Let’s temper those expectations, Texas Longhorns fans.
That is what head coach Charlie Strong is preaching as he makes his way across the Lone Star State on his 2014 Texas Comin’ on Strong tour. At a stop in Fort Worth on Monday, Strong let fans know this team is a work in progress and to not expect a national championship run in 2014.
After the annual spring game on Apr. 19, any fans who thought otherwise were living in a dream world.
The quarterback position is unsettled with David Ash out with an injured foot. Tyrone Swoopes was shaky and inconsistent while running the first team offense. Heralded freshman Jerrod Heard will not be on campus until the summer.
The struggles should not come as a surprise. The coaches and players have had 15 practices to implement and learn a new system.
The offensive line did not look good in the scrimmage. The first and second team lines gave up a combined nine sacks. Swoopes rarely had time to sit in the pocket and go through his progressions. Offensive coordinator Joe Wickline will whip this group into shape. He has to if there is any hope of Ash, Swoopes or Heard surviving the season. Remember that Ash missed most of the 2013 season with concussion symptoms.
Strong mentioned the word “entitlement” when referring to the group he has inherited from former coach Mack Brown. I suspect a good bit of spring practice has been spent breaking down and rebuilding some of these players. There is talent on the roster, but tetting that talent to buy in 100 percent is not always easy or quick.
Strong is smart to reel in the fans’ expectations. He is taking over a team that finished 8-5 last year. What fans should be excited about is the no nonsense approach the staff is taking. Strong is not here to cozy up to boosters and alumni – he was hired to put a winning product on the field. It will happen one day.
Until then, let’s pump the brakes, Longhorn fans. Strong will get the program turned around. Just pocket those national championship aspirations for a season.
While a National Championship may be out of reach this season, the Longhorns could still win the Big 12 if Strong can get his players to reach their full potential. Get your Texas Longhorns football tickets for the upcoming season and see how they improve under Strong for yourself.