On progression of the running back group: Day by day there's a lot of good things that they're revealing, there's a lot of work left to do. We're still not timed up in the run game yet, we've definitely got to go to work in pass protection in regards to fundamentals and technique. But they're giving great effort, it's just a matter of putting that effort in along with some fundamentals and technique, and getting game reps. So we've still got our work cut out for us.
On Chris Warren's development: The thing that he's doing the best right now is that he's respecting the game. He's been a little bit of a lethargic football player in the past, in regards to practice. He's becoming a better practice player and he needs to continue to do that for the rest of his career, play the game on the practice field. And I think that's been the big improvement and it was the biggest need for improvement going into training camp.
On chemistry with Tim Beck: Tim Beck's a real guy, first of all. He's a real guy, he's a very unselfish guy. He designs our offense with every position in the mind. Obviously, with there being a quarterback, we've got to fit our quarterback, everything needs to be custom fit for our quarterback. But, he has a very unique way of making sure all of the different pieces of the puzzle are in place and aligned with that. The one thing I love about him is that he's all about learning who we are as a football team. We're not just going to run a system that doesn't fit our talent, he has the awareness to fit our scheme that fits our talent. And that's one thing that really attracts me to him and that's why we're going to have success, because of that.
On special teams approach: Here at The University of Texas, if you're a starter then that means you're starting on the special teams. We're going to put our best players on special teams. So if you haven't earned a spot or some value on special teams, regardless of how good you are in your position group, you're not going to play and that carries over to my group as well. You have to be of value on special teams to play your position on offense.
On personnel and formations: The way I work, if he has a hot foot then he stays in. It's a conditioning thing and an endurance thing. How far can he go? That's what I'm trying to change now. Every day, these guys are getting more and more consecutive reps to see how far they go. It started with two reps, now it's going to three, now we're giving guys four reps just to try and get them game-ready and have that endurance for the game situations. So it's predicated on toughness and endurance. But I think that even with a bell cow, a bell cow has a good guy behind him to take the pressure off. And I'm more focused on developing the entire group, so when their number is called, whoever it is, they're ready to go and be that bell cow in that moment.
On responsibilities of being associate head coach: Tom Herman expects me to carry the weight when he's not looking, and he expects that of every coach, he really does. There's times where if he leaves the meeting or anything like that, he expects me to take over that situation. That hasn't happened a whole lot, Tom is always around but I know what my role is and I'm ready for that responsibility when the time comes. But right now, my job is to make sure that our culture is intact on both sides of the ball and to make sure that my running backs get better.
On nationwide awareness of Texas in recruiting: They like Texas, they know what Texas is and that's the beauty when you go out of state and you do wear the burnt orange, they have an immediate respect for the program. They have an understanding for the history, which was surprising for me. This young generation of kids really doesn't care very much about tradition anymore, they're all about living in the now and I get that. But when I went out across the country looking at these backs, they had an understanding of our tradition here which was very exciting for me. But we have a lot of interest out there across the country, from the top backs in the country, and we'll see how those chips fall at the time.
On progress through training camp: We're looking for guys right now at this stage, as we're installing our offense and going through things, obviously there's more to it. Because we're not just 14 days of spring, we have 28 days before we play our first game. So there's more offense, so installation usually takes a couple days longer. So we're in that phase, so we're trying to grasp right now our effort, toughness, ball security, those types of things and that's really focusing and concentrating on that. We know there's going to be some mistakes but we're just trying to go really hard right now.
On the offensive line group: I think that everyone had a great offseason. I think that Coach McKnight, he's just fantastic with what he does. Coach Warehime's just a top notch offensive line coach. Still, the development of that group has probably been the biggest that I have seen since I walked on campus here, in terms of attitude, toughness, their strength. They play a lot lower, the physicality of it, real pleased with them. Got to continue to develop depth though, I mean everyone's going to tell you that at every position.
On competition in training camp: We're competing. If a guy's a real competitor, they're going to dig, scratch, claw, fight, do whatever they've got to do to win. And that's still what we're looking for, we're looking for the toughest 11 guys, the most competitive 11 guys. I don't care what they've done in the past, where they've came from. So the 11 guys on the field, they're going to be ready.
On challenging players through training camp: Well, we don't stop. I mean that's the thing. Everything's tempo, we're on them, go go go. Play fast, do those sorts of things and expectations aren't going to cease because they're tired. The other team's not going to let up because you ran a long run. So you've got to learn to dig down a little bit deeper, you've got to fight a little bit harder and you can't rely on your teammates to do that. So we're still building that. it's much better than it was, but we're still building that culture.
On Shane Buechele's development: I think his command of the offense has gotten better, which allows him to be able to lead the other guys. In the spring, he was worried about what to do. It was so overwhelming, that initially for him, he was in his own little world. Now it's different, now he has a better understanding so now he can say, "Tighten your split," or, "Hey, you need to run this, I need you over here." Where before, he couldn't do that. His ability to lead and communicate and talk to guys has been a lot better
On Buechele's leadership: He's a young guy. I mean, we forget. We act like he's been here for four years, he been here for one. So sometimes guys have to realize and learn, "This is your team." That's something that I talked to him about today, "No matter what happens, no matter whatever, when you're between those lines you're the coach and you make things right and do it the right way.
On offensive philosophy: The verbalization of our offense helps guys that want to further their career, they're able to go to that level and communicate in that manner. It's not just a one word, "Hey it's this," and throw it to the open guy, we don't do that. There's a progression for the quarterbacks and there's protection he learns and when he has to change the protection. All those types of things, so that's the idea when we say that we're pro-style, because that's how quarterbacks operate.