running back Malcolm Brown was the most dominant player on the field on Wednesday.

He was in top form, particularly in the live portions of practice.

“There was a sequence where they gave him the ball four straight times and the defense couldn't stop him," a source said. “He had one play where he absolutely trucked Dalton Santos."

Wednesday's practice was reportedly another solid day for David Ash.

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The quarterback reps were distributed differently again. David Ash got his normal reps with the ones with Case McCoy back to getting his handful of snaps with the first group.

I'm told there was a portion of practice where Tyrone Swoopes got some second team reps and Jalen Overstreet ran with the third team. The only constant other than Ash's first team reps was that Connor Brewer received little-to-no work.

“If he's mad, he's hiding it well,” one source said. “He seems resigned to the fact that his situation is what it is right now based on other factors.”

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It was another solid day for David Ash.

I'm told Ash wasn't spectacular, but he didn't make any noticeable blunders either. More often than not made the right read against live bullets.

I'm told the best way to describe Ash's spring to this point is that he's been "steady".

Malcom Brown and Desmond Jackson already appear to be separating at defensive tackle.

“His play hasn't declined, but he hasn't been remarkably better since the first practice either,” a source told Hookem.com. “He should probably look better than he does given the fact that it's his job, but he hasn't done anything that would give the coaches any indication it should be an open competition.”

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I'm told Bryant Jackson continues to make his presence known at receiver. He's reportedly shown a lot of enthusiasm and energy and is said to be making plays after the catch as a big inside receiver in the offense.

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The pass of the day?

David Ash threaded a ball down the seam to M.J. McFarland in a crowd of defenders during a live period.

It was a nice practice for McFarland after he struggled with some drops in earlier practices.

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Ends like Cedric Reed are asked to do a lot in this defense.

I'm told John Harris had a productive practice.

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While there's still a lot of rotating among the defensive tackles, the two constants were Desmond Jackson and Malcom Brown as the starters.

“They did a pretty good job for the most part,” a source told Hookem.com. “There's a lot of bodies rotating with that second group but those two are the front-line guys.”

As a group I'm told the tackles, particularly the second group, produced mixed results on Wednesday.

“You still see breakdowns where there are running lanes wide open up the middle,” one source said. “It looks they're just getting hung up and can't get off blocks.”

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Reggie Wilson's name has been noticeably absent from the first few practices but I'm told he worked in the second group at defensive end with Caleb Bluiett and Bryce Cottrell.

Shiro Davis and Cedric Reed were the starters.

I'm told some of the big runs Brown and Johnathan Gray made during live periods were a result of the ends getting sealed off and being unable to maintain outside leverage.

Manny Diaz always talks about the ends being asked to do a lot in his system, and the inability to get off blocks allowed some big plays in the run game to happen.

Of the group, I'm told Shiro Davis had his moments.

“When he's allowed to pin his ears back and go, he's able to make some plays,” one source said. “They're really trying to coach him up right now, and he's better standing up than in a stance, but you see the upside with him when he cuts loose.”

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I was told by my sources that Jordan Hicks was not on the practice field.

The first team linebackers were Peter Jinkens, Dalton Santos and Tevin Jackson. Jinkens and Jackson are said to be making the most plays of the group at this point, and the coaches are said to like their ability to cover a lot of ground and be extremely aggressive, respectively.

The second team linebackers were Kendall Thompson, Steve Edmond and Aaron Benson. Hicks' absence was noticeable.

“It just seems like a totally different group when he's not there,” the source said. “None of the other guys seem to have fully developed his kind of feel for the game.”

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The best competition in camp, I'm told, continues to come from the secondary.

“It's making everybody better,” a source said. “[Sheroid] Evans and Duke [Thomas] could start anywhere else in the Big 12. The starters are being pushed and it shows.”

Adrian Phillips was in full attack mode yesterday playing close to the line of scrimmage in some situational scrimmaging, showing the willingness to throw his body around.

“He looks a lot more aggressive and less tentative than he did last season,” a source told Hookem.com. “He's playing with a linebacker mentality.”

Phillips is rotating in with Josh Turner, but Turner and Mykkele Thompson are still the safeties going out with the first defense more often than not. I'm told Thompson looked comfortable on Wednesday.

“He looks more confident,” a source said. “It seems like he's not worried about being in the right spot. He's just playing.”

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I'm told the best practice among the defensive backs was had by Sheroid Evans.

“He locked down Marcus Johnson,” a source told Hookem.com. “That's saying a lot because he's one of the better technicians on the team. Sheroid just played great press coverage. He had a great day.”

  • Agree, new offense will be key to making OL better next year. Experience and new contributors should help but since they are not going to become NFL all pros then scheming is most important.

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  • No, I don't have to read your comments since I wasn't addressing you to begin with when I made my own. If you want to tell me where I'm wrong in my statement on the Brewer issue, that's one thing, but to simply throw out a statement that "I'm reading too much in to something" without expanding on that is not exactly telling me anything. You apparently put some post out regarding your own opinion on the issue and that's fine, but guess what, I still get to post mine. I'd be happy to debate it with you if you would like to contribute something other than a one sentence reply based on what you thought of mine. If I misunderstood your statement in some way, then please expand on your original comment.

    This post was edited by txhookem78 13 months ago

  • I've gone back and reread your comment. I think it is crazy to think his punishment has anything to do with where Brewer fits into any changes in the offense. I also don't know or do you know enough about this "up tempo' offense to know how Brewer will fit in. He is a young guy who will not challenge Ash this year. McCoy will probably be the backup due to his experience so it's not Brewer's time yet. Maybe he will challenge for the backup spot. I hope he does, but his punishment has nothing to do with it. Hell, it may mean they want him to step forward. That's why I think you read too much into his punishment.

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  • Where did I say you can't make a comment. I simply thought you were over thinking the punishment thing so I said so.

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  • Oh wow, I guess you need to read it a second time, because you missed my point entirely. First, I was addressing Black Shipley's point that his recent infraction had something to do with the lack of snaps he's currently getting in practice and his comparison to that of Jordan Hicks being out on the field with the first team at the start of spring ball despite his team violation during the lead up to the Alamo Bowl. That wasn't my argument, so I have no idea where the hell you got that I thought his punishment had anything to do with his lack of snaps???. I speculated that his lack of snaps could be a result of other things and I went on to point those out, like for example Major’s change to a more up tempo style of offense (requiring a more mobile QB) and that not exactly being one of Brewer's strongest abilities. I went on to state that regardless of whatever it is (punishment or not), the coaches should give him a realistic picture of where he stands on this team so that he can make the best decision going forward for himself. I also went on to say their certainly could be other things that we don’t know about (unknowns) affecting this situation and as spring practice moves forward, I would think that would be made more clear in terms of what Connor’s situation ends up being with this team. Again, help me out and tell me where exactly am I "reading too much" in to those possibilities? For someone who apparently doesn't like to see things repeated on this board, you certainly have a habit of repeating things from others on your own. " McCoy will probably be the backup due to his experience". I could of swore I saw that posted somewhere from someone in an earlier post on this thread. I wonder who that could have been?

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by txhookem78 13 months ago

  • This is much more clear than your first post, but I think I got it the first time. Which is why I made my original comment about "over speculation". I think the punishment was just punishment all the rest is just speculation. You certainly have the right to opine all you want as I have the right to say "your over thinking". As for as Brewer not being suited to the new offense we just don't know that yet, but go on and speculate. A QB does not have to be a dual threat to go up tempo. If Brewer turns out to be a good QB I'm guessing the coaches will modify our offense to meet his abilities as part of an attack that fits in with the rest of the talent. A good coach will "dance with the ones they brung". But then that's just speculation.

    This post was edited by cohorn 13 months ago

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