Davis Likes Longhorn Tackles

When defensive tackles coach Bo Davis came to Texas from Alabama, he brought with him a tradition of coaching excellent defensive linemen.

And Davis said he likes where the current group of Longhorns are going.

"The group's doing good," Davis said. "I'm proud of them. The guys are working hard and doing everything that we've asked them to do, and they're working hard. I can't ask for anything more out of them. They've given me everything they've got."

Davis said that approach mattered more than the numbers, which have seen the Longhorns get just two sacks in three games.

"It's hard to get sacks because of the way the offense is designed," Davis said. "They put the quarterback back deeper and get the ball out faster. So it's hard for guys to get off the ball (to) get to them. And like I always tell guys all the time, it's like going out and blocking a field goal. Every time you go out to block a field goal, do you go out to block it, or go out to affect the kicker?

"So when you're rushing the quarterback you may not always get a sack, but the main goal is to affect him and make him move his feet," Davis said. "And once you affect the quarterback, guess what? His throwing rhythm is off. So that's what we try to do up front. We want to affect him by making him throw the ball, and that's why you look at the interceptions and the things that we've had. That's from making the quarterback get out of rhythm."

The ability to get quarterbacks out of their rhythm falls in-line with what Davis looks for from his defensive tackles.

"When I look at guys, I look at, 'Can this guy get off the ball? What's his eye-hand coordination? Is he instinctive?' That's what you look for when you're looking at guys," Davis said. "You want guys that are instinctive, that are quick off the ball and fast."

The demonstration of several of those traits has Davis high on the current group of tackles, including converted running back Chris Whaley, who he called "a fast-twitch guy."

"I want competition," Davis said. "That's what I look for. I want to get it where there's competition and you've got to compete. That's the thing I think we have now. We have competition, and it's day-in and day-out, and that's what I like."

Davis should have said that it was one of several things he liked about the current crop of defensive linemen. He said he was also pleased with the team's quick transition from one system to another.

"The guys, all of them, picked it up and had a great understanding of what we were doing," Davis said. "It's not just one of them, it's all of them. (They) have been very surprising to me, the way they're working toward being successful out there.

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