It's All About the Trust

Texas coach Mack Brown said earlier this week that he didn't trust his players, and therefore his assistant coaches, to get the job done.

In Brown's defense, the Longhorns sit at 4-3 and 2-2 in the Big 12 despite a roster full of players that the other 11 teams would love to have.

"It can't be about the talent level because if you've got enough talent to beat a really good Nebraska team in Lincoln, you've got enough talent to beat an Iowa State team in Austin," Brown said.

"Our coaches aren't stupid. They know what they're doing. But they also understand that you can't coach like we did and have as little production as we did against UCLA and Iowa State."

Texas has a standard, and after every game, players have their efforts compared against that standard. Brown said that those two games "were not coached or played up to that standard."

"When you lose, trust is not good. It's not as good as when you win," Brown said. "We trusted the guys going into UCLA after Tech, and we didn't play well. We trusted the guys after Nebraska, we pressed them, we pushed them.

"You would not see anything in Wednesday's practice that would make you think they wouldn't play hard … they had a great Thursday practice," Brown said. "They were enthusiastic leaving the hotel on Saturday morning. When I walked out on the field, I didn't think they had the same enthusiasm. It was the weirdest thing. It was like a switch flipped or something."

Brown said that switch was something he didn't have to worry about with the 2009 bunch.

"I trusted last year's team that they were going to come behind if they got in trouble, that they were going to fight, going to compete," Brown said. "Right now, I don't trust all the kids that they will because they haven't shown that ability.

"Therefore you don't trust the assistant coach if his guy isn't playing well," Brown said. "Because it's his responsibility to get the guy to play well."

Brown said he was frustrated with the group because "You don't want to walk into a stadium as a head coach and not know who's going to show up." He said that happened Saturday.

"Overall the responsibility is mine, the assistant coach is in charge of his group," Brown said. "Will (Muschamp) is in charge of his defense and Greg is in charge of the offense and Mike Tolleson is in charge of the special teams. All of those guys are responsible.

"If their guys aren't showing up and playing well each week, then I've got to get them stirred up more to get them to do a better job of getting the guys to show up or you lose some trust," Brown said.

Brown went on to say that those evaluations were based on positional performance.

"If you're coaching a position and your position's not playing well every week, I can't trust that you're doing a good job coaching them," Brown said. "If one of your guys is playing bad, I can change him. If three of your guys are playing bad, then I have to change you.

"I want them to understand it's the players' responsibility, but the assistant coach's responsibility (too) to get the guy to play with passion each week," Brown said. "That's what we pay them for."

Brown likened his job to that of a CEO, where he didn't have the time to mess with the details, but had to take an overall responsibility for performance.

"All I can do is say it's my job to fix it and I've fixed it in the past and I'll fix it again," Brown said. "We are not taking it lightly."


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