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Morning Coffee Checks In On Former 'Horns

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Horns_bullet_mediumIs Texas thin at tailback? Previewing the Longhorns, Chuck Carlton at the Dallas Morning News curiously fills in the "Team is thin at" blank with tight end and... tailback?

The Longhorns aren't necessarily thin at running back. They have plenty of possibilities in all shapes, sizes and styles, ranging from bulldozing Cody Johnson to multi-gear breakaway threat Fozzy Whittaker to tenacious Vondrell McGee. Yet none has been able to claim the position so far.

Elsewhere, the Rock of Love tour bus is thin on crazy because none of the strippers have OD'd on heroin.

Mostly, Carlton's choice is just a limitation of Form Previewing (although UT's legitimately thin at defensive tackle, which could have been mentioned), but I really point this out because he's hardly the only one making the claim; on no fewer than three radio interviews this past month, the host has asked me how the Longhorns intend to rush the ball with Christopher Reeve at tailback.

Once and for all, then: Texas is not lacking in quality running backs. It lacked a quality running attack last season, but that's not the same thing. Not only do I like what Cody Johnson, Fozzy Whittaker, and Vondrell McGee each bring to the table, but the diversity in talent actually gives Greg Davis a better opportunity to put together a competent running game. Whether he succeeds or fails in that regard will depend on a number of factors... but it won't be because Texas lacks quality players to carry the ball.

Horns_bullet_mediumSuperstar emerging. Much to the delight of Georgetown Hoyas fans in attendance, former Texas standout Kevin Durant made a surprise visit to the Kenner League, playing alongside Chris Wright and Greg Monroe. As one Hoya fan in attendance described his play: "Kevin Durant is awesome. I mean, really awesome. He can do whatever he wants on a basketball court even with the skinny frame. He kept making this guy who I would swear was Mikki Moore look like even more of a fool than looking like Mikki Moore makes you look."

If you harbor any doubt whatsoever that KD is on the verge of super-duper-stardom... just watch this newest Hyperizers Nike ad, featuring our boy, Velvet Hoop.

Horns_bullet_mediumChecking in on VY. SB Nation Tennessee Titans blog Music City Miracles has an excellent report up on Tennessee's Tuesday practice, with several VY tidbits:

  • Vince Young did not look good today throwing the ball. On multiple occasions his passes were well behind the intended receiver. On one of those, Nate Washington was only able to get a finger tip on the ball, and it would have been better if he hadn't. The ball deflected right into CB Cary Williams hands for an INT. Then during the final hurry up drill, he threw a terrible pass down the sideline that free agent signee CB DeMarcus Faggins picked off.
  • There was a nice all-Texas moment when Vince Young threw a pass to a heavily covered Bo Scaife. Michael Griffin was all over Scaife, but Vince threw the ball low and to the outside where only Scaife could get to it and Bo made a great diving catch.
  • And now the part everyone has been waiting for: The Option. The version they were running today had Vince lined up in shotgun. The first string version usually included Chris Johnson lined up to one side of Vince with Nate Washington motioning out of the slot into the backfield on Vince's other side. Vince looked quite comfortable, though he did botch one pitch. It looks like they have more than just a simple option in mind, as they ran one look that included a reverse to Washington. They did not show any passing looks.

On Sunday evening, Vince Young and the Titans opened the NFL preseason with a 21-18 victory over the Buffalo Bills. VY got off to a rough start, throwing an interception when his receiver broke to a post instead of a fade, then going three and out on his second drive. But as Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean noted, VY rebounded nicely:

But I thought Young settled down after a rocky start and finished looking OK at least. He was victimized by a drop by running back Chris Henry, ending one drive, and started inside his own 15-yard line on two of the five drives he engineered.

Young made a beautiful touch pass to receiver Paul Williams in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, which was the highlight of his night. In the coming weeks, we’ll know a lot more about where Young stands.

Finally, if you missed Esquire magazine's enthralling interview with VY earlier this month: go, read.