Even though the philosophy of Texas’ offense stems from Tom Herman, offensive coordinator Tim Beck is the man charged with leading and calling the side of the ball asked to score points.
Beck has basic expectations of his quarterbacks, sophomore Shane Buechele and freshman Sam Ehlinger, and he said it has been difficult for them to excel so far because of how much information he’s thrown at them.
“I like both of them,” Beck said. “They’re working really hard. They’re competing. They’re locked in, dialed in. At times, it can be overwhelming seeing a lot of different things for those guys, but that’s okay. That’s part of what spring ball is. It’s throw everything at them as much as you can as you install, see what they can handle and can’t handle. The harder we make it for them right now, the easier it’s going to be for them in the game, and that’s part of the process.”
Some of those expectations have come at Ehlinger and Buechele very quickly, causing some struggles so far this spring.
“All of it, it’s just a big circle,” Beck said. “The more they understand that, the faster they process. The faster they process, the faster they play. The faster they play, the more confidence they have. The more confidence they have, the more success they have. It’s just a big circle. Right now, they’re in the circle, but it’s like a whirlwind. It’s just going and going.”
Even though things have been running at a hectic pace, Beck said Buechele had a slight leg up on the true freshman because he has college experience.
“I think he sees thing faster,” Beck said. “I think, defensively, there’s a lot of movement, a lot of things that are happening, so he’s able to adapt quicker. He’s able to see it. He understands and knows where the hole might be, and where he needs to go with the ball faster than Sam does.”
Buechele played last year as a true freshman but was rarely called on to be a vocal leader, as other juniors and seniors took that responsibility. This allowed Buechele to focus on learning the offense in preparation for his starting role.
Now, Beck expects Buechele to be more a vocal guy in the locker room, even though he’s a “cool customer.”
“I don’t think it was expected of him,” Beck said. “I expect it of him. I think Coach Herman expects it of him. I think he’s learning, he’s growing into that. Again, sometimes it’s very hard to lead when you’re overwhelmed. There’s been days that the information I’ve given him is like shoving a hose down his throat. Hard to lead when you can’t speak. He’s doing really good. I think he’ll be able to do that for us.”
As far as the ball carriers, Beck knows some major contributors are nursing injuries right now. That does not mean he doesn’t like what he’s seen so far from sophomore Kyle Porter. Like Herman several days prior, Beck lauded the former Katy Tiger.
“They’ve been beat up, so it’s really kind of hard to tell,” Beck said. “I know KP’s done a tremendous job right now, I’m really impressed with him. He’s been, I don’t want to say surprise because I know he’s a good player, he’s been one that’s stood out in my eyes this spring.”
Herman has called the wide receivers one of his best position groups, though they needed to increase their toughness.
Beck had something else in mind that they needed to work on.
“I like all of those guys in that group,” Beck said. “We’ve got to continue to develop the depth, and we’ve just got to continue to be consistent. They’re not consistent enough right now to finish drives off.”
As far as for his entire team, Beck knew what they needed to work on most.
“Consistency right now,” Beck said. “Just not being consistent enough. I think we’re developing. I think we’re growing. The last couple practices have been better energy, better focus, better opportunities to make plays. We’ve got to just stay consistent.”
Even though there seems to be so many things the offense needs to work on, he did think highly of the players’ willingness to work.
“They’re coachable, they want to do well,” Beck said. “They’re learning. They’re learning our style, how we coach. They’re learning our offense. I’m pleased with where that group is right now, I am. I think they keep working really hard and keep believing, I think we’ll be pretty good. I do, I believe that.”