26 Aug

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GAME WEEK New Mexico State: Mack Brown Press Conference

Mack Brown University of Texas

Mack Brown believes the 2013 Texas football team's the best he's seen in years. Image/KUT News

Mack Brown met with the media Monday morning. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference.

Opening Statement

"Football season is here. It's Back. I can't wait to watch some of the games on Thursday night and the anticipation of us getting started on Saturday night should be fun. We're 14 -1 in season openers, we've won 13 in a row. We've taken a lot of the momentum from the Oregon State game into spring practice. We felt like we had an outstanding offseason, a really good summer, and preseason camp has been good. I can't wait to watch our guys play because I think we're very much improved and I want everyone else to see that on Saturday night"

"I want everyone to get in their seats early for pre-game on Saturday night because we are honoring the 1963 National Championship team. David McWilliams and Tommy Ford, who were captains of that team, will serve as honorary captains. A lot of members of that team will be here."

"We're also honoring the team by wearing the numbers above the Longhorn on the helmet, because that's the way they wore it."

"After this week the kids will get to vote on whether they want to keep the number on the helmet or not."

 

On Scrimmage last Thursday

"We had our regular situation scrimmage on Thursday night and it went really well. We worked really hard on substituting both sides of the ball with tempo offense and on snapping the ball as fast as we could."

 

On Depth Chart / Starters

"We're not near as concerned about who starts because with tempo we're a lot more worried about playing two-deep and in some cases three-deep at each position, in this heat, and trying to get more plays to keep guys fresh throughout the game. One of the keys on the offense is not substituting while the clock is running and we have to work really really hard at that. In the offensive line we're going to try to play eight of those guys and rotate them. Trey Hopkins has played all five positions. Dom Espinosa has played center and guard. Donald Hawkins has played gaurd and tackle. There's a lot more versatility right now in depth in our offensive line than we've had in the past. There's only three freshman listed on the depth-chart. Right now of those three only Jacorey Warrick would definitely be playing on Saturday night."

"Jaxon Shipley is on there as an either/or because he's been limited in practice as well. Daje Johnson has had a great camp. Mike Davis is healthy, but we are concerned about the depth at wide receiver with the offense we're running and the number of plays we hope to get this weekend."

 

On New Mexico State

“Doug Martin is the new head coach at New Mexico State...he also hired Greg Brandon from Wyoming. So we're not sure what they will do on offense, so there will be some adjusting that has to be done after the first quarter on Saturday night. And like wise we're not sure what they will do on defense. Doug has said publicly that they will be a movement defense, they will be all over the place, they will try to confuse the offense. But we will obviously not be able to have any video from their game coming into this weekend's game.”

 

On Colt McCoy and Vince Young

"I'm really proud of Colt McCoy and Vince Young.  I like their spirit. I like the way they have competed, and fought, and done what they need to do for their teams. I enjoyed watching Colt last night. I thought he played really well for San Francisco. And likewise, seeing Vince come in for Green Bay the other day brought back some really good memories."

"I just saw Nathan Vasher in my office a few minutes ago. He's through with the NFL, and he's coming back here to finish school, he's got a year to finish. He will be a student, so he can also work with us as a student-coach."

 

Q: Anything you are more anxious to see on Saturday night than others?

“I think the actual playing of the tempo offense, because we’ve done everything that we can do to simulate it in practice. I still think with 101,000 people, players being anxious, and it will be the first time that Daryl Wyatt and Major have been involved in play selection outside of the bowl game where they had about 10 days to prepare. I want to see how much we’ve improved. I want to see our defense. I want to see the defense we saw two years ago. Not the one that we saw when we started last year.”

 

Q: Do you have a plan for Tyrone Swoopes?

"We want to see Tyrone practice this week because he’s still been limited some. He’s gotten better, but unless he can run full speed he can’t play. Major and I were talking about it last night. We’d like to play him this year. We’d like to play him in the game, but he needs to be healthy."

 

Q: What’s the team mindset going into this game?

“We had a great practice last night. You could tell they rested over the weekend. They were excited, they were refreshed, and we’ve worked them really hard. I really think they can’t wait until Saturday Night. We’ll have to be careful not to play the game on Tuesday.”

 

On Desmond Harrison

"He's only participated in four practices up to this point, and none of those have been in full pads. We're planning on him playing on Saturday night. We're just going to put him out there and cut him loose. He needs to be out there and work on his conditioning."

 

On David Ash

“David is at a great place right now considering what he’s been through the last two years. He’s had some really great moments and he finished on such a positive with the bowl win last year. That momentum and confidence has carried thru the spring and the summer..He’s just more comfortable and excited about the offense. This is what he did at Belton...And it’s his team, and this is the first time he’s been able to say that. It’s his time to take that next step.”

 

Q: Both Colt and Vince made biggest jumps their junior years. Do you think David can make that jump?

“I think David can make that jump for a number of reasons. He’s more experienced, he has better confidence, and he also has better player around him. I think this system really fits him.”

 

Q: Are you a fan of Beyonce, and does it tell you how far David has come when Beyonce is sporting the David Ash jersey?

“I am a fan of Beyonce. In fact I’m so respectful of what she’s done in her career.  I saw a documentary with her and her family, who are out of Houston. Selvin Young actually knew the family and was involved. We’d love to get her over here for a ball game."

 

Q: How do you feel on this day compared to the last two years?

“The last two years we had a lot more question marks. You will always have some question marks going into a season, but this year we have a lot fewer. We have older players. We have more depth. We have a better identity now, than we did two years ago. The staff has had really good continuity for those two years. Our Staff is really anticipating a lot better year and enjoying watching this team play and coaching them.”

 

Q: What are the main things you want to see from the defense?

"I want to see the impression of our defense change. Two years ago it was one of the best in the country, and best in the Big 12 against the run… I’m going to tell the players tomorrow that you only get one chance for a new first impression. So if you want to change the impression of people on your defense you better show them Saturday night because they are all going to come and watch."

 

On Co-Offensive Coordinator Major Applewhite as the play caller

"Major is smart, driven and demanding. He work as as a play caller he's a lot like a he worked at quarterback."

 

Coach Brown also announced:

- Three Scholarships were awarded/renewed to three walk on players: Nate Boyer, Cade McCrary, and Nick Rose.

- Johnathan Gray will be in the starter in the Wild formation. "He's very confident in that role."

 

Watch the Full Press Conference here:

Listen to the Full Press Conference here:

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.