Mack talks about Benson, the Texas heat, and more

Over the first two days of freshman practice at Denius Fields, <B>Mack</B> <B>Brown</B> addressed with the media quite a few different issues aside from the standard practice recap-type statements. Here are a few of the head coach's comments that we weren't able to work into our twice-daily practice reports:

"We felt like the freshman orientation was very successful. We're excited about the guys. They were much better (Wednesday) than they were in the opening practice and that's what you're supposed to get accomplished. They're more comfortable with each other, their chemistry is better and at the same time we think we got a lot done."

On when the staff starts to get a feel for which freshmen might be capable of contributing this fall: "What we would like to do is watch these guys through two-a-days . . . we try to wait until at least three or four days in pads so we can see who can handle the heat and who can handle the pressure of playing and being sore and practicing everyday because some of them may be ready to play against New Mexico State and some may be (ready to play by) midseason and some may be (ready to play in) three years. And all of the guys here we think are good enough to play at The University of Texas but we also aren't sure how quickly they will respond."

On the pressure and expectation level facing Cedric Benson: "There's a tremendous amount of pressure on him anyway just because of the acclaim he had in high school. I don't know if we've ever had a guy in this state get more attention in high school. We've had a lot of great players but the front of Dave Campbell's magazine and three state championships and five touchdowns in all of those, he has been an amazing story. I know he was happy to get out here (Tuesday) and I thought he was very relaxed and I thought he did a good job but he's got a tremendous amount of pressure like all these young guys do and I think the more they practice the more comfortable they'll get . . ."

On practicing in the heat, particularly given the recent practice field deaths in college and pro football: "Absolutely no doubt there is concern every year. It scares you to death. As a football coach you're always concerned about heat, you're concerned about a major injury to a young man. You can fix a knee, you can fix a shoulder but something more drastic than that, those are the things that you live in fear of every day. At the same time, it's unfair to put them out there at 11 against North Carolina if they're not in shape. Our trainers and doctors do a tremendous job; they've got the air-conditioned cape that they put around them that's really a neat thing. It cools the body temperature down immediately. We have always kept water available for them at any time and we've told them, We don't know when you're dizzy. The doctors and trainers may not know it. If you feel sick, get out and let's see what's wrong with you. One of the things that the doctors told me when I got here is that young guys from the state of Texas grew up with this heat, they've worked in this heat, they've played in this heat so they understand the heat more than someone like myself or an Eric Hall or a Kaelen Jakes or the Colorado kids last year or Chris Simms coming in (from New Jersey), so we have to make sure that the out of state kids go a little bit slower if they're not from a climate that is similar to this one. . . . We'll have longer lines on Saturday, so in some cases, they work harder (during freshman workouts) because they're trying to impress you than on Saturday when the varsity gets here."

IT's reports from earlier this week are available by clicking on the following links:

Tuesday Morning Practice Report
Freshmen's Day One at Denius a wrap
Freshmen stay at it; veteran Shanahan injured
Bring on the upperclassmen
Seventy-nine vets report; No Ellis or Wyndham

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