Monday evening practice notes

OLs and DLs, WRs and DBs go one-on-one in Monday evening's workout. . . . an injured Horn returns to practice. . . . and more on the kicking game in Monday evening's practice notes:

As I've described before, one of the best drills during practice to eyeball is the one-on-ones between the OLs and the DLs, and Monday's version of the drill provided some of the practice highlights courtesy of LDE Marcus Wilkins. The senior showed off both his strength and his speed Monday, putting back-up RT Lionel Garr on his posterior, blowing into the backfield past second-team RG Trey Bates on a two-on-two stunt, and perhaps most impressively, finding the edge on starting RT Mike Williams. . . .

Another always interesting drill, particularly with this team, is the one-on-ones between the wideouts and the DBs. Aside from outstanding, pinpoint passing by Chris Simms throughout and several fully extended catches by Roy Williams, the drill's final play provided the highlight. Simms, after dropping the snap, calming picked up the ball, and launched a rocket for Sloan Thomas as the wideout streaked down the right sideline. Fifty yards downfield, Simms' ball met Sloan and the sophomore snagged it despite the efforts of Ahmad Brooks. Later, during 11-on-11, Simms found Bo Scaife twice for big gainers, once on a deep over the middle pattern and another time on a shorter right to left crossing route (as the QB rolled to the left). Scaife and Brock Edwards, although not as high profile so far this August as some might have expected, are quietly turning in a solid two-a-days and will be a big part of the offense this fall. "(Last year) we lost our tight end passing game early because we lost Bo then we lost Mike Jones and then Brock Edwards got hurt so we ended up playing Chad Stevens, but now we feel like we can spread things out more and use the tight end more as a weapon," Mack Brown said recently. Last season, the Texas tight ends caught 25 passes (17 by Jones and eight by Edwards). This season, Scaife and Edwards could each haul in that many or more balls. . . .

Also during 11-on-11 work tonight, Dusty Mangum made one field goal attempt in the 35-yard range, hit the left upright on an approximately 40-yarder, and came up just short and a little left on a 50-plus-yarder to end practice. Sunday at Media Day, Brown said that those who are judging the ability of the kickers harshly right now just might not know what they're talking about. The coach said two-a-days is a "horrible time for kickers" and that the guys "legs are exhausted." Brown said the staff, rather than evaluating the kickers and punters based on distance of kicks, look at their steps and their time-to-kick. It'll be fascinating to see if the performance of the Horns' kickers and punters does improve during the regular season when their legs are fresh, as the coach is suggesting, or if their August performance is simply a precursor to much of the same in the fall. . . .

The head coach said the focus of practice this week will shift somewhat from the general to the specific. In other words, it's time to start getting ready for New Mexico State (and the several games thereafter). "Starting today and tomorrow we'll start working a little bit more on tuning in to game time and the season," Brown said Monday. "You try to work on the things that you'll use in the first five weeks in two-a-days and some of them may be for the whole season but you try to get half a season in and then after that you can start working on other things week-to-week that you'll use the last six weeks." . . .

Lee Jackson did not practice Monday evening, but he is out of the protective boot that he had worn since his turf toe injury last Thursday. Jackson walked with a pronounced limp and may be held out of practice the rest of this week. Reed Boyd (sore hamstring) also remained in the red jersey of the Longhorn injured, but he is expected back shortly. True freshman lineman Roman Reeves also did not practice. LCB Monti Collier, sidelined since Sunday, Aug. 12 with a strained hamstring, returned to practice Monday night and worked some with the second unit. . . .

And the sign at Denius said: "12 Days Until New Mexico State."


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