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It Begins.... (2017 Fall Camp Thread)

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From a guy that didn't follow nearly as close the last few years except on game days.... the video above showed so intense electric energy! Was this the same with CS? Or is this also different? I'm freakin lovin in. Straight hit em in the mouth ball

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Interesting comments from Herman about John Burt. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

 

On John Burt’s pass catching ability and role on team: “Better. Not great, but that is a skill that can be learned. I fully believe that. Just like any other skill, you’ve got a genetic potential that there’s a ceiling somewhere in every skill. I think he’s getting closer to that. He’s not there yet. How does he factor? I don’t know right now. Again, that’s a really deep room. He’s jogging in there with our second group right now at the Z position and provides us some legitimate speed on the outside. Doesn’t matter how fast you run if you don’t catch the football. I’ve been pleased with how hard he’s worked to improve that skill, but he’s still got some more work to do.â€

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From a guy that didn't follow nearly as close the last few years except on game days.... the video above showed so intense electric energy! Was this the same with CS? Or is this also different? I'm freakin lovin in. Straight hit em in the mouth ball

 

 

I like the energy as well.  Here is an quote from Anthony Cook.

 

 

"I went to a couple Texas practices and I like the energy they bring," Cook told Rivals. "Nothing against (former) coach (Charlie) Strong, but it's nothing like when Coach Strong was there. It's a totally different atmosphere.

 

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Interesting comments from Herman about John Burt. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

 

On John Burt’s pass catching ability and role on team: “Better. Not great, but that is a skill that can be learned. I fully believe that. Just like any other skill, you’ve got a genetic potential that there’s a ceiling somewhere in every skill. I think he’s getting closer to that. He’s not there yet. How does he factor? I don’t know right now. Again, that’s a really deep room. He’s jogging in there with our second group right now at the Z position and provides us some legitimate speed on the outside. Doesn’t matter how fast you run if you don’t catch the football. I’ve been pleased with how hard he’s worked to improve that skill, but he’s still got some more work to do.”

A very honest take from Herman. He isn't going to sugarcoat anything.

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No changes to the depth chart. Elijah Rodriguez is still the starting RT.

We didn't get to see the beginning of practice today, but we did see:

- Start with TEs blocking, OT chop blocks, OG hand placement, DBs picking up fumbles, DL sled, LB positioning, and QB/RB hand offs
- QB and WR routes, 2v2 D vs O (TE&T vs LB&DE, T&G vs DT&DE)
- Same with DBs covered by WRs.
- CB&S vs WRs in routes and blocking

The most noticeable thing was the popping of pads all practice. They let the boys fly and no one held back. Even Tom Herman got knocked to the ground.

Reggie Hemphill came up limping a few times. Elijah Rodriguez and Garrett Gray were taken to the locker room mid practice. We'll be getting a full injury report today before noon.

Y'all, Collin Johnson is the real deal. He caught everything and made it look easy to contort his body.

The freshmen TEs are ready to hit, but I don't think they're ready quite yet for game action. They can catch the ball though.

Note on Gary Johnson: people asked me to look at him and his size. I do have to say he looks a little small out there.

Taquon Graham does not have his stripe anymore as was reported. He's the first freshman to have his stripe taken off.

There was a some extracurricular activity! Kirk Johnson got into it with *I think* Marquez Bimage. Johnson did the "hold me back," thing and Tristian Nickelson ran into the middle of the defensive huddle and started pushing people around. Tom Herman and Todd Orlando had a nice chuckle.

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Thank will. You said they went full speed, is this the "bloody Tuesday" practices we heard about ya think? Or has ever practice been all out full speed?

 

Today was faster than what we saw last Friday for the first day of full pads. I feel like that is expected. There was more tackle to ground and pads popping than we've seen thus far.

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Today we got to speak with Assoc. Head Coach and RB Coach Stan Drayton and Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck.

 

Stan Drayton:

 

The majority of the topics hit by Stan Drayton had to do with his running backs. When asked about how his general position looked he responded tentatively: "Day by day... We're still not timed up in the run game, yet. We definitely have to go to work in pass pro[tection] in regard to fundamentals and technique. But they're giving great efforts." In this new offense, blocking has been emphasized again and again by this coaching staff. Stan Drayton was asked to rate his unit as pass protectors, and he wasn't happy with them, "We're very average to below. It's fundamental and they're aggressive. That's one of the toughest things to develop for a running back. Teach them how to run the ball with great pad level and lean and then you have to contradict that teaching in the pass pro. They have to be a little more patient, sit back, and reverse arc... We're making strides, but I'm expecting them to be much better then where they are today." Stan Drayton named Chris Warren and Kyle Porter as the most consistent pass blockers. 

 

Chris Warren came down with a case of the mumps over the off-season. This led to him missing numerous workouts and losing some strength. Stan Drayton says that although, "It pushed him back a bit... He's made up that time." Many expected Chris to be the bell cow of the running back corp, replacing D'Onta Foreman; however, Stan Drayton doesn't believe he has a bell cow just yet, "I wish I had a bell cow right now... Right now I have a committee of backs competing for a spot. I don't think a bell cow has emerged." But Stan Drayton did say he believes Chris Warren is making strides, "He's respecting the game. He's been a bit of a lethargic player, when it comes to practice. He's becoming a better practice player."

 

For the time being, Kyle Porter the guy running out there with the first team. Stan Drayton told us that this is because they feel he is the most reliable running back they have, "He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Systematically he's sound. He knows exactly what he's doing, so he's able to play fast. He's actually playing faster than everybody in the room because of his knowledge of the system." Stan Drayton has seen improvement in Kyle Porter from his tape last year: "He's gotten better in smaller spaces. I thought he was a bit of a one-speed back. I think he's quickened himself up and become a little more elusive in tight spaces." There are still places Drayton believes Porter can improve, "He needs to become a more explosive back. When he sees a hole he needs to trust his read, trust his eyes, and get to full speed quicker." While Drayton says Porter still has a lot of work to do and that he's not ready to, "anoint Kyle Porter... fundamentally he's got a long way to go."

 

Quick run down of the other running backs. Stan Drayton is really looking for a guy who can get on the white board and draw up the play without thinking. He wants guys who can make those quick decisions. Kirk Johnson's injuries have held him back in that regard. Stan says he's still playing slow and he has a long way to go. Drayton had a bit more praise for freshman RB Toneil Carter, "I get pretty consistent energy from him. He's the one guy who I believe, if he gets a crease, he can hit a home run, but he's still got a long way to go in terms of learning schemes."  Drayton says there is still too much processing going on in his play on the field, so they're not seeing what he's fully capable of doing. Apparently, Toneil hasn't fumbled the ball yet this fall camp *knock on wood.*

 

Stan Drayton and Tim Beck are two of the guys who are very much in charge of the offense, so when asked about Tim Beck's coaching Drayton stated: "He designs our offense with every position in mind. Obviously, being the QB [Coach], everything needs to be custom fit for our QB. But he has a very unique way of making sure all the pieces to the puzzle are in place and aligned with that. He's all about learning who we are as a team, and we're not just going to run a system that doesn't fit our talent. He has the awareness to make a scheme that fits our talent. " Seeing as how Texas has had problems with trying to force a square peg into a round hole when it comes to bringing offensive systems to the program, Tim Beck should hopefully be able to give fans a sigh of relief. Stan Drayton expects this team to be balanced with a bit of a lean to the run game, "I don't think we're good enough to be one-sided."

 

Stan Drayton is also known to be one of the high profile recruiters on the staff. They have sent him all around the country to rep the burnt orange. When asked how national recruits respond to Texas, Drayton told the media, "Very respected. They like Texas. They know what Texas is. That's the beauty when you do go out of state and where the burnt orange, they have an immediate respect for the program. They have an understanding of the history, which was very surprising to me. This young generation of kids don't care so much about tradition anymore. They're all about the here and now. But when I went across the country, they had an understanding of our tradition here."

 

The quote of the day came when Stan Drayton was asked about special teams:

"Just so you know,  here at the University of Texas, if you're a starter that means you're starting on the special teams. We're going to put our best players on special teams. If you haven't earned some value on special teams, regardless of how good you are in your position group, you are not going to play."

 

Wow. What a statement, and change from the philosophy on special teams from years past. Anybody still worried about special teams?

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Tim Beck:

 

 

 

In terms of the scrimmage, Tim Beck told the media "We're looking for guys, in this stage as we're installing things... We're trying to just grasp, right now, effort, toughness, ball security. Those types of things... We know there are going to be some mistakes, but we want to play really hard right now." When asked who won the scrimmage, Tim Beck quipped, "We ended up running." 

 

The worst kept secret in the Texas program is that status of Shane Buechele as the likely starter.  Tom Herman has been praising the young quarterback for his vocal and physical leadership recently, and Tim Beck expanded on that, "I think he has a better understanding of the offense. Certainly, his leadership has been better. I think part of it is because he knows the offense." It seems that before Shane Buechele was worried about whether or not he was doing the right thing, but as Tim Beck put it, "Now that he has a better grasp of the offense, he's been doing a better job as a leader."

 

Tight-ends are a huge part of the offense for Tom Herman, and Herman hasn't been quite about his concern for the depth at the position in the past. Tim Beck seems to bring a bit of sunshine to the situation, "Those young guys have all done a good job. Cade, Kendall, and Reese... That group has really changed from the Spring time when you're decimated with injuries and depth. Obviously [the depth] is a pleasant surprise for us."

 

So far during this fall camp, the unit causing the most chaos on the depth chart has been the OL. Tim Beck stood up for his guys saying, "The development of [the offensive line] has probably been the biggest that I've seen since I walked on campus here in terms of attitude and toughness. They play a lot lower. The physicality I've been real pleased with."

 

It is also a well known thing that Texas' wide receiver corp is absolutely loaded. I asked Coach Beck if he's ever had a wide receiver corp with this much potential talent. Coach Beck told the media, "This is a big group. We have Collin, LJ [Humphries], and Dorian [Leonard]. Three guys with size. I've never had that much size, even at [Ohio State] we didn't have that kind of size." Beck was also impressed with his slots, "We have good speed at slot with Reggie [Hemphill], Armanti [Foreman], and Devin [Duvernay]. Those guys are all great burners. And Jerrod, y'all know him. And John Burt! John Burt is another guy who can run. It's rare to have that combination of size and speed."  Tom Herman has been tough on the wide receivers, saying that they lack toughness. When asked if they've gotten better, Tim Beck responded, "We've got to keep our physical toughness, but we've got to work on our mental toughness... It goes hand in hand. It's one thing to be physically tough and go hit a guy, but can you do it over and over and over again for four quarters."

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