Texas Longhorn head coach Mack Brown answers some questions after Friday afternoon’s practice.
March 25, 2011
Opening statement: We had our best practice on Wednesday after a rather average practice on Monday, and that’s pretty typical for the first practice after spring break. But I was really impressed with the tempo and the attitude and the toughness of Wednesday’s practice, so I wasn’t sure what we’d get today because we’ve got a big scrimmage in the morning. I thought today’s practice was every bit as good as the one on Wednesday. I think we’re starting to turn the corner with our change in culture and attitude and work ethic and getting back to who we want to be with tempo and attitude.
On today’s effort: It was really good. They competed. We even had a tug-of-war in the middle of practice between the offense and defense. The offense actually won. The defense won Wednesday in a fourth-down drill that was a live-scrimmage deal. We’re doing a lot of competition, offense against defense, this spring and making them understand that regardless of what it is – tug-of-war, fourth-down scrimmage – you [have] got to win.
On having to get a lot accomplished in a limited amount of practices: It’s hard, but our weight program is different. We’re running from place to place in our weight program. We’re running from place to place in practice. We have assured them that will make us in better condition for the fall. We also know you want to get there and be ready to go and you get more done. So you get a lot more reps in a two-hour period when you’re running than if you’re standing around.
On emphasizing special teams: We are. We felt like last year the turnover ratio killed us, and the special teams weren’t nearly as good as [they had] been. We’ve won a lot of games around here with special teams, so we’ve gone back and whatever reason it wasn’t good last year we’re making sure this year that we get it fixed.
On communication between players and coaches: It’s always really important. We build our program around three different things. We start with communication because you’ve got to be able to talk to each other. Second, we have trust because without communication you can’t trust each other. Then you need respect and without trust you sure cannot respect yourself, so you can’t respect the other people. The last part of that is common purpose. We just constantly talk to our players. It’s a difficult time in their lives. Football is hard here. School is hard here. They’ve got pressure, and they’ve got media [pressure]. Come and talk to us. Don’t just talk to us about football. If your family is having trouble, come talk to us. It’s a very difficult age for depression, so if you’re having depression issues, come and tell us you are. We can get you with the right people to try and help that, but unless we all understand that we’re working through this like a family – working through tough situations – then it doesn’t work.
On Saturday’s scrimmage: Our signees have been invited for tomorrow, [those] that aren’t in school. Our commitments – the recruits – have been invited for tomorrow. Parents can obviously come. This is a big scrimmage before the spring game, and it’s one where we’ll actually show a lot more things than we will next week because with a new offense and a new defense you’re basically pretty simple in a spring game. But tomorrow a lot of guys will make a step forward or stay where they are. So tomorrow is an important day for the guys.