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Texas Football 2011: Post Scrimmage Up-Downs

We're talking practice!

Texas football fans are very anxious to get things settled on the 2-deep roster. I'll be the first to admit an appreciation for the impatience. However, what do you with that information? Does it really matter at the end of the day whether Ashton Dorsey supplants Calvin Howell as a one or is relegated as an "Or"? Honestly, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. We are talking separation by degrees, right?

Mack Brown on the depth chart in post-scrimmage interview: "We still have a tremendous amount of work to do because our coaches need to tie everything together now. We'll have to start looking at depth charts differently as we're within two weeks to the game. And I think our players understand, like there were too many holding penalties, and those are things we have to get rid of. So there are things we can coach out of this scrimmage but we're sure not ready to play but I saw great improvement from this scrimmage to the first one."

The quarterback race is trending for sure. I'll let the more learned BON literati discuss the x's and o's impact, but suffice to say that the race is too close to call.

Coach Brown put down the marker heading into the scrimmage during the press conference at the ESPN Longhorn Network studio on Thursday.

On if he worries about the consequences of the quarterback battle: You can't worry about that. What you do is, make a decision on what is best for the team to win, period. Nothing else is important. What we need to do is make sure we make the right decision, and right now all four of them have shown the ability to play, and that has been the good thing and the tough thing for us. It has been hard to separate them, because all of them are competing. One will jump up, and we'll feel like we are ready, and then another one will jump up and make a play. So we really do not have a decision made, and we have been up and down over and around, and back and through, and we would like to have one. Bryan told the quarterbacks yesterday, it is getting time we need to make [a decision], so some of you need to make it for us. So I think that is what we are hoping we will see tomorrow night or early next week.

All things being equal, does it really matter what name is on the jersey since it is all about the winning?

With 2nd hand reporting to include an intense coaching up session on the part of Harsin during one practice session last week, it appears this may have worked to focus Gilbert in a way that was lacking in fall camp to date. Gilbert received most of the work in Friday's scrimmage and was gauged to have scored the best in terms of managing the flow and successfully working through progressions while minimizing mistakes.

Is this the definition of giving the team the best chance of winning? Possibly. But to these eyes reading the bits and pieces of assessment that have been reported, it looks as though the process is to choose a quarterback that gives the team the least chance to lose. Not being critical of the four players vying for the spot but they are what they are.

My guess is the safe money is on Garrett being handed the keys because he is the only one on the team with live game experience. But the opportunity comes with the understanding that he gets a pass on the first mistake and the yank on the second. That is a lot of additional pressure heaped on top of the performance requirements which does not necessarily jive with the high-octane power style we are building.

I hope I'm wrong but I get the feeling that in spite of the horsepower available in a HarsinWhite scheme, at least initially we'll be treated to a bump draft restrictor plate version. Coach Brown also alluded to this possibility during the LHN studio presser.

On how much of the offense will be implemented for Rice: I don't have any idea. He [co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bryan Harsin] is all over the place. I have [seen] double reverse passes, and I don't see how they practice it all. It is unbelievable what he has done, and it is fun. It's fun for the kids, and good for our defense. He may be two tight ends with a full house backfield one play, and then shift to no backs and throw it deep the next play. It is amazing how well he teaches it, and that is a key factor between now and next week, because [defensive coordinator/linebackers coach] Manny [Diaz] is the same way. We have got to at some point, start deciding how much we can put in. How much can we use compared to the third and fourth game, and then the fifth game. And do we have to put it in in a slower position? Or do we throw it all out there and see what comes with it?

If a neutered quarterback approach results in us gearing up a solid ground game in advance of conference play then so much the better.

My advice is to stay calm in the pocket, go through your progressions logically, and trust that our staff playmakers will execute downfield correctly. There is a lot riding on their decisions and I don't lose any sleep thinking there will be too much risk taking early in their tenure. That assumes of course selecting a quarterback at Texas isn't fraught with risk taking. Because we all know it begins and ends at the highest profile position in football. Let's trust that whoever takes the snaps will deliver the goods. Because at this point isn't that really all we have until game day?

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