As is tradition on the Forty Acres, Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown spoke to and answered questions from members of the press this afternoon in his pre-season press conference.
With Texas hitting the field for the first practice of fall camp tomorrow morning, Brown covered many of the major story lines surrounding the Texas program as we enter the 2012 season.
Here are a few of Mack Brown’s general statements:
- The first two games of the Texas schedule– home tests against the Wyoming Cowboys on September 1 and the New Mexico Lobos— will both be televised on the Longhorn Network. (In other words, about 2% of Texas fans will see these games unless they have superior internet hacking skills or Grande Communications).
- The Texas program– assuredly among others– is requesting additional access to players during the summertime. Brown feels like the evaluation process is hampered and the potential for bad behavior among players during the summer is increased due to them not being held accountable for their actions.
- As he has stated previously, Brown espoused that a stipend should be paid to players on top of their scholarship money due to the amount of money changing hands in college sports.
- Texas practices will be closed to the public throughout the fall.
- Texas can no longer depend on one player to carry the team to successful seasons and to winning championships. Having Vince Young and Colt McCoy at quarterback over a seven-year stretch was a “dream” that won’t happen again anytime soon.
- Junior quarterback Case McCoy has gained 15 pounds of muscle mass over the summer and is now up to 200 pounds while also cutting body fat. Should help him absorb hits and be more comfortable in the pocket.
- David Ash‘s hamstring issue is no more. He 100% healthy and ready for practice.
- Both David Ash and Case McCoy should be improved overall due to continuity among personnel and overall improvement throughout the offensive unit during the summer.
- Senior D.J. Monroe and true freshman Daje Johnson should see plenty of looks out of a new “hybrid” position that will combine the former responsibilities of a “Z” back (off-set back in Harsin’s formations) and a slot receiver. Both guys should line up some in the backfield and in the slot to utilize their speed.
- Overall, this year’s team is faster and Texas must find ways to use that speed.
- Linebacking depth will be important to the unit’s overall performance. With the loss of Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho, Jordan Hicks will be asked to step up and be the vocal leader of the corps.
- DeMarco Cobbs and Steve Edmond will be expected to make major contributions to take up for the slack left behind by Robinson and Acho.
- Former Penn State kicker Anthony Fera transferred to Texas primarily due to some health issues in the family and the need to be closer to home.
- He will graduate from Penn State through the help of the Texas academic staff.
- Fera will be in a competition with several guys for the kicking job and could also theoretically compete with Duke transfer Alex King for punting duties as well.
In all, it was a relatively low key press conference as the pre-season pressers tend to be, but don’t let this suggest that Texas has nothing on the line this fall.
Everything is on the line.