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Longhorns WR coach Jay Norvell increasing practice intensity

If the Texas receivers working under the new position coach can improve as much as Ryan Broyles and Kenny Still did at Oklahoma, the Longhorns will be in good shape at the position.

Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong wanted to inject some fresh energy into his coaching staff after the Texas Bowl loss, so he jettisoned wide receivers coach Les Koenning and hired Jay Norvell.

As the above practice video indicates as the team goes through blocking drills, one-on-one drills emphasizing one-move elusiveness.

The author of a book called Complete Wide Receiver, Norvell has a reputation for attention to detail.

"He and I worked together at Nebraska, and I knew he was a master coach," assistant head coach for offense/quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson said last week. "I knew he knows receiver play like nobody else in this business and I know what kind of taskmaster he is. He's a detailed, hard-driven, perfection-driven coach, so you felt them on the field immediately with the development in their positions."

One of the appeals of the former Oklahoma staffer when hired was his six years of experience working in the NFL, including four years with the Indianapolis Colts. As a result of that stint, Norvell likes to regale his players with stories about Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, and Reggie Wayne. He also spent two years with the Oakland Raiders, coaching the tight ends on the same offense that featured legendary wide receivers like Tim Brown and Jerry Rice.

Working on the techniques associated with crisp route-running has been a particular point of emphasis for Norvell with senior wide receiver Marcus Johnson, but the practice video mostly focuses on sophomore Dorian Leonard, whom Norvell calls "East Texas."

An inconsistent Orange-White game revealed the sometimes shaky hands of Leonard, who shows a nice spin move in making one defender miss in the one-on-one drills, but he does show some poor ball security on the play. So when Leonard tries to use the same move again against sophomore cornerback Antwuan Davis, Leonard has the ball knocked free.

As a result, Norvell asks another staff member to note the miscue so Leonard can receive some punishment after practice.