Some really interesting thoughts from the Longhorn defensive coordinator discussing championship depth, the progress of Gary Johnson, the internal athlete and the value of cross training all positions.
This is a series on coaching turnarounds (or attempted turnarounds ) at Texas, starting with the Royal era. I think there are some learning points to be gleaned and, at the risk of doing the reveal too early, I think they portend favorably for Herman.
All Texas coaching hires – like presidential elections – are a lesson in oversteering. The tendency to hire what the previous guy was not is predictable. The things we focus on also tend to be shallow and useless.
If you were a college running back and saw the Texas linebackers getting off of the game day bus, a little shudder of fear would run down your spine. Mostly because it’s July 13th and why is there a bus of Texas linebackers in front of my dorm room at Maryland?
Y’all get the drift on the premise. Let’s dive in…
We all know Connor Williams is a first round NFL draft pick. Smart insiders (that means you, IT readers) know that PJ Locke and Malcolm Roach are poised for a breakout year on defense. We all know Collin Johnson should be un-coverable and Devin Duvernay can run really fast with a ball in his hands.
The players Tom Herman is sending to Big 12 Media Days shouldn’t surprise anyone. Well, three of them, anyway.
PJ Locke is the leader of the secondary and will emerge as a 2017 breakout talent, Michael Dickson is the best punter in college football and Connor Williams is a NFL 1st round draft pick.
Then there’s Naashon Hughes…
Herman talks a lot about alignment. We debate what it means and what is or isn’t aligned behavior…until it starts to sound like a chiropractor CME seminar.
I think he means sound tactics informed by smart strategy.
We feature a depth chart comprised of a sophomore and a true freshman. The sophomore isn’t cut from the Andrew Luck cloth of QB frames and spent most of 2016 struggling with a shoulder injury that came from a hard hit in the Cal game, which was then re-aggravated on a weekly basis before knocking him out altogether. The true freshman is a true freshman who will do true freshman things in football games who, as a high school senior, tore both meniscus, broke his thumb and broke his wrist, in no small part because he doesn’t like shirking hits.
This is in complement to Eric’s excellent post evaluating the DL post Spring.
I went back and re-watched the Spring game and specifically concentrated only on DL snaps. Beyond the zero sum game caveats, I can evaluate get-off, mobility, effort, technique, low pads and explosiveness.
When you want to know whether a player in the NBA can play extended minutes “going small”, the question isn’t whether your 3 can score on a post player. We know he can. The question is whether he can hold up defending on the other end and what he costs you elsewhere. Giving up 35 to score 30 isn’t smart basketball.