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Big 12 Media Day, Part Two: Post-Vince Offense

We'll continue our look at Mack Brown's Q&A session at Big 12 Media Day with the thoughts on the post-Vince offense:

Q: With Vince's ability to improvise gone, do you have to have much more structure to your offense right now?

Mack Brown: We won't have any more structure, but we probably won't have the 3rd down and 30 scrambles that we had for first downs [when Vince was here]. I called those on a regular basis and they were really exciting, so we'll probably take that out of our offense now.

But, we'll run the same offense. We'll emphasize different things and different people. When you've got a lot of your offensive line back, you've got Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles, with the experience and ability of those two guys, you've got all your receivers back, and a couple of great prospects that are young at tight end... We will still run the same offense. We may run more zoning and less zone route, but we'll still have the ability to runt the zone route; it just won't be as dramatic as it was with Vince sometimes...

We know we'll have to run the ball better to take some pressure off the quarterbacks early. We know that we'll use more play action pass, and simplify some.

Bearing in mind that we just won a national championship, and we did so with one of the most prolific offenses in the history of college football, you'd think there'd be a little grace period before the Greg Davis Hate Train was restocked. Not so. The grumblings have already begun.

I begin with the note about Davis because he's been the architect of the Texas offense since Mack arrived, and while he constantly receives criticism for his game planning, he rarely receives credit. The motivation for the negativity is Texas' poor performance on offense in several of the `Horns biggest games, and some of it is deserved. But a lot of it was just poor play-making from the Texas players.

I don't want to get into that debate now, other than to note that as a whole, the Texas offense has been among the best in the country, year in and year out. Davis did a tremendous job with designing an offense that Chris Simms could succeed in. He did a tremendous job in designing an offense that Vince Young could succeed in. Has he made his share of mistakes? Certainly. Has he at times been too predictable in big games? Without a doubt. But the overall trend is a good one. And he's probably - like all of us - been learning as he goes.

What this means is that Davis (who doubles as Quarterbacks Coach) has a monumental task this year. With two freshmen quarterbacks, he'll -have- to be more conservative. Yet, he does have myriad offensive weapons at tailback and wide receiver. I might be the only one, but I like Davis' strengths as an offensive coordinator to get the most out of this situation. You can't open things up the way you would if you had a veteran QB, and I think we'll see an offense that helps a young, inexperienced quarterback.

Again, I also suspect we'll hear lots of grumbling from Horns fans if the playbook looks too simplified. I'll wait to reserve judgment, but at this point, without seeing either quarterback play, one wonders exactly how aggressive you can realistically expect to be. The key for Texas this year will be an outstanding defense and, hopefully, an offense that moves the ball reasonably well while limiting (to the extreme) turnovers. A little bit of Tressell-ball wouldn't kill this team; I wonder if Horns fans (still hungover from the Vince Young Champagne Ball) will adjust well.

Regardless, the offense will be fine. We may not have the firepower right away to explode like we could with Vince, but there's plenty to work with.