Several follow up emails arrived in my inbox immediately after yesterday's mailbag. As always, I try to respond to everyone's email individually or on the site. I will never use anyone's full name unless you explicitly authorize me to.
Long time no talk. I was wondering what your thoughts were on what I would call the Deon Beasley "conundrum." I have seen about enough of him getting absolutely toasted by opposing receivers--it feels like every time he sees the field. Plus, I hear Mack gave him a "Ball Hawk" award for his alleged 4th down stop in the end zone last week, when in reality, Denario Alexander caught that ball right over Deon and basically we got lucky that his foot came down 6 cm out of bounds on the chalk.
Why does he keep getting reps? And now that Chykie appears to be banged up a little bit, are we gonna have to see Deon a lot or will the coaches wake up and sit him down, and just play Aaron Williams/Curtis Brown? This worries me a little with Dez Bryant and Damien Davis coming in this week. Davis especially I think will give him trouble with his height. Anyways, sorry this turned into a rambling rant, but was just wondering if you had any thoughts.
Thanks, Trey. I'll offer a couple points worth considering:
1. Chykie Brown should be fine to go. Whatever nicks and bruises Chykie sustained against Missouri appear not to be lingering. From everything I can tell, he's healthy and ready to play Saturday against Oklahoma State. I'll keep an eye out for any reports indicating otherwise, but unless you know something I don't, I'd expect to see him out there working on Dez Bryant.
2. Beasley so far in 2008. Believe me, no one has been more disappointed than I in Beasley's uninspiring first half of the season. I not only touted him as one of "My Guys" for the upcoming season but expected a performance that garnered him some all-conference publicity. With that said, I'm not sure I'd characterize his letdown quite the same way that you are: I don't so much see him out there blowing coverage assignments so much as he is--certainly relative to his teammates--not playing with the requisite aggressiveness and willingness to be physical. Honestly, seven games in I think Beasley has found that (probably more than others in the secondary) he has some serious adjusting to do to play the kind of defense Will Muschamp is employing, which is centered on managing space and tackling squarely.
3. Beasley heading forward. Mack Brown and Will Muschamp have essentially two options: Bench him (as you suggest) or bring him along. The staff is clearly committed to the latter, and wisely so. Deon has the athletic capabilities not only to do better as a physical tackler but also, once he brings that part of his game up to snuff, provide for Texas strong cover skills to boot. Given how much nickle and dime Muschamp is playing, I suspect the coaches believe--as I do--the Texas secondary at max capacity includes Deon Beasley contributing at his top-end abilities. And if it's been disappointing that he's not there yet, I don't at all blame Mack Brown for encouraging him with an award in an effort to keep bringing him along. The defense will be better off if the coaches succeed.
Love the blog. How, if at all, has the enclosure of the north end zone increased crowd noise or provided a greater home field advantage? Thanks.--Ian A.
My understanding from talking to folks is that the noise capacity is increased with the new stadium additions, but there have been mixed reports as to how loud DKR has actually been throughout the year. Attendees this past Saturday told me the stadium was especially rowdy (at least while the game was close), but I'll open your question up to the readership here: What's your take on DKR's new configuration from a noise perspective?