Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong met with the media on Monday for his first game week press conference in Austin.
Expressing excitement about the start of the season, Strong discussed a number of topics.
-- There was no depth chart released, leading some to speculate about whether Strong will release depth charts during the season. Asked about it late in the press conference, Strong said that with continuing position battles at one safety spot and along the offensive line, he wants to wait until mid week to release it to ensure that it will be accurate on Saturday.
-- The suspensions for junior wide receiver Daje Johnson, senior offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, and senior safety Josh Turner are still indefinite. All three will miss the opener against North Texas, but Strong would not say whether the players will be out against BYU.
-- In a development that was hardly surprising, Strong said that he told the team on Saturday that they have earned the right to have the decals back on the helmet and to throw their horns up. In the locker room, however, the logo will remain roped off except on game days.
-- Strong mentioned redshirt freshman linebacker Naashon Hughes as a player who has been impressive during fall camp. He's the back up now at the strong side spot behind junior Peter Jinkens.
-- The Horns are "nowhere near where we want to be," according to Strong. This a sentiment that coaches across the country would probably express at this point.
-- Asked about why it was an "unbelievable camp" for junior quarterback David Ash, Strong said that his starter did a good job of getting the team into the right plays with the right checks at the line of scrimmage. Despite missing time during the spring, being able to do so demonstrates Ash's command of the offense and his maturity.
-- In an ideal scenario, Strong said that he would like to play Ash and No. 2 quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who recently won the back-up job over true freshman Jerrod Heard.
-- Asked if he's feeling any pressure, Strong said that he's not.
-- Offensive coordinator Joe Wickline and assistant head coach for the offense/quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson will both call plays, but Strong isn't worried about the dynamic between the two. During the spring, Strong indicated that Watson would have the final say in play calling.
-- The freshman wide receivers with the best chance of playing are Armanti Foreman and Lorenzo Joe. Ash said later that he expects both to become a big part of the offense before too long. The other freshman mentioned prominently was safety Jason Hall, hardly a surprise since he's the likely starter at safety along with senior Mykkele Thompson.
-- Senior punter Will Russ has finally earned a starting job and Strong said that his camp has been "unbelievable," but he also revealed that Russ will hit some punts 60 yards and then come back with a 20-yard effort. The leg strength of Russ has never been in question -- it's his consistency that has consistently kept him off the field during his career. In that respect, the lack of development there is concerning.