are already stacking up
Several key players are not
participating in summer workouts. On top of freshman OL Camrhon
Hughes' season-ending ACL tear, Quandre Diggs, Adrian Phillips, Greg
Daniels, Jackson Jeffcoat, Bryant Jackson and Miles Onyegbule are all
sidelined right now.
However, trainer Kenny Boyd is
optimistic that Diggs, Phillips, Daniels and Jeffcoat will be ready
for August camp.
“(Boyd) will watch them very
carefully,” Brown said. “All of them except Bryant Jackson and
Miles Onyegbule should be 100 percent when we start August 2nd.
But they will be limited in the summer.”
Boyd will be present for 7 on 7s, but
no other coaches are allowed to watch the team or even ask players
about individual performances.
“I worry to death about their summer
competitions without coaches and strength coaches around because
there's nobody out there,” Brown said. “It scares me every time
they go out there and they've just got to take care of each other.”
[Note for subscribers from Jesus
Shuttlesworth: Jeffcoat and Phillips Update]
Not Concerned: Losses at
With Hughes' injury, the departure of
Paden Kelley and the potential departure of another offensive tackle
(see the June 4th edition of Inside the Humidor for more), Texas could suddenly find itself short
on OTs. However, Brown showed little concern, noting that every Texas
lineman knows how to play all five postions.
“One of the great things that
(offensive line coach) Stacy Searels has brought to us is he moves
those guys around,” Brown said. “They've been playing five
different positions since they've been here. I walked in, talked to
him right after Paden (Kelley) left. He said, 'Here's what we'll do.'
You've got guys like Thomas Ashcraft who have been waiting to play for a long
time. He's in great shape and had a really good spring. We're excited
about him. You have Luke Poehlmann, who made so much progress after
his knee operation. It's hard to come back in less than a year and be
able to participate as Luke did last year. He can now actually help
us and play tackle. We have all the young ones, too.”
Brown said no defensive players will be
moved to the offensive side of the ball. In addition, Brown noted
that Hughes would have redshirted even if he was healthy.
injury itself occurred during a pick-up basketball game. A reporter
asked Brown if he has any policy against players participating in
“I talked to my buddies across the
country that are coaching. They want to all pull them off Twitter,
Facebook, not let them play basketball, not let them do this, do
that. They are human beings, and they're kids. I think Camrhon's dad
said, 'A medicine ball is the only ball you'll be picking up in your
future.' Parents usually handle that,” Brown replied.
Last season the Longhorns ranked 21st
in the nation in rushing offense (202.62 ypg) and 86th
throwing the ball (189.92 ypg). With Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron and
Johnathan Gray all potential starters at tailback, the Horns again
look good on the ground. Passing remains a problem, one that could
get worse with inconsistency and injury at wide receiver.
“Since we had receivers hurt and
some leave, we've got to get better consistency and better
timing with our passing game,” Brown said. “I think that will
happen. It's hard with Marquise (Goodwin) because he's gone all the
time...but (the quarterbacks) should be much more comfortable with
the other receivers.”
If they don't get comfortable, Texas
could again have an unbalanced offense. Brown values balance in the
offense and he's made the passing game a priority.
“We need to throw it more often and
we need to throw it better,” Brown said.
He is, however, seeing steady progress
at quarterback and he's hopeful that it will translate into more
explosive plays and fewer turnovers.
“The biggest thing they need to
improve in is their leadership and confidence and I'm seeing it. I'm
so impressed with those two (David Ash and Case McCoy) since summer.
I walked by Case today and he said 'Everything's going great.'”
Not Concerned: What do we do
with D.J. Monroe?
One of the most common complaints about
the Texas offense in 2010, legitimately, was the lack of involvement
for WR/RB D.J. Monroe. Despite averaging 8.5 yards per carry, Monroe
only received 23 hand-offs. He saw that number more than double to
48 (plus eight catches) under Bryan Harsin, but finding the right
place for him in the offense was still difficult.
Therefore, Brown announced Wednesday that the
Horns were creating a new position specifically for Monroe and
freshman speedster Daje Johnson.
“Bryan and (co-offensive coordinator)
Major (Applewhite) and (wide receivers coach) Darrell (Wyatt) are
calling it T 'n Z right now, which is part tailback, part Z
receiver,” Brown said. “We feel those guys are speed guys and can
get the ball in their hands and help us with explosive plays. They're
working hard this summer on getting packages to get D.J. more
involved and to get Daje involved early in the process because we
think he has a chance to be a good player with his explosive speed.”
The announcement comes as little
surprise to Inside Texas members, given the number of times Daje Johnson has been mentioned
by Jesus Shuttlesworth's sources. [Subscribers, see Inside the
Humidor entries from 4/2/12, 5/29/12 and 6/4/12.]
The position itself will function like
a wingback who frequently motions.
“They'll line up in the backfield
some and they'll shift and motion to the Z, which is our flanker
position,” said Brown.
When asked to give a comparison to the
position, Brown said, “Reggie Bush.”
Concerned: Tight end
Having multiple effective tight ends is important to Bryan Harsin's offense. Redshirt freshman M.J.
McFarland has shown flashes, but the position remains one of
concern...so much so that Brown just added Geoff Swaim from Butte
Community College (Oroville, Calif.).
[Subscribers: More on Swaim's
commitment from recruiting editor Eric Nahlin – Longhorns Land
Commit Number 15 (Again)]
Brown is unable to mention specific recruits in his press conferences, but he did explain his policy when
it comes to JUCO players.
“What we've decided to do is take a
junior college player if we feel like he can fit an immediate need,”
Brown said. “We will not be a junior college recruiting group, but
if we see a guy who can fill an immediate need we'll take him, and if
he fits our program.”
Clearly he feels tight end is a
position of “immediate need.” In addition to the surprise offer for
Swaim, Texas moved freshman defensive end Caleb Bluiett to tight end, as we first reported last month in Mondays In The Humidor.
“He's a baseball player, a really
good athlete,” Brown said. “He's tall, hasn't played much there
before, but we think he's a guy that can help us because we need to
be more productive and create depth in our receiver and tight end
Last season Harsin used tight end and
fullback interchangeably and fullback also remains a question mark
for Texas coaches.
“We've got to get settled at
fullback. Ryan Roberson, Alex De La Torre and Chet Moss will be the
three guys playing that position to start with, Barrett Matthews has
some H-back ability and then you've got to see where all the freshmen
Not Concerned: The
decommitment of Ricky Seals-Jones
Seals-Jones, considered by many to be
the top wide receiver in the nation for 2013, withdrew his commitment
to Texas and re-opened his recruitment.
Shuttlesworth noted Monday that the
Texas coaches are not concerned about the decommitment (see the
6/11/12 edition of the Humidor) and Brown pointed out Wednesday that
Texas has been fortunate down the stretch in recruiting.
“We're trying to finish the class as
strong as we did last year,” Brown said. “Last year there were a
number of guys that changed their minds and committed to us late.
That can always happen. We just don't have as many spots this year.”
Seals-Jones publicly stated that
basketball is now the driving force in his recruitment. Again, Brown
was unable to mention specific players, but he did talk at length about
the relationship between he and men's basketball coach Rick Barnes.
“Rick and I have talked about it
(players in both sports). Jackson Jeffcoat talked to Rick and he just
has not decided to play. But it would not be a problem at all...We
had five guys play both at North Carolina. Three of them started and
I signed one of them. Ronald Curry – he played for the Oakland
Raiders. Greg Ellis played for the Cowboys. Julius Peppers played for
Carolina; we redshirted him. But all of those came in knowing they
were going to play both.”
But, what if a football player Brown wants is not
good enough in basketball to make Barnes' team? Would Barnes still
“I think Rick would do anything I
asked him to do. I really do. And I would do that for Rick. I think
we're that close,” Brown replied.
Concerned: Can anybody kick a
field goal? Seriously, anybody?
The Longhorns are still a long way from
selecting a kicker.
“We lost Justin Tucker, who did a lot
of great things for us. I saw that kick against A&M again last
night. Who's that guy? Who's the guy to step up and make that kick?
Because we'll have that kick at some point next year. Is it Nick
Jordan? Is it (Ben) Pruitt? Is it somebody already here? I hear Nick
Rose is a great kickoff guy. He's in school. Will he do it?”
No answers yet.
Not Concerned: Three players
arrested downtown last month
Alex Okafor, Kenny Vaccaro and Barrett
Matthews were arrested following an altercation at a downtown pizza
parlor, which started after the players refused to leave the
All three cases were dismissed and
Brown announced there will be no suspensions. There will, however, be
significant in-house “disciplinary punishment.” As the charges
were dropped, the punishment is not about the arrest but rather the
failure to obey an officer.
“They are paying hard for really
being disrespectful to authority figures,” Brown said. “It's our
job to make sure that we all keep the respect of the authority
figures that we have. Our police department has a very, very
difficult job. If they ask you to leave, you should leave, and you
should leave quickly. Now everything has been dismissed in the case.
But, again, I think all of us need to learn respect.”
Brown is not worried about the arrests
affecting teammates and no punishment will extend into the season.
Concerned: Who are we?
In 2005 and 2009, the two seasons Mack
Brown led the Longhorns to the BCS National Championship game, he
knew exactly what he had.
“I knew in '05 we were going to be
really good. We had everything,” Brown said.
It was the same in 2009. He knew his
team could make it to Pasadena, and it did.
That is not the case this season.
“We've got to learn who we are,” Brown
said. “We've got to play well. We've got to improve. Some young
guys need to step up. We've got to be consistent at quarterback.
We've got to protect the ball even better than we did last year and
get more explosive plays on offense. We've got to be more balanced.
We've got to throw it better.”
All that said, a successful season is
still possible. Specifically the 2008 Texas Longhorns came to Brown's
“In '08 I wasn't sure because we had
those young safeties. Colt (McCoy) didn't have as good of a year the
year before and in '08 he played remarkable. At the same time it was
a year we stayed healthy...I was surprised we played as well as we
did in '08. I was not surprised in '09...I think we're back more to
Not Concerned: Losing
Marquise Goodwin to the Olympics
Last week Goodwin won his second
national championship in the long jump, leaping 8.23 meters (27
feet). A jump of that length would be good enough for a bronze medal
at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Goodwin will attempt to make the U.S. team
for the 2012 London games.
However, even if he makes the Olympics,
he would still be back in Austin well before the start of football
season and Goodwin is looking forward it.
“When I texted him right after his
win, he said, 'Now let's do it in football, Coach,'” Brown said.
“He's been a guy that's handled both sports really well. That's a
difficult thing to do. He will be competing in the Olympic Trials. We
want to wish him and all the other Longhorns competing in those
trials luck. His jump in the Olympics, if he gets that far, is August
4th. We report August 2nd. He could get back pretty soon and have
some preseason work before we open up for the first ballgame.”