Brown announces new personnel staff position at spring press conference

Head

football coach Mack Brown held his annual press conference on the first day of

spring drills on Thursday, and talked about multiple topics related to the

team. The two biggest points he touched on were the job opening for the

position of director of player personnel, and the Horns’ decision to have an

offense similar to what was seen in the second half of the Alamo Bowl victory

for the entire season.
Brown

announced the new position today, saying that the position would carry a large

recruiting responsibility. “The

position of director of player personnel would oversee our recruiting,” Brown

said. “This is something we’ve all looked at very carefully.” Brown

cited the NCAA restriction of five strength coaches allowed for football as

part of the reason behind the new position. He expects a similar limit on

administrative staff to happen in the future, but there is currently no limit

on the amount of analysts or quality control personnel a program may have. Brown

also discussed the recent wave of recruiting, saying he was pleased with his

team’s efforts in that area. “Recruiting

is going well, but it is going slower,” Brown said. “We’re trying to make sure

that if a young guy commits to us, he stays.” Brown

said that he will no longer allow recruits to commit and go on visits

elsewhere. He stressed the importance of slowing the process down. “If

everyone understands the deal and if they won’t go on any more visits or take

calls, that’s fine,” Brown said. “If that’s not all in place, then we won’t

accept it. We want you to be sincere with the people you see, and we want you

to be sincere with us.” Brown

announced that the second junior day would be on Saturday, Feb. 23 on the

second practice day, and that he expects 25-30 guys to participate. Of those,

eight have committed to Texas. (For a list of prospects and commitments expected to attend the second junior day, click here. For a list of 2014 commitments, click here.) The

dates of the spring game and the practices open to the public were announced as

well. The two open practices will be on Friday, March 1 and Saturday March 2.

Both practices will be in DKR and will be full pads; the annual Orange and

White game will take place on Saturday, March 30 at 6 p.m. Four

Longhorns will be out because of injury for spring practice, including senior

linebacker Demarco Cobbs, freshman linebacker Deoundrei Davis, senior guard

Trey Hopkins and junior kicker Will Russ. Freshman tackle Camrhon Hughes and

senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat will both be limited during spring

practice. Brown

said that the offensive philosophy going forward will be a “tempo offense” that

was seen in the bowl game. “We

want to be attacking on both sides of the ball like we were in the second half

against Oregon State,” Brown said. “We still want to be balanced, but there

will be fewer formations and we will substitute less.” Brown

was confident his team would be able to make this change to an up-tempo offense

within one off-season, and that the offense would overall be the same. He also

felt that a two-deep depth chart would help keep the best players on the field,

and that it would help team morale and health. “There’s

a difference between the plays you run and the tempo you run,” Brown said. “We

want to run a very fast tempo and run our same plays. We don’t want to be

anyone else, we want to be us.” Brown

cited the fact that a majority of the top 10 offenses in the country were up-tempo,

and that the ones that are moving the ball consistently are the best offenses.

He also said that he expects that this decision is well within the mindset of co-offensive

coordinator and quarterbacks coach Major Applewhite. “This

is easier for Major to do than it would for [former offensive coordinator]

Bryan [Harsin],” Brown said. “It wasn’t part of [Harsin’s] background.” The

depth that the Longhorns have at running back will also be an important part of

the offense this season, and that health at the position will be very

important. “Tailbacks

have not consistently stayed healthy,” Brown said. “We feel like we can have

two to three tailbacks, and that the main reason we go tempo is to have more

snaps. We’re going to need guys in shape because if you get 85 snaps a game,

you need guys to play.” Brown

said that the change in offense would help the defense be prepared for the

tempo offenses in the Big XII. “Defensively

we will go back and we will have to do a better job at the line of scrimmage at

stopping the run,” Brown said. “When you stop the run, you create havoc for the

quarterback and force more turnovers.” The

Longhorns struggled with tackling in the 2012 season, and Brown said it would

be a focus during the offseason. “When

you tackle well, you have a good defense,” Brown said. “I thought we tackled

better in the last half of the season, but we’ll continue to work on the

fundamentals of tackling.” Brown

said that assistant head coach Duane Akina will work to find his starting

secondary during the spring. “We’ve

had a good discussion about safety for the past 10 days,” Brown said. “[Akina]

will work them all, and he will have to find the five best guys because of the

nickel package.” Brown

said junior cornerback Sheroid Evans would be practicing at corner, and that

junior Quandre Diggs is able to play both corner and safety. He was confident

in the fact that this team would be able to match up with any team in the

country. “I

think that there is more excitement than pressure,” Brown said. “We have 19 of

our 22 starters back, and a chance to get our program back to a top level

program and keep it there.” ——- Some

new NCAA rules were also disussed at the press conference: *

“Targeting” with head collisions is now reviewable, and officials

will have the option of ejecting a player if the review determines the hit was

intentional. Penalty for an ejection for four quarters, which obviously would

carry over into the next game. A penalty without an ejection is also possible.

*

A 10-second clock run-off can be assessed for injury timeouts late in the half

and games, to discourage faking an injury.

*

Assisting the ball carrier, a.k.a. “The Bush Push” is illegal. You

can push a pie, but cannot push or pull a player into the end zone.

Brown also touched on a variety of other topics:

*

Jalen Overstreet and Tyrone Swoopes will get a “good look” this spring at

quarterback. Interpret that as you wish. *

Sophomore LB Dalton Santos has lost 20-25 pounds and now weighs 235 pounds.

Brown also mentioned that junior LB Steve Edmond has lost weight as well.

*

Brown said linebacker Jordan Hicks will play either weakside or middle

linebacker.

*

Brown had high praise for offensive line coach Stacy Searels: “Stacy

Searels has done as good as anyone in the country and has recruited potentially

the best offensive group in the country.”

*

Junior John Harris will get looks at both receiver and tight end.

*

Sophomore Daje Johnson will still play both RB and WR.

*

Brown also said this about defensive back Adrian Phillips: “But a young man like

Adrian Phillips, I don’t think we were fair to him publicly. He’s was young,

but because he’d been such a good player we put him out there and said go and

wondered why he struggled.”

*

Brown also gave a mini-Vince Young update: “Vince Young being here has helped

(David Ash). Ash has had numerous conversations with Vince about leadership

moving forward.”