Confession: I'm up late, having just finished up PB and I's epic edition of My Guys (like fine wine, it just gets better with age) (also, professional-style TEASE!), and I'm on MB-TF looking for some content so I have some for y'all fine folks, but can go to sleep sometime before dawn. This is the spirit of Morning Coffee late night, but early morning, for y'all. Uh, make sense? I hope so. I edited this in a legit way. I think. -- GoBR
There are things on MB-TF. Things like transcripts! Woo, Mack got down on some talking about Texas football on Tuesday. It was a good 40 minutes or so. Mostly, it was scrimmage talk, which already got covered a few days ago, so there wasn't really that much left to dissect from the head man. But....hey, Luke Poehlmann! For reasons other than having a mullet and waving a towel and being on television in the national championship game! Or masquerading as a tight end! Yes!
We thought he was about to be really good when he hurt his knee against Baylor two years ago. Last year I never thought he was well. So now he's the only senior in the offensive line, and he's playing really hard and he's playing with confidence. He's smart, and he can play either guard or tackle. So he gives us immediate depth. And [offensive line coach] Stacy [Searels] really likes him now. He never got to see him last year. It usually takes more than a year, year and a half to get that knee well, and he's seeing him well right now. So he's doing a good job.
Actually, Mack, not to be that guy, but Mullet Man tore his ACL against Wyoming in 2010. I remember. I was there, it was a somber moment in what was mostly a somber game as a harbinger of the mostly suck that would follow. Not to be that guy. But proof (Ahhhh, I just clicked on the Bleacher Report article, which was first on MF'ing Google. Why, Google, why? But clicked back before it could load. Ugh. Victory?). Okay, proof (non-BR sourced).
Other than the gloating that my esoteric knowledge surpasses that of a guy who has a million important things to do to keep the Texas juggernaut headed forward full steam, there is a point in here somewhere.
Ah, yes. Back-ups at tackle. Okay, just one. But...If the Great Josh Cochran Scare (several hours that were not fun) put anything in far greater illustration than said thing was before, it's the terrible lack of depth. Like, "Luke, you're my only hope"-style. Not Obi Wan. That dude was washed up by that time. No disrespect. Also, Star Wars references are not nerdy. Just awesome.
But, Mullet Man! Immediate depth! Health after knee injury! Gaskamp award? Hope not (would take injury -- NOOOOO!!!), but maybe Texas has one legit back-up tackle not named Trey Hopkins. Little victories, people. Little victories.
Aside: Can we buy a tackle, from somewhere, like buying a vowel on Wheel of Fortune? Because, yeah, that would still be cool.
Is Garrett Porter the guy at back-up center? I remain unconvinced. Despite reports that Sedrick Flowers was working there, Mack shot them down (phew, phew, fingergunz), said that was not the case:
We are working Trey Hopkins some with Garrett Porter at backup center. Thomas Ashcraft is doing a good job in there. He's moving toward a guy that will play some.
Ashcraft sighting! Moving towards a guy that will play some. Awesome, Mack, I hope I can believe that, because it would be cool and stuff that a fourth-year junior who was a four-star recruit could actually play some on the second unit.
I'm going to go back and rename this post, "Little Victories."
Things? Being re-evaluated, yo. Check this. The wide receivers are blocking, a concept with which I suspect that James Kirkendoll is still foreign. But not Mike Davis! Little victories, people! But, they're blocking, and that makes Mack think that maybe cutting people in practice is a good idea, just for the experience:
One of things we have real to really look at, in our scrimmages, and everybody in America does it this way, and it's a tough deal, but you don't cut in most cases. So offensive linemen against a slant defense like we have got, can look really bad when they are doing everything right, but they can't cut the guy. And then the same thing with blocking outside, as much as you use bubble screens and quick screens, if you're staying up all the time and the linebacker is out there on you, you know, a smaller receiver is not going to block Tevin Jackson without cutting him. So we may have to start looking at allowing them to cut because it helps our defense and our offense, even though it's more dangerous.
Yes, more dangerous is the key word here. Like blow out a freaking knee dangerous. As if Texas hasn't had enough of that already in recent years.
Want to cut someone? Do like a triple-option service academy and find some walk-ons whose only purpose is getting cut in practice. Harsh to the knees of walk-ons? Yes. Necessary for mitigating the danger of such a plan? Yes.
Likely to happen? Meh, probably not so much, even in the latter scenario. But still, Mack is thinking about it. LITTLE VICTORIES!
Shocker alert. The passing game still needs to make progress:
We have got more speed and more talent there than we have had the last couple years. But again, we are not getting the continuity that we would like yet with the quarterback/receiver/tight end positions in the passing game. We have made progress. There were some really nice plays last night. But we have got to continue to improve in that area.
Progress! Oh, hell, I'm not even going to say it this time...
More Duke Thomas love. From Adrian Phillips:
With Duke, he's really quick. It might not look like he has a lot of size on him, but he packs the punch. And that's a promise. He gets after the ball really well. His cover skills are really nice. He really just gets after it.
Love for the Duke! It's in the air. Love for Duane Akina's evaluation from a camp of a high school quarterback! It's in the air. Love for a deep secondary rotation that is just sick scary/good/pick one based on your affiliation! It's in the air. We are the real DBU, yo.
Verdict on dealing with the Texas running backs this year? From Joe Bergeron, the verdict is difficult:
It will be very difficult. With Malcolm, he brings a mix of power and speed, as well as Johnathan, [senior RB] Jeremy [Hills] and I. With four backs like that it's going to be extremely difficult to try and plan for it. Because you don't know which one of us is going to be in the game at which time.
Wait, wait. This is new -- big victory. Boo-yah.
A smart kid says things that sound good. Trey Hopkins weighed in on the status of the offensive line (an offensive line prospectus that operates under the assumption of both starting tackles with all their limbs intact and well, no doubt):
It is looking real good. We have a lot of positive things going. We have a lot of experience now with this new offense. With the protection, we have that down and can now focus more on game planning, what the defense is going to do, reacting better to that than we did last year. Now we know our basic rules and we know we have protection. We have a good class of freshmen coming in who are ready to learn. They are doing well, learning very quickly and just overall, we are all doing very well.
And supporting Bergeron on the running game?
it's great because it lets us know that the running game we were building on last year is going to be very powerful this year. If one back is not having a good day or one back is down for some reason or another, we are still able to keep it rolling. We have a couple stallions in that backfield now and we are going to keep running, and it opens up our passing game as well. We have that coming along, too.
I like this kid, Trey Hopkins -- he makes me feel good when he says things. Smart kid.
So, you like the zone plays? Does that make you a weenie? (The question was not phrased like this.)
Not at all. We are trying to be a hard-nose offensive line regardless of who our back is. The main thing we are trying to do is get movement off the ball. That is the one thing we are doing, we are coming off the ball hitting. We are not going to be a finesse offensive line no matter whom our back is or what their run is. We are coming off the line hitting.
Since I'm so into repeating myself, did I mention that I like this kid Trey Hopkins?
On the value of cross-training the entire line, something in which Searels believes strongly:
It just makes us more valuable. Guys are looking to go on to the next level and this can only increase your style. You have to know not only what you are doing as an offensive line but also what the guys next to you are doing, too, to work as a cohesive unit. It is just making us better. If I can know what not only I'm doing but what my center and my left tackle are doing, it only makes me move better within that framework, not get tripped up with the guys, and not have any miscommunications.
Guys going to the league. From the OL! In the wild and crazy future, such a thing could happen again at Texas! Likely only one year away! A Brave New World, all around. More exclamation marks.
Trey Hopkins needs to be at every media availability. For real. I would not joke about such things this late. This could have been a whole post. But, hey, happy Morning Coffee to y'all. You're welcome.
Brown working to be complete back. I like Malcolm Brown. I've been tough on the poor kid, partly because of my unrequited Brandon Williams love. Sorry, Malcolm, official apology -- you're pretty good. And trying to get better, according to his own assessment, in this case regarding pass pro:
I have been working real hard on it. That is one thing that Fozzy brought to the table. He was the older guy, he knew the protections, and he had been here for so long that he knew exactly what to do. That is one thing that I wanted to focus on, and when he left all the other running backs wanted to as well. We all want to be complete backs and stay in on third downs when the blitzes are coming and we're passing the ball.
Pass pro to be a pro. Yeah, I got more cute lines.
Bill Little talks about the "R" word. That would be the slogan for 2012 -- RISE. I haven't read this and will not be able to until Fake Ken Tremendous goes Fire Joe Morgan on it. Paging Fake Ken Tremendous. Until that time? Caveat emptor.
Tease. I did a post on my random thoughts from photo gallery of Thursday's practice, then I ended up writing enough that it needed to be a standalone post. I have to be responsible with these decisions. Stay tuned.
*If you made it down here from the caption without reading the rest of the post, uh, well, kudos or something. Otherwise, welcome to the end of the post. So, it was at the Super Bowl party. Sam Bradford may or may not have been told by PR to tweet about how awesome it was. Something like this really happened. Maybe it was this party? Who remembers and wants to research? No, that was a pre-party for something big. Just remembered. More recent, maybe. It happened. It was a thing. Anyway, telling the people at the AXE party what to tweet out to make it seem cool would seem like a totally AXE thing. So, I also found this, since I'm into finding things right now -- AXE buzzed Bradford's hair off to help him look dapper at the event (though I suspect that's not an AXE jacket, shirt, tie combo there, a little too sophiisticated), and there was an article written about it, and I just just read it, and somehow, sadly, I'm okay with that right now. Final thought -- there is a video attached to that story that will autoplay if/when you open it. I'm afraid that the Oklahoman did a video about Bradford's haircut, too. Anyone brave enough? I have to find a line. Like here. Good night. Good morning. You're welcome.