Mack Brown Press Conference Notes

Texas coach Mack Brown covered a lot of ground in the first press conference of fall camp. Read more inside.

1) The Longhorns are healing up. Defensive starters Jackson Jeffcoat and Adrian Phillips have been cleared to play, as has tight end Greg Daniels. And while four other players are limited — receivers Miles Onyegbule and Bryant Jackson, cornerback Quandre Diggs and defensive end Reggie Wilson — Diggs is the only starter still on the mend. That includes David Ash, who was cleared and was "fine" according to Texas coach Mack Brown. More good news: Brown said Diggs could play today if he needed to for a game.


2) Camrhon Hughes had a knee operation and will be redshirted and out for the year. Because of that, he won't be in the 105 listed on Texas's roster. That means that, for now, Hughes won't be able to go to meetings or practices. Brown said that would change once school starts, and that then Hughes would be able to attend both.


3) Brown said the kicker/punter competition is wide open, but certainly seemed more at peace with the unit than he did coming out of the spring. Brown acknowledged that Justin Tucker wore down with kicking and punting last year (at one point cracking a joke about how that was the offense's fault for making him punt too much), but said he wouldn't be against doing the same with former Penn Stater Anthony Fera if he proved he could do it. Fera did both, and did them both well at PSU, but Brown said neither he, nor Duke punter Alex King, will be given any concessions based on previous stops.


4) And of course, Brown reiterated that the quarterback competition is wide open as well. Brown said that it wouldn't be a coaching decision as much as one of the quarterbacks making the decision for them. Brown added: "I think the worst thing you can do is make it too early and make the wrong decision."


5) Practice will be closed to the public. But for those who have the Longhorn Network, there's a chance to catch the first 40-45 minutes of practice televised. The LHN will also televise the first two games of the season, against Wyoming and New Mexico.


6) The common belief is that the defense is loaded, but Brown said there's still plenty of work to be done. Brown said the biggest issues were figuring out how to replace departed leadership, and building up defensive depth. That includes figuring out the rotation up front, adding to the depth behind the top three linebackers, and figuring out who plays the second safety, who plays the nickel back and who comes in during dime situations.


7) Building depth on the offensive line is another key issue heading into the fall. Here's Brown: "I don't think we are where we want to be, but we are sure headed there, and our concern now is that we are pretty set with first group and now we need to get seven, eight, nine, ten guys going." He said part of the process behind that would be taking a look at the freshmen Curtis Riser and Kennedy Estelle to see if they can help out.


8) While position changes could always happen, Brown doesn't see that happening right now with wide receiver Kendall Sanders, who doubled as one of the state's top defensive back prospects. Brown said there was a bigger need at receiver right now, and while anything could happen, right now, the Longhorns looked pretty set as far as position changes go.


9) Brown continued his spring talking point that the Longhorns' Big 12 schedule was his least-favorite option. He pointed to the Big 12-opening three-game stretch starting in late September of at Oklahoma State, West Virginia in Austin and Oklahoma in Dallas, then added that the Longhorns close the season at Kansas State. Brown said: "Nobody wants to end up at Kansas State in December," before joking that it would certainly be a night game.


10) Brown also talked about the team's social media policies for Twitter and Facebook. Then, in a twist of irony, once Brown found out — mid-press conference — that Sanya Richards-Ross (wife of Texas ex Aaron Ross) won Olympic gold in the women's 400-meter dash finals, he paused the conference to send out a congratulatory tweet. To be fair, the tweet was actually pre-typed by Texas associate AD for media relations John Bianco, then sent by Brown. Brown added that he joined Twitter for recruiting purposes. You can follow him at @UT_MackBrown.


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