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Submitted 22 May 2014 - 03:55 PM in Premium | Comments: 3
by Darrell McPhaul
Q) How close is UT to signing a juco QB now that Wittek isn't coming?
A) I’m not expecting Texas to sign any more quarterbacks at this point.
Q) What recommendations, if any, has Disney made to improve our in-game experience at DKR?
A) I’m going to have to check on that because I have not heard of any at this point.
Q) What is the timetable for south end zone expansion at DKR?
A) I’m hearing 2016 but, that isn’t written in stone.
Q) Rumor is the Big12's athletic directors met recently in OKC to discuss expansion and possible candidates. BYU has come up again. Why would we feel compelled to add teams now unless they add more than a pro rata increase to our TV contracts?
A) As we have reported before, Patterson is pro expansion. BYU wants in and we are seriously considering them. The B12 wants and needs a championship game.
Q) Any updates on possible candidates to replace Augie Garrido as baseball coach?
A) Expect this topic to heat up this summer.
Q) mack brown, was supposed to be one of the top two highest paid head coaches upon this nation. mack brown, was supposed to be a smart offensive minded coach, as well as a media wiz, a recruits dream coach, and just an all around great guy. how on earth was mack brown allowed to install an offensive philosophy / strategy that the NFL did not even care to take the time as well as warrant the expense to grade upon? how on earth was he allowed to jeopardize his players upon an offensive strategy that ultimately failed them? how on earth did deloss dodds not know about this.. or did he know, and just did not respond? is this the ultimate reason, that some of the coaches quickly bailed on mack brown with know real comprehensive reasoning? what about the players themselves? did the players know that the nfl was not going to grade them the same as they were grading the other collegiate football teams that shared a different offensive philosophy / strategy? what is really being stated behind the scenes at bellmont regarding this sickening scenario / saga?
A) No Texas players getting selected in the NFL draft was a combination of lacking player development, scheme, recruiting, talent and player attitude. Yes, Mack Brown was responsible for most of those aspects, but it’s also true that a player can rise above constraints and get noticed based on merit – happens all the time. Coach Brown is ultimately responsible for no Texas players being selected but, he is not responsible for the rest of the B12 teams and then lack of draft picks out of the B12. Coach Brown, Coach Strong & the rest of the B12 coaches are not beholden to NFL teams on what type of offense they run. Be thankful that Texas, under Strong, will be a pro set offense.
Q) just to touch upon the above regarding the "Disney factor"... well Darrell, it is now MAY venturing very fast into the month of JUNE and so on.... should Disney somehow come through as per their fan experience recommendations vs game day overhaul, do you feel that timing is of the essence? these months are indeed flying by, I have this strong sense that should Disney present their findings vs recommendations over to Bellmont, the timing shall be an important factor upon whether or not any of these items shall be implemented as per this forthcoming season? i mean, let's face it…all important matters such as these, definitely take time to be fully implemented so that the fandom shall reach a comfort zone. does Disney have any particular contractual timeline in place to facilitate needs as per DKR? or shall this process become a prolonged effort journeying into fall of 2015?
A) Like I mentioned in a previous answer, I have to do more digging on this topic.
Q) What's the latest on the staff's efforts to find a serviceable juco QB candidate?
A) It is not looking good at this time.
Q) If no juco QB is discovered or signed, does that mean a 2nd qb would be taken in the 2015 class? I've read that Gentry may have been told he was to be the only QB taken in this class.
A) Not necessarily. A JUCO QB would be to fulfill an immediate need.
Q) What's the latest on Dylan Mack and our DT recruiting as this position is getting dangerously thin after Brown, Ridgeway, and Jackson. It seems like we're on the cusp of some serious defensive progress on the recruiting front, but I'm curious why it's taken an obvious defensive guru in Strong a longer time to get these kids to commit.
A) Mack is listening and that is all we can ask for right now. Keep in mind Poona Ford might get some reps this year too. I’m also quite confident that Rumph & Strong will score some big time recruits.
Q) Where do we stand with Lodge and Hemphill and is Boyd really that infatuated with A&M when some reports had him considering a commitment to Texas a few weeks ago?
A) Lodge has yet to engage with the new staff. Boyd is not a fan of strong discipline at this time. That could change and he might come to the conclusion that discipline is exactly what he needs at this time in his life.
Q) What's the other half of Darrell's comment regarding Manziel being buddies with Spieth?
A) Fame makes for strange bed fellows.
Q) When did using the "Kansas" type font on our jerseys start to become a regular thing? It's horrifically ugly. Will in change? (See: men's basketball and softball jerseys)
A) I didn’t notice but, I will inquire about it.
Q) Will Gray be able to start the first game and get 2,000 yds in 2014?
A) Regardless of the reports of Gray being ready by the start of the season, I don’t see it. I seriously doubt any Texas back is going to get 2,000 yards. If one does, I would put my money on Brown.
Q) Will there be any change to our uniform this year?
Q) Will the "100" go away? Who is Charlie Strong looking at to bring in has a junior college quarterback?
A) The players were the one’s that voted to keep the 100 last year. I’m not sure if they have addressed the issue with Strong.
Q) Which freshmen coming in are going to be expected to contribute with playing time?
A) Running back Donald Catalon and LB Andrew Beck are prime candidates for playing time.
Q) What is the progress with David Ash's foot?
A) That is the $1,000 question. We probably are not going to know much until he starts placing some weight on it.
Q) Taking a look at smaller sports and the AD, where do the following stand:
- Softball, Clark: Biggest one IMO. I think it's time to go. Is Cat a realistic replacement?
- Men’s Swimming, Reese: getting close to time to retire? Possible replacements? One coach for both M/W?
- Women’s Swimming, Capitani: Not real knowledgable here.. program headed up or stagnant?
- Soccer, Kelly: Still new, any big recruits that could help us improve?
- Women’s Tennis, McCain: Same as WSW.. are we okay with 10-20 rankings but no real national hopes?
- Women’s Golf, Richards: Any news period…not knowledgeable at all on WGolf.
- Women’s Track & Field, Sategna: Brand new…any assistant coaching potential hires or recruiting news?
- Volleyball, Elliot; Men’s Tennis, Center; Men’s Golf, Fields - All seem very safe and are performing at elite levels.
Q) Will you please give us one of Ketch’s aliases?
The Breakdown - Hidden Yardage
By: Coleman Feeley
When people discuss football it is usually about a team’s offense or defense, and seldom about special teams. Yet, last year Texas’ consensus All American kicker, Anthony Fera, accounted for 105 points. In fact, during each of the last five seasons of NCAA football (2009-2013) at least two of the top ten scorers have been kickers. This past season three of the top ten were kickers, including Florida State’s Roberto Aguayo who finished the season in third place with 157 points.
Coaches certainly put more thought into special teams than fans – they know how critical special teams are to winning football games. Coaches adopt clear and precise philosophies regarding the offense, defense, and special teams they want to run. However not every coach employs the same philosophies and techniques on special teams, so you get almost as many different formations and plays on special teams as you do in an offense or defense.
A good kicker is obviously essential to a successful field goal – that much is obvious. However, without good protection every kick would get blocked. Even though blocking techniques changed when targeting deep snappers and kickers became a penalty, there are still only two main formations in today’s game (fig 1 and fig 2).
Defenses now aim to block the kick during flight instead of closer to the point of the kick. Rule changes made ‘the wedge’ illegal, so now when offensive guards move backwards, the safety or linebacker can jump and block the kick at its lowest point (fig 3).
Offensive lineman make up the personnel majority on field goal units and their technique during this play is easily described – step back; anchor yourself; then punch your hands and “take one for the team”.
Again, a good punt is largely credited to the punter and his skills. However, there two different punt formations, the spread punt and the traditional punt (fig 4 and fig 5) are a lot more varied than the two field goal formations.
The spread punt formation offers less protection to the punter but it allows for much better down field coverage. The traditional punt formation does just the opposite, virtually ensuring a safe kick but compromising coverage.
With a highly skilled exchange from deep snapper to punter, most teams, including Texas, have mastered the quick punt and implemented the spread formation. This, in turn, has brought back an older punt return technique called ‘the wall’.
In the wall, two players rush the A gaps, and tie up the three deep blockers. Once the punt team has left the line of scrimmage, the defenders double back and ‘crack’ the coverage team, freeing the returner for a sideline run (fig 6.).
In addition to being essential to field position, kick-offs are perhaps the most exciting part of the game. The flash bulbs light up, the crowd roars, and the best athletes on the team are unleashed. “Wild dogs huntin’ ” is how I’ve heard kick-off coverage best described. If you have players on a team who are fast, strong, and dying to play… I’ll bet Coach can find a place for them on kick-off.
Kick-offs, aside from being exciting, are fairly simple in comparison to other phases of the game. Kick coverage remains fundamentally unchanged – ‘cover your lane’ (lane refers to your section of the field). Returns come down to either one or two man returns (fig 7 and fig 8). Generally, teams with a premier returner use a one man return and teams without, use a two man.
Special team plays highlight how each phase of the game ties into one another. A solid defensive performance leads to a punt; a good punt return teams ensures a shorter field for the offense; if the offense has a shorter field to drive then they are more likely to score. And after the score comes the extra point and kick-off…
Special teams need to be just that, special. Texas’ Daje Johnson totaled 439 yards and a touchdown last season from his role on special teams alone. Those numbers (not including his 315 yards and two touchdowns on offense) were enough to make him the seventh most productive player on the roster. This production is sometimes known as “hidden yardage” but anyone on a team that can deliver like that should get ‘special’ recognition.
Friend of BEVO
McPhaul: How are you?
FOB: Doing good, sorry it took me so long to get back to you.
McPhaul: It’s all good. I would rather wait and have something interesting then putting on a Crossfire without you. What you got for us this week?
FOB: I don’t have much but, what I do have you all are going be intrigued.
McPhaul: Give it to us.
FOB: Augie has decided against retiring and has requested another year.
McPhaul: I know we improved this year from last year but, we are still not playing the level of ball we should be at Texas. What makes Augie believe he can turn it around?
FOB: Augie says he wants to move the fences in next year, because he can't get elite hitters to come to the cavernous ballpark. Which is very true. This came straight from Augie.
McPhaul: Do you think Patterson will give Augie another year?
FOB: Now on the other side, I was told he may not be here next year to move them in unless a national championship happens. Patterson is getting pressured by some that think even a trip to Omaha isn’t good enough unless they come home as winners. Some folks are also using Garrido’s past indiscretions and alleging current behavioral problems that aren’t consistent with University policy in an attempt to strengthen their case against him.
McPhaul: Any replacement candidates at this time?
FOB: The vetting is about to start.
McPhaul: What are you hearing about the Strong tour?
FOB: The tour has had an over the top response. One thing the staff has not shared on the tour but has in private is they believe their recruiting going to go above & beyond what everyone is thinking it will be.
McPhaul: That’s encouraging.
FOB: Don't be shocked if there are some recruiting surprises coming and it is all good news for the Horns.
McPhaul: I appreciate everything.
FOB: You bet, talk to you next week.
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