The Texas Longhorns held their first of fifteen spring practices earlier today. Afterward, head coach Mack Brown met with the press to discuss the upcoming season and to answer questions. Here are some of the key points from the meeting with the media.
First, Brown mentioned that the Longhorns are looking to add some positions to the coaching staff. The current trend in college football is to hire people that focus mostly on recruiting and player personnel, which many other teams in the Big 12 conference have already done. In fact, the university has posted an opening just today looking for a new director of player personnel to oversee player recruitment.
Brown also reiterated what most fans have already put together–that the Longhorns plan to use a more upbeat offense this coming fall. With Major Applewhite now calling the plays, the thought is that the Texas offense will be moving back to the spread, focusing on spreading the field and allowing the quarterback, most likely David Ash, to use his legs more to create plays. We saw a brief glimpse of this in the Longhorns’ win over Oregon State in this year’s Alamo Bowl. Though just a preview, it seemed to work, as Ash turned into a completely different player when he was allowed to move around and run the ball more.
Brown says they expect to have a fewer offensive formations and will substitute less than they did in the past couple of seasons under offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin’s offenses, which is actually a good thing.
The coach also mentioned that while this move will obviously help the offense, it will be beneficial to the defensive side of the ball as well, commenting that practicing daily against these up-tempo offenses will be more in line with what the defense can expect to see from their Big 12 opponents week-in and week-out.
One interesting point that will excite Longhorn fans is that Ash has spent a lot of time in the off-season with Vince Young, and Vince has had several discussions with the quarterback on what it means to be a leader. That can only be considered a good thing. Many believe that this is the difference between Ash becoming a good quarterback and a great one.
The Longhorns ended the season on a positive note with their Alamo Bowl win, and they hope to build on that victory as they head into spring and prepare for the fall. The Big 12 seems to be wide open this upcoming season, and the Horns hope that these changes can help them as they try and fight their way back to the top of the the conference standings.