Sophomore John Chiles will be on the field at the same time as two-year starter Colt McCoy, coach Mack Brown said Sunday — and it won’t be at wide receiver.
“We are committed to getting Colt and John on the field at the same time some of the time,” Brown said. “We will start working on that package immediately.”
The 2008 preseason begins 6 a.m. Monday for the Longhorns.
Chiles was recently rumored to be contemplating a transfer over lack of playing time; there were also published reports earlier in the summer of Chiles getting a look at WR. Chiles made his collegiate debut against Rice, lining up alongside McCoy on a couple of snaps. His coming-out party saw Chiles net 72 yards on eight carries.
“I want to say that, without question, John is still the second-team quarterback and he will not move from quarterback,” Brown continued. “Colt will be the starter because of his past experience, and John will be working with the First Team some in packages like he did last year. At the same time, John will not move away from the quarterback position.”
Developing the specifics of the ‘package’ will be a priority during the first 10 days of August camp, Brown said.
“It’s key for us to figure out how to use both guys and how to get the most production out of both Colt and John,” Brown said, though he would not divulge if Chiles might occasionally get snaps at WR, at RB, or extra playing-time at QB.
“We really didn’t focus on this during the spring,” Brown said. “We’re developing the package even as we speak, and we’re going to work on it immediately to see where it goes. John and Colt are two of our best players and are two of our most productive players. We need to see what we can do with them.”
Chiles saw action in seven games last season, running for 191 yards on 36 carries. Yet, he was just one-of-nine passing for 17 yards and was generally relegated to the bench during the last half of the 2007 season when so many games came down to the wire. However, Chiles saw early action in Texas’ Holiday Bowl win, leading the team on two TD drives against co-PAC 10 champ Arozona State.
“We felt like playing both of them, at separate times, in the bowl game was very productive,” Brown added. “We want to see if we can continue to do that but also get John on the field more and get the ball in his hands. That would be a help.”
Sherrod Harris showed marked improvement during the spring but the sophomore remains the No. 3 QB.
“John will still get more (practice) reps than Sherrod,” Brown said, “but Sherrod will get some. John will still be part of the package while remaining the second-team quarterback.”