Throughout the weeks of preparation for the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, new Longhorns playcaller Major Applewhite was said to be one of the major forces on the coaching staff pushing players to worker harder and be better.
After the comeback victory, he shared some interesting thoughts on the offseason ($):
It's not about the Xs and Os. It's really about just the culture of our program and demanding more of our guys; demanding more of our coaches, strength coaches, trainers, just getting guys tougher.
And that's where we're going to improve as a ballclub. That's why we've got to have an offseason where everyone is uncomfortable. Uncomfortable as coaches, as players. That's where you find your largest growth.
So these next eight, nine months are going to be vital for us. The good thing is these young guys, maybe it's now sinking in. It was uncomfortable for these four weeks of practice following two losses. But this feels pretty damned good, so we'll build on that.
The comment about making everyone uncomfortable is an interesting one, something that would seem rather strange and foreign coming from Brown, who has been pretty controlling about how much latitude his assistants have in meting out punishment to players for mistakes or a lack of effort.
That seems to be changing with Applewhite now stepping into a larger role, one that he seems to be embracing.
If Applewhite doesn't sound like a head coach there, he certainly sounds like a future head coach. He seems to be taking it upon himself to show the force of character that Mack Brown seems to lack at times -- Applewhite is young, energetic, and charismatic.
He's ready to put an indelible stamp on the Texas football and it will start in the offseason.