Spring Practice: A Time To Get Better, Not Injured

Brendan Maloney-US Presswire

I was reading an article yesterday online recapping spring practice for the Texas Longhorns and it brought to my attention an issue that is bigger than people would like to make it.

Why is the QB the only player in practice that is off limits when it comes to hitting at full speed—especially for a Texas team that saw Malcolm Brown, Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat fight injuries last year?

I’m not suggesting that there be no tackling, but when I read that safety Mykkele Thompson laid a “jarring” hit on WR Jaxon Shipley I’m left with confusion and displeasure. I understand the necessity to go full speed and have that game-like atmosphere during practice, but that is what the scout team is for.

There is no reason what-so-ever that one of the top two WRs at Texas who is poised for a big season should be subject to getting his bell rung and laid out on the turf after being obliterated by a defensive back or linebacker during practice.

No reason at all.

I can hear it now. Vaguely, but, I can hear it; “We talkin’ bout practice man….not a game…not a game…practice. We talkin’ bout practice.”

It is simple. Make the play without putting your teammate at risk. Why not just pull up and grab Shipley or slow down and wrap him up until the whistle is blown and you go back to your huddle? I’m pretty sure if you did either the coaches are going to understand.

You don’t understand, Corey. If he isn’t going 100 percent he could lose playing time!”

Give me a break.

Oh, yes, that makes perfect sense; let’s knock Shipley unconscious with concussion symptoms during the week in practice so when Saturday rolls around David Ash has one less target to throw to and Texas one less threat on offense.

Why is it acceptable for defensive linemen to stop or run by grabbing the QB with one arm as the whistle is blown, yet, it is unacceptable if Quandre Diggs doesn’t knock Mike Davis’ helmet off when he goes up for a catch?

It makes no difference if Ash is out with everyone else healthy or everyone else out with Ash healthy; both are detrimental.

And don’t comment telling me I don’t understand or that I’m an idiot if I expect these players to lighten up playing a fast full-contact game. If you can’t understand what I’m saying you’re not getting the point. Whether it is Texas or Texas A&M I don’t see why it is necessary to be out on the practice field blowing guys up, especially your starters.

With OT Josh Cochran already out due to an injury suffered in spring practice last week and Jeffcoat participating in non-contact drills due to recovery from his off-season surgery on his ruptured pectoral, Texas should err on the side of caution.

Spring practice is about getting better and tweaking things for the fall, am I right?

Of course I am.

Get better and stay healthy. It is possible to do both, you know.

As for the spring game, well, that is a game. Play it like you would any other Saturday.

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