Brown reviews Thursday night's scrimmage

Coaches, particularly those on the sideline rather than in the coaches' box high above the field, don't necessarily have the best vantagepoint to make immediate, post-scrimmage judgments about what happened on the field. But after breaking down the film, the coach can offer an overview of the good, the bad, and the ugly from the scrimmage. And that's exactly what <B>Mack Brown</B> did today. Here are the coach's comments on his review of the Thursday night scrimmage film:

"After reviewing the scrimmage, it was a lot of what we thought. We saw some great things in the kicking game. I thought the guys handled the heat really well. They weren't as emotional at the end of the scrimmage as they were at the beginning and we've talked to them about being excited and having emotion and it's gotta be a fun thing for 'em. Nobody is ever successful in what they do unless they have fun and the guys need to enjoy being out here and enjoy having a good team and enjoy being rated high in preseason.

"I was pleased with Brian Bradford. He's been a real plus for us. We thought he'd be good but his punting looks really good right now. Cullen Loeffler has done a good job snapping and Dusty Mangum has really been accurate with his field goals.

"We're still looking at kickoffs. We had a couple into the wind yesterday and they were a little shorter than we wanted so we need to kickoff a little better. Kickoff returns were good. Punt block is good and we're getting better in that area and we like what we see there. We've got to do a better job in punt return because we're behind (there). The kicking game is further along than we anticipated it being at this time.

"The backs look good. The first offensive line did a great job of running the ball and protecting. Part of that means the second defensive line needs to pick it up and do a better job. We're pleased with a lot of the young guys that were out there flying around. We'll continue to study them. Derrick Johnson made a lot of plays on defense. We were pleased to see what he was able to accomplish. Cedric Benson did a good job so those two guys jumped out without question.

"We felt like the first defense did a great job. The interception by Dakarai (Pearson) was exciting. They just had the one lapse and we were rolling some people in, so the biggest thing we've got to do right now is make sure we've got the depth on defense for the heat early in the season so we can play enough people."

Friday morning practice notes: Ivan Williams broke another long run in 11-on-11 work late in Friday morning's workout. The big back burst through the middle of the second-team D and sprinted for the left pylon before freshman corner Michael Huff, who had a bit of an angle on Ivan, caught up with him near the 10 after a 40-yard gain. . . . In late-session special teams work, Mangum split the uprights with a 36-yard attempt but Matt McFadden's try from the same distance didn't clear the outstretched hands of Tien Van Nguyen. The walk-on special-teamer also blocked a Bradford punt in last night's scrimmage. "We're going to look at him on all of our special teams because of his quickness," Brown said after practice. In live action punting work, Justin Smith sent his punt end-over-end about 30 yards, while Bradford hit his attempt spiraling 42 yards downfield. If the season started today, Mangum and Bradford would be the starters at place kicker and punter, respectively. The kickoff job is still up in the air. . . . Lee Jackson, who left last night's practice with an injury, did not participate this morning. Jackson is wearing a rather large protective boot on his lower left leg and foot. Last night, Carl Reese described the injury as a "stubbed toe." The official word from UT today? "Dinged toe." His return date is uncertain. . . . After consecutive physical practices, the team had a relatively light, shorter than usual morning workout. The Horns will hit it hard again tonight and then again less than 12 hours later with a Saturday morning, 9 a.m. scrimmage in the stadium. "This is the toughest part of their year as far as back-to-back practice sessions," the head coach said, "and we want to see them do it with intensity." Brown said tomorrow's scrimmage will be similar to last night's but not as many players will see action (everyone played in last night's scrimmage) "because we've got to make some decisions with our second team and some of our freshmen to see who will be more ready to play in the opener." The coach also encouraged Longhorn fans to attend the scrimmage and Sunday's Fan Appreciation Day. The schedule shows a 2:00 p.m. "introduction of team" followed by a 3:30-4:30 autograph session.

[Editor's note: Highlights of my post-scrimmage conversations with Carl Reese and Greg Davis will be posted soon for subscribers. For more scrimmage coverage, see Thursday scrimmage notes and Time to bring back the Wishbone? .]

Horns Digest Top Stories