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Texas HC Charlie Strong's angry alter ego is named Chuck

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You don't want to see Chuck. The Longhorns players don't want to see Chuck. The Texas program needs to bury Chuck as much as possible.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The sincere, often joking version of Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong that fans and members of the media usually see during press conferences is hardly the only Charlie Strong.

Meet Chuck. Actually, scratch that. Let's just talk about Chuck and hope that Chuck doesn't come out much this season, because if he does, it's going to be hard for the Horns to reach Charlie's goal of a winning season.

If this all sounds a little strange, let's back up a step or two. There are a couple sides of the 55-year-old head coach. There's the side that teases senior wide receiver Daje Johnson about not making a play since 2013 and knocks on wood when discussing Johnson's ability to finally reach his potential. That would be the lighter side.

Then there's the other side of Strong, the side that doesn't have quite so many jokes and doesn't exactly tease players in a gentle way. Just let senior running back Johnathan Gray explain.

"Chuck Strong is Coach Strong's alter ego, and you don't want Chuck to come out because Chuck is not nice," Gray said on Monday. "Chuck will try to bury you into the ground, and like it says, Chuck Strong is very Chuck Strong."

Fortunately for Gray, he hasn't gotten on the wrong side of Strong to the extent that he's had to meet Chuck. Surely there are a handful of current and former Horns who haven't been so lucky. After all, Gray said it only takes a couple of mistakes or showing up late to meetings a couple times to get Chuck to come out and there were certainly enough mistakes made last season to make the unpleasant alter ego appear a few times at the Texas football facilities.

So just how often was Chuck around in 2014?

"Very much a lot of Chuck," Gray admitted.

Laden with tradition and supposedly stocked with talent -- at least according to the recruiting rankings -- Strong said that he thought he could step in the role formerly occupied by Mack Brown and experience an easy transition. Didn't happen.

"I thought when I walked in, I was just going to push a button and it was just going to go," Strong said.

Yeah. Not exactly, as evidenced by the 6-7 record, with five of those losses coming by three touchdowns or more. Enter Chuck. Judging by the amount of attrition and the number of suspensions, a number of players didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the less forgiving side of their head coach. But the tough love was necessary.

"From last year when Coach Strong came in, they came in guns-a-blazing," Gray said. "This is what it's going to be....abide by the rules, and if you don't do that, then you're going to be dismissed. So guys started to wake up and be like, okay, this guy is for real."

When Strong talks about the transition period and the greater comfort level this season, that's part of what he means. The players undertsand the expectations, they understand what they need to get accomplished, and they surely don't want to have any more encounters with Chuck.

"Coming in this year, everybody knows he's for real," Gray said. "You don't want to mess up because you know he'll get onto you, and guys are more focused because of that, so I think it helped out."

Now maybe the Horns will see more of Chester, the other alter ego described by Gray as a mixture between Charlie and Chuck, leaving a clear goal for Gray and his teammates.

"The less Chuck the better. Chester is good. Chester is good."

And Charlie is even better.