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Staff appears to be set. Time to get behind Strong and the Horns


LongviewLobo01
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Barring someone getting an NFL job, the Texas staff looks like it is ready to go. Maybe it's not the dream team staff that everyone, including myself, was looking for, but it is what it is now. These are the guys that Strong wanted and since it's his neck on the line I'm going to trust in the fact that he's picked these guys for reasons.

 

In putting these thoughts together, I'm going to make the assumption that the offense is going to resemble what Oklahoma State does and that while Wickline will be in charge, Watson will be the play caller. Maybe I'm wrong, but right now I think that's the best bet.

 

QB coach: Shawn Watson -- As a QB coach the guy is pretty good. That's the position that an NFL team would more than likely hire him at if he were to go that route. He turned Bridgewater into a potential #1 pick. And before you talk about the fact that Bridgewater was a former 5* recruit, just remember Garrett Gilbert. As a play caller, I'm not super enamored with him, but he did do some good things. His offensive line was awful this year at UL and yet he still was able to put up some strong numbers. I definitely am in the group of people who wanted someone bigger and better than Watson, but I've come around and now believe he's better than Major. I guess that's a plus.

 

RB coach: Tommie Robinson -- I really like this hire. Robinson has done major things as a RB coach in his career and will be a major benefit to Brown and Gray from day one. I don't think he's a major upgrade from Porter and I also don't think he's going to be a better recruiter than Porter, but he has ties to Florida from his days at Miami and also coached with the Cowboys for a couple of seasons. I'm hearing a lot of good things about him as both a coach and recruiter so we will definitely see how this goes.

 

WR coach: Les Koenning Jr -- Not the guy I wanted at this position, but he's a former Horn and has experience as an OC and play caller. He wasn't great as the OC at A&M, but a lot of that was because he was hand cuffed by Fran at the time. There's definitely a quote that the one game that Fran allowed Koenning to run the offense with zero interference was their 38-30 victory over us in Fran's final game as coach. I'm sure a lot of you remember how we couldn't slow that offense down whatsoever. Maybe that's the guy we're getting. He's going to be a very good WR coach and has a lot of ties to coaches around the state. I hope he's able to recruit the Houston area because that's a HUGE need for us. We are getting killed down there by aggy, LSU and Bama. He's probably going to have a lot of say in the offense and that's a good thing because he's got a lot of experience. People are wondering if he's much of a spread guy and I think he definitely has the ability to be that way. Mullen, his HC at Miss State, is an Urban Meyer disciple so I don't mind having some of those principles within the offense. I do believe that Mullen is the play caller for Miss State so not sure how much input Koenning had as OC there.

 

OL coach: Joe Wickline -- The best hire we made without a doubt. Wickline is a walk off, bottom of the 9th, game 7 of the World Series grand slam hire. I remember begging Mack to reel him in in 2010, but being unable to do so. Players and coaches swear by him. He's one of the best recruiters in East Texas and can walk into practically any HS in that area and be welcomed with open arms. Wickline has been at Oklahoma State since Gundy was promoted to head coach and has worked with that offense beginning with his close friend Larry Fedora to Holgersen to Monken and now Yurcich. If anyone is going to be able to install the offense that Okla State runs, it's Wickline. And anyone who has watched the Okla State offense has to love how good it's been. They run the football as well as anyone in the country and are able to plug and play the QB position without much drop off. We just saw first hand how difficult it is to lose a starting QB. A couple of years ago OKla State was down to their 3rd string QB and was still putting up monster numbers. The offense starts in the trenches and our trenches are going to be damn good with Wickline in charge.

 

TE coach: Bruce Chambers -- No comment.

 

DC: Vance Bedford -- Bedford is another former Horn and while he's going to be the DC and will be the play caller (I think), this is Strong's defense and in the end that's what makes the happiest. Bedford has a strong background with DBs so I fully expect him to work with our new DB coach back there and it will be necessary based on the fact that Strong's defense usually plays with 5 DBs on the field. Welcome back home Vance. We missed you.

 

DL coach: Mike Rumph -- Alabama lost Bo Davis to us a few years back, went and got Rumph, and got better. That's all I need to know. Rumph is a classic example of a HS coach working his ass off and moving up in the world. A very, very good defensive line coach for Alabama, and developed some very good DEs for Clemson. A lot of people wanted to keep Giles, but IMO Rumph is a better coach and is going to definitely be a stronger recruiter. He just went into South Carolina and grabbed the best player in the state, beating out Spurrier and South Carolina and Clemson for him. No easy task. Love his recruiting ties to the southeast.

 

LB coach: Brian Jean-Mary -- A younger guy that has been with Strong at UL for a while, Jean-Mary was the recruiting coordinator there in addition to LB coach. From Florida so you know he's going to want to go back there and recruit. What makes me happiest is that we are actually going to have a dedicated LB coach. For too many years we've had our DCs coaching the LBs and our DCs have been guys who know the DC position better so we haven't always had the strongest LB play. I think that's about to change....in a big way. Greg Robinson was probably the best LB coach we had and he was never here long enough to make a major impact. I'm really excited about this hire because this is a position that has needed help and I think we just got it.

 

DB coach: Chris Vaughn -- Another former recruiting coordinator, Vaughn has experience in that spot at Arkansas and Ole Miss. In addition to those duties, he's done a good job of developing corners at both stops. While he's probably not going to be Duane Akina, I think he's going to be a much better recruiter and could be just as good of a coach. Remember, while Akina's individual players have been good, our pass defense has been really bad at times under multiple DCs. And Akina isn't exactly the best teacher of zone principles in his backfield. I have a feeling that Vaughn and Bedford are going to work very closely together when it comes to the DBs and that is going to be a great thing for us.

 

 

I love the defensive staff. It's readily apparent that guys wanted to work with Strong and he brought in people that he targeted and got them. Grabbing guys who have experience as recruiting coordinators at different stops also shows that Strong wanted a staff of guys that are going to go out and find players and then bust their asses to try and bring them in. While Strong talked about closing the borders of Texas in his introductory press conference, it's apparent that he's planning on recruiting the southeast. Hard. We are already seeing that with offers going out to kids from Florida and Louisiana. Strong is definitely going to work the in-state kids hard, but we are not going to see a time where if we are left at the altar by in-state kids that there is no backup plan elsewhere.

 

The offensive staff is growing on me. I really think that Wickline is going to be in charge of the offense and if that's the case I'm ready for it. I've loved Gundy's offense and how good it's been for years and how physical it is. I just got an email from someone talking about this and it made me want to run through a wall. We are going to be a spread offense guys. And we are going to be physical. We are going to run the ball. But best of all, we are going to have a system and an identity and then we're going to recruit to fit that. We might pass on highly rated kids because they don't fit what we are trying to do, but that's ok. Okla State has been doing this for years. I'm far less worried about Watson because in the end, while he might be the play caller, it's going to be Wickline's offense and he's going to have a major say. Koenning is going to be a great sounding board also based on his experience. There's not going to be too many cooks in the kitchen. There's going to be great discussion and working together in order to formulate a plan of action and then they are going to go out and implement it.

 

Guys, for the first time in 16 years I think we are going to have a football team that has a staff from the head coach down that will be as well coached from an Xs and Os standpoint of any team we face. We aren't going to strictly rely on our talent advantage to win football games. While piling up talent from a recruiting standpoint is without a doubt going to be a focus for Strong and is apparent from his assistant hiring, he's also made it clear that we are going to be well coached and be able to out scheme you too. It's going to be interesting to see what changes occur from a physicality standpoint with our new S&C program in addition to what kind of changes we see from players and the depth chart, but right now I feel as excited about the way things are about to be as I think I could be. Yeah we didn't go out and hire Chad Morris, but in the end I think we have a staff that is going to be together for a while and that could be as advantageous as anything. Now the fun stuff starts and let's all get behind these guys. It's time.

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I'm not sure why everyone is hating on Les Koenning. Most Aggies I've talked to even say it's a steal. They've told me that Frans little bit of success came because of Koenning (apparently some of the programs best receivers were during Koenning's time at A&M). We just stole a coordinator for a position coach.

 

I know I'll probably get criticized for this, but Wyatt was vastly overrated IMO. Hell of a recruiter, but an average coach. Our receivers have been underdeveloped and haven't produced much of anything for almost 4 years now.

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Here is the thing with the offense, can these 5 coaches put together competent game plans each week together? I think we can all agree that the offensive staffs under Brown were hardly ever on the same page. Too many switching of philosophies matched with taking the wrong type of players to fit those philosophies. Can Texas finally pick an offensive style, and have a staff completely on the same page in terms of recruiting the guys they need to run the offense. If that happens, who gives a pooh about the official play caller.

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I'm not sure why everyone is hating on Les Koenning. Most Aggies I've talked to even say it's a steal. They've told me that Frans little bit of success came because of Koenning (apparently some of the programs best receivers were during Koenning's time at A&M). We just stole a coordinator for a position coach.

 

I know I'll probably get criticized for this, but Wyatt was vastly overrated IMO. Hell of a recruiter, but an average coach. Our receivers have been underdeveloped and haven't produced much of anything for almost 4 years now.

 

Great stuff. I've been hearing mixed bags from aggys about LK. Some thought he was really good. Some thought he wasn't good at all. I completely agree that we just got a tried and true OC as a position coach. And that's never a bad thing.

 

I won't really argue with you about Wyatt, but I think he's been a better coach than you give him credit for. I think he did a really good job in developing Mike Davis and got good production from guys like Sanders and Marcus Johnson this year. Sometimes it's the little things that people don't pay attention to where you see a coach's influence and one thing that our guys did a great job of was blocking. Wyatt had those guys ready and willing to hit people. Remember, it wasn't like Wyatt's WRs have had Colt or VY throwing to them since he's been here. I can definitely see why people would think he hasn't been very good, but the coaches I've spoken with have thought that he's been as good of a coach as any we've had. Moot point now though.

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That's the point most Aggies I've talked to don't think he was a "retread". They liked him. Two of A&M's most successful receivers played during Koenning's time. It's funny because when Fran and Koenning were having disputes, Aggies were on the side of Koenning. I think you are completely missing the point, Koenning isn't a "retread". Aggies will tell you that one of the main reasons Fran was such a disappointment originated from conflicts with his better assistants.

Edited by utisdabomb12
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Can Texas finally pick an offensive style, and have a staff completely on the same page in terms of recruiting the guys they need to run the offense. If that happens, who gives a pooh about the official play caller.

 

Coach Strong essentially has his team assembled and no one can identify what style will be implemented or who will lead the group into getting completely on the same page. That's the issue for me. We have Watson, Wickline and Koenning. Three guys who one would believe each think they have the right answer. We don't need three chiefs. WE also need coaches who understand their role and who can work effectively as a team and who can subordinate themselves to the authority designated leader. Unless two of these guys have signed onto subordinate themselves to the authority of the third, we have a huge problem. If they have, then its just an instance of Coach Strong just not letting the fanbase what is going on within the program. If he wants to build a barrier between himself and what is happening within the program, that is his choice, but its a risky one in my mind.

 

No one outside the program seems to have a clue which direction the program is headed on offense. I just hope Coach Strong has a clue and we actually have a direction that just isn't being communicated. The offense seems rudderless so far.

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bottom line i may be old school but we have a stud at HC ,OL,DL,AND S&C..so nobody will be pushing us around..with Wickline coaching the oline i really dont care if we run spread,option,power,west coast,dont care...we will be tough and well coached and that alone will open up the offense...points will come and will be hard to find against our D..dont forget 30 points allowed to Baylor and Oregon combined..

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Here is the thing with the offense, can these 5 coaches put together competent game plans each week together? I think we can all agree that the offensive staffs under Brown were hardly ever on the same page. Too many switching of philosophies matched with taking the wrong type of players to fit those philosophies. Can Texas finally pick an offensive style, and have a staff completely on the same page in terms of recruiting the guys they need to run the offense. If that happens, who gives a pooh about the official play caller.

 

This is my biggest worry. Can guys like Watson and Koenning be ok as positions coaches and not coordinators? Are they all going to buy into what Wickline is trying to accomplish? I think that part of the reason why we didn't get some of the bigger names is because Strong wanted to ensure that everyone is going to be on the same page. But it's definitely something worth keeping an eye on.

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im still not 100% convinced Chambers being a position coach is locked in. Its been reported totally different ways during the week

 

You could be right. Nobody knows anything. But I'm working under the assumption that he's going to continue in his role as TE coach and Recruiting Coordinator. At least through signing day.

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im still not 100% convinced Chambers being a position coach is locked in. Its been reported totally different ways during the week

 

This, and the Koenning hire seems likely, but is yet to be confirmed. With the lack of credibility the insiders have had as of late, I think it's prudent to wait for the staff and their respective roles to be officially announced before celebrating or coming to a conclusion.

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That's the point most Aggies I've talked to don't think he was a "retread". They liked him. Two of A&M's most successful receivers played during Koenning's time. It's funny because when Fran and Koenning were having disputes, Aggies were on the side of Koenning. I think you are completely missing the point, Koenning isn't a "retread". Aggies will tell you that one of the main reasons Fran was such a disappointment originated from conflicts with his better assistants.

 

The all-time leading receivers for aggy are Evans, Swope, Fuller, Murphy, Nwachukwu and Harrison. None of them played while Koenning was there.

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Staff appears to be set.

 

I dont think its set yet on offense.

 

We do have a bunch of college coaching experience with Wickline, Robinson, Watson and now Koenning. In fact, it's tough to envision a college 4-man assistant staff group with more college offense coaching experience than these guys.

 

But (a) Robinson might leave, and (B) we have no OC yet.

 

Still, that group of 4 -assistants (assuming TRob stays) is amazingly strong in both experience and recruiting.

 

To me, it looks like a nice set up for an NFL to come in and take over. I think this is the best explanation for what has happened to date - both in terms of timing and the staff build out.

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Here some more info on Koenning- I posted on another thread by seems relevant here -- sorry for the double.

 

 

Some more on Les Koenning --

 

Started as GA at Texas in 1981. He's also served as an assistant at Alabama, South Alabama, Texas A&M, TCU, Houston, Duke and the Miami Dolphins.

 

Coached WRs for a decade starting in 1986 but has not been a WRs-only coach since 1996 (A&M).

 

Since 1998 (Duke), LK has worked exclusively as an OC and QB coach. He has been the OC at MSU for the last 5 years.

 

His ties with Strong are limited to this -- MSU head coach Dan Mullen spent time with Strong at Florida 2005-08. Other than that, LK coached against Strong at least one season that I see.

 

Under Koenning at OC, the MSU offense did set some school records. According to MSU, 2010-2013 "marked the highest combined three-year offensive output in school history (14,825 yards), breaking almost every single offensive school record in the process...... In just four short years, Koenning’s offense has nearly doubled the average number of points scored (15.2 ppg in 2008; 29.5 in 2012)."

 

2013 -- MSU went 7-6, was 9th in the SEC in total offense, averaging 434 yards per game, and 10th in SEC scoring, averaging 27.7 ppg.

 

2012 -- MSU set school records in passing yardage, completion percentage, completions and TDs.

 

2011 -- MSU set then school record for passing TDs (19) and 2nd all-time in total offense and first downs

 

He also developed QBs Chris Relf, Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott. Russell set some MSU single season passing records. And Prescott has been called a "sleeper" for Heisman 2014.

 

He has coached the spread offense.

 

He is an established recruiter.

 

Lastly, he was not fired as the OC at MSU although there were some grumblings as I posted above. So, it is interesting that an OC would leave to become a WR coach. Perhaps a clue to the eventual OC?

 

Coaching Experience

2009-2013: Mississippi State (Offensive Coordinator/ Quarterbacks)

2008-09: South Alabama (Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks)

2003-07: Texas A&M (Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks) - under Franchione

2001-02: Alabama (Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks)

2000: TCU (Passing Game Coordinator / Quarterbacks)

1999: Houston (Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks)

1998: Duke (Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks)

1997: Miami Dolphins (Offensive Assistant)

1994-96: Texas A&M (Wide Receivers)

1993 (Dec.): Duke (Wide Receivers)

1990-93: Rice (Wide Receivers)

1986-89: Mississippi State (Running Backs / Wide Receivers)

1985: Louisiana-Lafayette (Wide Receivers / Recruiting Coordinator)

1984: Alabama (Graduate Assistant)

1981-83: Texas (Graduate Assistant)

Edited by Juan Grande
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I dont think its set yet on offense.

 

We do have a bunch of college coaching experience with Wickline, Robinson, Watson and now Koenning. In fact, it's tough to envision a college 4-man assistant staff group with more college offense coaching experience than these guys.

 

But (a) Robinson might leave, and (B) we have no OC yet.

 

Still, that group of 4 -assistants (assuming TRob stays) is amazingly strong in both experience and recruiting.

 

To me, it looks like a nice set up for an NFL to come in and take over. I think this is the best explanation for what has happened to date - both in terms of timing and the staff build out.

Is it set with an OC?

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    W 38-18
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    L 21-40
    9/18
    Rice
    W 58-0
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    W 70-35
    10/2
    @TCU
    W 32-27
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    L 48-55
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    L 24-32
    10/30
    @Baylor
    L 24-31
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    L 7-30
    11/13
    Kansas
    L 56-57 OT
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    L 23-31
    11/27
    Kansas State
    W 22-17

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