Charlie Strong Wants to see Sense of Urgency

Find out what Charlie Strong had to say about the Longhorns after practice on Tuesday.

Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong met with the media after Tuesday’s practice and appeared a bit frustrated with the lack of intensity that he saw from his team during their first practice in pads.

“First day of full pads, a little sluggish,” he said. “You’d like to see our guys come out with a better attitude. I told them, ‘You are going to come out here and work so you might as well put it in.’ But it’s all mental collapses. We started off good early but when it gets late we just can’t have the mental errors we had on offense and defense. Day 5, it’s always about getting better. We have to come out here each day with the right frame of mind. We can’t waste practices.”

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It was a pretty eventful day before the Longhorns even took the field with news that Cecil Cherry and Duke Catalon were both no longer with the team.

Strong said he spoke to Cherry and his father, as well as Catalon but did not confirm nor deny that they were no longer on the team, as HornsDigest reported Tuesday. We have confidence in our reports that they are no longer with the team.

Strong didn’t go into much more detail but he did give this answer when asked about Cherry:

“Cecil Cherry, I always say this, when a young man comes into our program, and I always tell our upperclassmen, in order for a freshman to play you just have to go out and don’t practice hard or you just lose your responsibility and just give up the position. They make a decision on what they want to do. Once they make a decision, we always want guys to stay here. But it’s also this, anything you get in this program you are going to work for.”

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There were a couple of noticeably absent defensive players on Tuesday in Naashon Hughes, Derick Roberson, and Caleb Bluiett.

“Naashon is at the dentist getting a root canal done and Roberson has some work to get done academically,” Strong said.

Caleb Bluiett, who is working his way back from a knee injury, was also absent as he takes care of some academic issues, Strong said.

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Freshman safety DeShon Elliott was seen wearing a protective boot on his right foot. Strong said that Elliott would have an MRI today to assess the severity of his toe injury, which took place at Sunday’s practice.

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High praise continues to come in about freshman tackle Connor Williams, who seems to have solidified himself as the starter at right tackle.

“Connor, he is so mature. He just works,” Strong said. “Everything you tell him to do he does it. He’s very technically sound. I was just telling Wickline, and his parents, he’s going to be a really good player.”

Williams is currently ahead of JUCO transfer Tristan Nickelson at right tackle.

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Strong did seem to be pleased with the leadership he is seeing from his seniors, which was a point of concern for some heading into this season after UT lost leaders like Quandre Diggs, Jordan Hicks, Cedric Reed, Malcolm Brown and Malcom Brown.

“You like Pete’s leadership on defense,” Strong said of Peter Jinkens. “It has to start with our seniors. You look at Peter, Duke [Thomas], Tank [Desmond Jackson]. Guys are practicing hard trying to be leaders. They are doing everything we ask them to do.”

The leadership Jinkens is showing right now, surrounded by a bunch of freshmen linebackers, isn’t something he’s shown all that much of prior to this season.

“Usually when a young man gets to his senior year there is a different sense of urgency and you are seeing that now,” Strong said.

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Strong was frustrated with how many snaps his receivers had on Sunday, but that problem seemed to be fixed for the most part on Tuesday.

However, Strong was upset at some drops on some long passes.

“We can’t have those drops,” he said. “You’d like to see us continue to move the ball down the field.”

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On freshman QB Kai Locksley:

“Locksley is still learning. He releases the ball real well. He just did a great job a few minutes ago driving the ball down the field.”

On who is stepping up at RB behind Johnathan Gray:

“D’Onta Foreman is doing a really good job. Warren is doing really well. Johnson is doing a really well. They are learning and will continue to learn.”

On Tyrone Swoopes’ vocal leadership:

“Tyrone, I tell him, whoever is the quarterback has to win this team. He played a lot last season. You expect that out of him right now. You expect him to encourage the players and getting everyone going.”

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Strong said that freshman cornerback Holton Hill, who has yet to practice, will see the doctor today and hopefully be released and ready to practice.

Hill was seen running sprints without a problem at practice.

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Strong said that Daje Johnson was doing everything they are asking him to do, but he would like to see more explosiveness out of him on a more consistent basis. “He is so explosive but you don’t always see it,” Strong said.

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Kicker Nick Rose had a rough day missing numerous kicks from 45-52 yards. “He has to hit those,” Strong said. “We have to be money from 40 in. We have to make those kicks.”

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