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Daniel Seahorn

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

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Yes on McMillon, they didn't say if it was permanent

I'm ok with either a C to be honest with you. Thought McMillon really came along last year, but Shack has that nasty streak to him that needs to be on the line no matter what.

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As I understand it, they like Elijah Rodriguez, who played well in the 132 snaps he took last season.

 

After surgery on his ankle over the summer, Shackelford will have to work his way back into a starting role whether it be center or guard.

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As I understand it, they like Elijah Rodriguez, who played well in the 132 snaps he took last season.

 

After surgery on his ankle over the summer, Shackelford will have to work his way back into a starting role whether it be center or guard.

I've read and heard a lot of reports that say Shack will work at guard. Easier to replace a guard than a center. Makes sense since you don't want your QB trying to get used to a new center during a game.

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August 2nd Media Availability Notes:

 

Today we talked with Tom Herman, Malik Jefferson, and Jerrod Heard.

 

Tom Herman explained some of the concerns fans have with holding guys out of practice by stating, "We're being fairly conservative in terms of length of practice." He called this 5 week camp process a "5-week marathon."

 

Good news for the Longhorns players as Tom Herman promised them that he will be allowing them to see the locker room for the first time tonight and use it prior to practice tomorrow "...if there are no issues." That means no trash anywhere, no missing water bottles... none of that jazz.

 

When asked about the quarterback situation Tom Herman admitted that Shane Buechele is getting the majority of the 1st team reps, "It would be silly for me to hide the fact that Shane gets more reps with the ones." However, Sam Ehlinger will still get reps with the 1st team until a starter is named 2 weeks out of the Maryland game.

 

Despite a bit of upheaval, Herman seems to be confident in the running backs. Right now Kyle Porter seems to be a Herman favorite due to his toughness. Second team seems to be a battle between Toneil Carter and Chris Warren. Warren is getting back into the swing of things after getting better from a case of the mumps. I'd expect the RB position to be more of a platoon than last year.

 

Most were wondering where Edwin Freeman was on the 2-deeps that came out of the first day of practice. He was the most consistent and arguably best LB on the team by the end of last year. When asked about Edwin Freeman, Tom Herman told us, "I love him. He keeps his mouth shut and goes to work. He's backup mike right now to Wheeler and really pushing him. He;\'s doing everything right." So now we know Edwin Freeman is your 2nd string MLB and Hager is fighting for the back up spot.

 

Here is where one of my favorite quotes from Tom Herman was said. Tom was asked why Craig Naivar is the right guy to coach special team. Coach Herman gave maybe the best description of Coach Naivar I've ever heard, "He's got RedBull and Dr. Pepper in his veins." Before this he talked about how Craig Naivar is a guy that he trusts on the staff, "He;s done it forever. He;s had success whenever he's done it and has done it at many different levels. He knows the way I like to do this and the way we are going to do things."

 

With the commitment of the #1 JUCO TE in the nation, Dominick Wood-Anderson, Tom Herman was asked if he thought he would have this type of momentum in recruiting before even playing a single game. It seems this is exactly what he was expecting: "I thought it could. We did it at Houston before we'd ever coached a game as a group. I think there is a lot of testimony to back up how we do things." He also gave a lot of the credit to the players for the current momentum the class fo 2018 has been able to build, "Our players do an excellent job of recruiting, which is really cool because theyre going to tell the recruits and their parents the truth. They don't sugar coat things because theyre not trained that way... When you have players selling your program and the way you do things, it really resonates." At the end he pointed out that the University of Texas is in a prime place to be in the recruiting position it is in right now, " We're still in Austin. We're still one of the top 25 academic public educations in the country. "

 

 

 

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Too lazy to dig out a Baker Mayfield thread....saw OU booted a RS frosh QB after a public intoxication arrest. Maybe more to this but sounds quite familiar to me with the mayfield incident. Oh wait, he's a good player so he can stay.

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Too lazy to dig out a Baker Mayfield thread....saw OU booted a RS frosh QB after a public intoxication arrest. Maybe more to this but sounds quite familiar to me with the mayfield incident. Oh wait, he's a good player so he can stay.

Yup. Former four star QB Chris Robison got dismissed earlier this evening.

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Today media got to sit in on the first full day of pads practice. Tom Herman has now had a bit of time to evaluate his team, and the depth chart has evolved a bit to show this.

A few notes before the depth chart:

The red stripes on the helmets represent newcomers to the team. However, fans may also notice that Shane Buechele has a stripe on his helmet. I was told this staff has put stripes on the helmets of each QB to see their vision lines on film. I have not seen other teams do this, but I think it's smart.

The fatigue of the first week of practice is starting to become noticeable. Certain players like Reggie Hemphill-Mapps were sporting green jerseys after he was feeling dizzy and had a head ache in Thursday's practice.

Practice today started with the circle drill right after walk throughs.
They then went to special teams to really kickoff the practice.
Afterwards they broke off into individual drills.
From there they did offensive and defensive run through.
We left as they were going into unit drills.

Depth Charts

OFFENSE
1st Team:

QB - Shane Buechele
RB - Kyle Porter
TE - Andrew Beck
Slot - Devin Duvernay
X - Jerrod Heard
Z - Collin Johnson
LT - Connor Williams
LG - Patrick Vahe
C - Zach Shackelford
RG - Jake McMillon
RT - Elijah Rodriguez

Everything seems similar to last time until you get to that right side of the line. Zach seems to have reclaimed his spot, Jake McMillon is in his spot from last year, and a newcomer to the RT battle has taken the spot in Elijah Rodriguez. Personally, I am a fan of this set up.

2nd Team:
QB - Sam Ehlinger
RB - Chris Warren/Toneil Carter
TE - Kendall Moore/Reese Leitao
Slot - Reggie Hemphill-Mapps
X - Dorian Leonard
Z - Lorenzo Joe/John Burt
LT - Denzel Okafor
LG - Alex Anderson
C - Terrell Cuney
RG - Patrick Hudson
RT - Tristian Nickelson

Chris Warren seems to have worked his way back into the two-deep after missing a lot of the offseason due to illness. The coaches seem to be playing with the offensive line trying to find the best mix of guys. The WRs are just... stacked. You could put anyone in there and I'd personally be satisfied. Also just because you don't see their name up here does not mean they won't play (especially at the WR position).

DEFENSE
1st Team:

DL - Malcolm Roach, Poona Ford, Chris Nelson
Rover - Malik Jefferson
MLB - Anthony Wheeler
BB - Naashon Hughes
NB - PJ Locke
CB - Holton Hill and Kris Boyd
SS - DeShon Elliott
FS - Brandon Jones

Nothing new here

2nd Team:
DL - TaQuon Graham, Gerald Wilbon, Charles Omenihu
Rover - Breckyn Hager
MLB - Gary Johnson
BB - Jeffrey McCulloch
NB - Antwan Davis
CB - Davante Davis and John Bonney
SS - Chris Brown
FS - Jason Hall

Looks like the coaches finally flipped Hager and Johnson. Also, Gerald Wilbon taking that nose guard position is noteable.

 

Press Conference Take Aways (full transcript below):

 

First day of full pads! Tom Herman has not given a lot of credence to playing without pads, so now we've gotten to the point where Tom Herman and his staff will start to really be able to evaluate their team. Tom Herman really puts a lot of weight on making sure the players understand the importance of putting on the pads and believes, "They understand the importance of putting full pads on, tackling to the ground, training as real as we can and that simulating real game situation is how you get better."

Herman seems to be pretty comfortable with where his team is right now so far in Fall Practice stating that compared to where the team was during Spring he's very encourage: "The defensive players in our tackle drill and our O-Line on our inside drill had much better pad level than they did in the Spring. Much better knee bend and hip explosion. We're not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination. We have a lot to clean up, but our body position and our pad level was encouraging."

 

With the physicality comes break out guys who impress coaches with their willingness to throw their bodies around. For Tom Herman, those guys were the freshmen tight ends, Reese Leitao and Cade Brewer. Tom Herman stated that, "It was good to see them throw their stuff around in inside drill and team settings. They need to get stronger, but they certainly weren't scared." And if you noticed on the depth chart, they made their way into the two-deep. I'd expect them to get some early playing time due to necessity.

 

Most have noticed that Kyle Porter has remained the starter at running back. While Chris Warren could work his way into that starting job, I have a good feeling that Kyle Porter will be the starter for the program come Maryland, unless Warren really impresses. The coaches really respect Porter and his work ethic, along with his durability. Tom Herman made this apparent when he told the media, "Chris has done what we've asked him to so far and so has Kyle, but I think it's only fair that a guy who makes it through the entire Spring practice, and does it well, that he gets the chance to jog out there with the 1's." However, the running back position will be a running back by committee. Tom Herman stated that while Kyle Porter and Chris Warren have done everything they've asked them to, "Whether you take the 1st snap or the 4th snap at running back, we're going to need to roll guys at that position."

 

Now a lot of fans have been asking what is going on with the stripes on the helmets. My assumptions have been verified by Tom Herman. The black stripes on the helmets of guys like Shane Buechele and Kyle Porter are to help the coaches see on film where the guys center of vision is. The red stripes are, as Tom Herman put it, "Kind of 'pledging' if you will. They're not quite members of the family yet. They have to go prove it on the practice field. At some point they'll get the stripe off." The players are not treated any differently or like "pledges," but Tom Herman makes them work to "take off the stripe." They are not a "part of the family" until that stripe is off. This process could take a short as 1 day or as long as never.

 

Now for the big news. Elijah Rodriguez is now the unlikely front-runner in the battle for right tackle. We asked Tom Herman why Elijah was starting at a position he has yet to play, and he told us, "Because he's good enough." Tom Herman really wants to get his best football players on the field, not matter how he does it. We've seen this in recruiting and now we're seeing it in the depth chart: "We're going to put the best five offensive lineman out there. Zach Shackelford has come back really well. Right now if we had to play a game, those five would be the best five with Shackelford at center, McMillon at right guard, and Rodriguez at right tackle." Herman mentioned in the Spring that usually programs have seven or eight guys their comfortable with on the offensive line. Those guys seem to be the starting five I have above, along with Denzel Okafor, Tristain Nickelson, and Patrick Hudson.

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Will,

 

I was curious about Jeffrey McCulloch.  How close is he to potentially taking Hughes spot?  Nashan seemed very inconsistent last year while The Shark started to impress late last year.  How close are they so far?

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Tom Herman Quotes and Notes:

 

Really really good day today. I was anticipating how we would respond to putting full pads on. Four really tough and long days leading up to it, and the guys came out with a lot of juice. It was hot. The last couple days we hadnt seen the sun very much, but the sun was beating down on us pretty good today.

Credit to Coach McKnight and his staff. The defensive players in our tackle drill and our O-Line on our inside drill had much better pad level than they did in the Spring. Much better knee bend and hip explosion. We're not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination. We have a lot to clean up, but our body position and our pad level was encouraging. 

Reggie [Hemphill-Mapps] was help out. Precautionary. We're treating it still as a migraine, which I think it is. He was cleared to go into meetings and all that stuff last night. We just didn't want him in any contact today. I should know later today if he'll be good to go [for tomorrow's scrimage]. If we keep progressing he should be back on Monday. 

 

Do the players understand the importance you place on pads?

Yeah we talk about it all the time. We had a team meeting last night. They grow up in this generation of 7on7, which is good. There is nothing wrong with that. It builds certain skills, but it's definitely not real football. They understand the importance of putting full pads on, tackling to the ground, training as real as we can and that simulating real game situation is how you get better. And they believe in that and understand the importance of it.

 

On Kyle Porter running with the 1's and if that is because of Chris Warren's injury?

Kyle did everything we asked him to in the spring. He stayed relatively healthy until the Spring game because he rolled his ankle. 

Chris has had a great summer. It's kind of like the question I was asked about defensive ends yesterday. Whether you take the 1st snap or the 4th snap at running back, we're going to need to roll guys at that position. Chris has done what we've asked him to so far and so has Kyle. But I think it's only fair that a guy who makes it through the entire Spring practice, and does it well, that he gets the chance to jog out there with the 1's.

 

Rating RB group as receivers?

Good not great. Probably Toneil [Carter] would be the most fluid ball catcher with then Kyle, then Chris, and Daniel.

 

Was there anyone who surprised you with the physicality?

I think our two young tight ends coming out of the Spring, because they weren't here. It was good to see them throw their stuff around in inside drill and team settings. They need to get stronger, but they certainly weren't scared.

 

On scrimmage set up

The whole scrimmage will be 1s vs 1s and 2s vs 2s. We'll go a couple hours probably. I would think each group in scrimmage one would run anywhere around 60 to 70 plays. We don't have all our special situations installed. We don't have 2-minute in yet. We have a very bare bones red zone and goal line package. It'll be a lot of put the ball down on the -25 and play football.

 

(My question)

We've noticed the players have the stripes on their helmets. They've usually been red and we know those are the newcomers, but now we're seeing guys like Shane Buechele and Kyle Porter have black stripes on their helmets. Are those only to see line of vision?

Correct. That's very astute. (Tom Herman said I was astute) The red stripes are the newcomers. Kind of "pledging" if you will. They're not quite members of the family yet. They have to go prove it on the practice field. At some point they'll get the stripe off. 

The black stripe for our QBs and RBs. We want to be able to see on video where is the center of their helmet to see where exactly are they looking. Now, granted, I can look at you and my head be this way (looking away from me with eyes focused on me), but in a helmet that's pretty tough to do.

 

So the red stripe is sort of a mental thing for the players?

I think it's just that when you get here, you haven't been through everything that the veterans have been through. So to just hand them the keys without earning anything, I think we'd be doing a disservice to the veterans. They don't get treated any different, but we make a big deal when they earn the right to take off the stripe and become a full-fledged member of our family.

 

How long does that usually take?

Sometime after tomorrow. Sometimes a couple weeks.

 

Do guys separate themselves in the coaches eyes more during scrimmages?

I don't think so. For us, the scrimmage setting is good because it allows coaches to get off the field and allow us to go through game-like situations, game-like executions, and game-like procedures without a set drill... It's just 11 on 11, go play football.  But it doesn't carry anymore weight than an individual drill on a Monday practice. 

 

On Elijah Rodriguez starting at RT. Why did he insert his name into the battle?

Because he's good enough. We're going to put the best five offensive lineman out there. Zach Shackelford has come back really well.

Right now if we had to play a game, those five would be the best five with Shackelford at center, McMillon at right guard, and Rodriguez at right tackle.

What it does allow, is it allows Denzel [Okafor] and Tristain to get reps at left tackle as well. 

As I've said before, most teams I've been on you've got about seven or eight offensive linemen that you feel good about putting into a game, which is usually your five starters, one tackle who can play left or right, and one interior guy who can play guard or center.

They're still improving and we don't play a game tomorrow, so  they will have every opportunity to go earn that spot too.

But it will be a good battle. Right now those five guys plus Denzel, Tristain, and probably Pat Hudson are all eight guys we have to find the best combination to go jog out there.

 

On Jake McMillon being the most underrated versatile guy on O-Line

No underrated by me. I really like being around him. He is versatile in terms of his ability to play center and guard. Really smart guy. Powerful. He's able to hold his own against the Poona Fords of the world.

 

On Herman being more complimentary of guys than he was in the Spring means they are starting to meet expectations

I've felt that too. I've gone back and watched a few of these. Yeah, I guess that's the only conclusion that you can draw. Again, I'm glad we don't play tomorrow. We aren't a finished product by any stretch of the imagination, but for the most part, they've been doing what we've asked them to do. The two things I still wish were a little more polished now than they are would be there are still some busts on defense not communicating and some assignment errors on offense.

But we talk to them about this all the time. Especially at this time of the year, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Go really hard, be really physical and we'll correct those mistakes. Now, if it becomes a pattern and those mistakes continue to repeat themselves then we've got issues, but right now, this time of year it's about going hard and being physical. For the most part they've done that.

 

Does it make you nervous to be happy with them this early in camp?

Yeah [laughing]. I don't know if I'm ever happy. That's pretty exaggerated. You're proud of the guys for doing that. So we're a very honest and transparent program. When they're doing well they're going to be told keep it up and do better. When they're not meeting expectations they're going to be told that too, and be taught how to do that.

 

Was there an install today?

Goal line and red zone was the install today, as is pretty much every year the first day we put on pads. We want to put them in as physical of a situation as we can and short yardage, goal line, and red zone are football in a phone booth. We were glad to see guys responded well.

 

What do you and Coach Orlando need to see from Jeffrey McCulloch to feel good about putting him in a game for Naashon?

They've each got their strengths and weaknesses. I think Jeffrey's got to be more consistent against the run. I think his strength is rushing the passer. 

Naashon is the opposite. He is pretty good against the run. He already knows where to be and how to be there. But we need a little more production from him rushing the passer.

Both of them are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. It'll be a good battle the whole camp.

 

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Will,

 

I was curious about Jeffrey McCulloch.  How close is he to potentially taking Hughes spot?  Nashan seemed very inconsistent last year while The Shark started to impress late last year.  How close are they so far?

 

I think the coaching staff is happy with Naashon right now. He appears to be one of the better run stoppers on the defense whereas McCulloch is apparently having troubles in that department. I think there will be a lot of mixing and matching them through out the year.

As a fan, I don't think you should worry about who gets the 1st snap of the game and who gets the 2nd. The two are battling back and forth right now with no clear victor in sight.

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Will, how has Reese Moore looked on offense and Gary Johnson on Defense?

 

Also, what about Jean Delance? I thought he was the #2 LT pretty much.

 

Reese Leitao looks like he can put on weight, but looked good in the drills he ran in.

Gary Johnson seems fast and well built. Not stocky, but well built. Good thing is that works well in the Big 12, but I'd like to see him in live action before I say he's good or he's bad.

 

I actually haven't seen much of Delance this Fall. I think right now he's fallen a bit on the depth chart.

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The most exciting thing I read was that we started practice with special teams work......special teams work???...I dont know that we spent one minute working on special teams the last three years, but if we did it was time wasted because we had the worst special teams (outside of punter) I have ever seen at Texas.

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The most exciting thing I read was that we started practice with special teams work......special teams work???...I dont know that we spent one minute working on special teams the last three years, but if we did it was time wasted because we had the worst special teams (outside of punter) I have ever seen at Texas.

 

Alabama won a National Championship because of their special teams. That was what got them over the edge vs a good Clemson team.

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