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Morning Coffee Is Slick In The Open Field

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The situation was pretty murky just two weeks ago, but the injury to Sherrod Harris has John Chiles pressing full steam ahead as Texas' backup quarterback. The chatter from coaches is optimistic, and yes, the comparisons to Vince Young have begun. The best quote may come from Jamaal Charles, who said of Chiles:

"He's got the same breakaway speed. He's just like V.Y. There's no way you can tackle him in the open field."

Now the question turns back to usage. We'll get our first taste September 1st against Arkansas State, but if Texas is way out in front on the scoreboard, it won't be the meaningful information we're seeking. What remains to be seen is if the coaches are committed, as they say they are, to using the backup quarterback while outcomes of games are still in question. Jevan Snead never got that opportunity. Will Chiles?

It's gonna be tough not to have McCoy out there all the time, but Mack Brown is saying - at least for now - that Chiles will be a dynamic player this year. "I think you'll be pleased with what you see."

Wednesday's scrimmage carried on through a heavy rain storm, but as Suzanne Haliburton reports, the Longhorns had an injury-free practice. Texas ran between 70 and 80 plays during the affair, practicing, as Mack Brown said, "every possible scenario."

I went back through the BON archives, and Texas released its depth chart on August 28th of last year, the Wednesday before the first game. As heated as some of these positional battles are, I'd expect we won't get the depth chart this year until around the same time. Next week sounds about right.

For what seems like the tenth time this summer, someone has written a feature on Frank Okam as a serious student. This time it's Chip Brown, and though it's a good story about Okam and Derek Lokey, it's mostly stuff we've heard before.

What'll be more interesting to see is how defenses handle the explosive trio of Okam, Lokey, and Roy Miller. The interior of Texas' line should, at least in theory, really help Texas' linebackers. While the big nasties eat up blocks from the line, the linebackers should have open paths to make tackles.

ESPN's Bruce Feldman weighs in on Jamaal Charles' increased workload this year, naming him one of CFB's top ten "mystery men" for 2007. I'm still in the "not worried" camp on Charles. I think our running struggles last season were much more a product of scheme uncertainty than player incompetence. I fully expect the coaches to have a better grasp of what they want to do with this year's personnel.

--PB--