Mondays with Mack (and Gary)

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By Mike Blackwell, Inside Texas Magazine Editor
Posted Nov 12, 2012
Copyright © 2018

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David Ash

With Texas having some extra days off in preparation for the Thanksgiving contest against Texas Christian University, Mack Brown's availability to the press on Monday was limited to a 10-minute discussion via teleconference, during which time he discussed his team's mid-season turnaround, handling players and assistant coaches, the Horned Frogs' physicality and the continued evolution of David Ash as a quarterback.

And since Brown's visit with the media was shortened, Inside Texas decided to drop in on TCU coach Gary Patterson's brief availability as well.



Brown said his team's transformation since the narrow win at Kansas was simple: the team just decided to keep putting one cleated foot ahead of another.

"We just circled the wagons," said Brown, using an old but functional cliche. "We have some young guys who have been growing up on defense...and we stopped listening to outside sources and just went to work. We just stepped up."


Brown was asked how he maintained patience when his team was struggling earlier in the season, and he said experience has told him that it doesn't do anyone - certainly not his team - any good to blow an emotional gasket.

"Every team is different, every coach is different, every player is different," Brown said. "You just have to learn how to handle each situation, because each situation is different."


Yes, Texas A&M has Johnny Football, Tide killer Johnny Manziel. But on Monday, Brown sounded pretty happy to have David Ash as his signal caller, and downplayed his earlier struggles against Oklahoma and Kansas.

"David had such a great run going into the OU game," Brown said. "And he played well against Baylor, too. The Kansas game was a great learning experience for him, to know that you have to adjust when you some bad things happen to you."

When asked by a reporter to talk about Ash's strengths, Brown quickly replied, "He's big, he's got great feet and he's got a big, strong arm. He takes care of the football. And having a strong arm is important, because you are going to play in some wind in this league."


Brown said increasing the physical nature of his practices should especially pay dividends against tough team like TCU, the Longhorns' Thanksgiving opponent.

"Gary's teams don't give an inch," Brown said. "His teams are always very physical, and we have to be prepared for that. And plus, even though we won 33-7, we've got a lot of things that still need to be fixed."




Patterson said he's looking forward to playing the Longhorns on Thanksgiving this season, now that Texas A&M is officially out of the picture.

"For us, we've had a chance to watch Texas and Texas A&M for years, and now to have an opportunity to actually play in that venue, with the whole nation watching, it will mark where we are as a program," Patterson said. "We're excited about it."


Patterson and his team are two games into a four-game stretch of games that includes West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs beat West Virginia on the road, then lost to Kansas State.

"I'd rather have an older team, going against all of these ranked teams," Patterson said of the gauntlet. "But the kids have hung in tough. I told them this will be a good measuring stick to see what we have to do for next year."


Patterson quickly praised the Longhorns when asked about his upcoming game in Austin.

"They really have been getting better," Patterson said. "They've gotten healthy, and they are clicking now on both sides of the ball."




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