After spending the last three seasons at three different schools, new Texas Longhorns offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has some experience installing his version of the veer-and-shoot offense. He also has experience building relationships with new players and evaluating
But he's taken a different approach at Texas, opting to start coaching his new players without watching old film on them.
"Clean slate 'em all," Gilbert said on Tuesday before practice. "And I've not done that anywhere I've been. I told those guys over here, "Don't tell me anything negative or bad about these guys because i want them to have a clean slate with me when I got here."
His philosophy applies across the board to every player.
"If you're not a starter, if you haven't done things right, even if you have done things right, you've got a clean slate," he said.
Since Gilbert doesn't have any preconceived notions about the players, he's been free to start building relationships and letting the players show him who they are now.
"I don't know you until i get to know you and that's been a fun part of the process," Gilbert said. "Been out in the weight room a lot before spring ball started because it was all about relationships and to start relationships you have to have connections and we wanted to connect with these kids. Relatioships are never ending. It doesn't stop."
When the Orange-White game arrives on April 16 to mark the end of spring practice, the installation of the Texas offense will have to stop for the summer. So how does Gilbert describe that process, which he is now undergoing at a fourth school in four years?
"You know, there's an old truth -- it's kinda like grandma's pie," Gilbert said. "She just puts it together and it tastes good."
In 2015, the Texas offense wasn't much like grandma's pie in finishing No. 75 nationally in S&P+, No. 114 in passing S&P+, and No. 115 in passing down S&P+, so Gilbert is facing a challenge in trying to fix an attack that was quite broken.
One of his first orders of business is finding a quarterback who can gain an understanding of the offense and protect the football. For the moment, he's in evaluation mode as the team adjusts to the fast pace of practice. When the team collectively becomes comfortable in that mindset, Gilbert believes that the schematic elements will fall into place.
And then the Texas offense will be a lot like grandma's pie.