Strong Dances Around Two Questions

Is this a sign of things to come for the Longhorns on defense and special teams?

Charlie Strong was forced to make some tough schematic changes on offense earlier this season because of the way Texas’ offense performed in the season opener against Notre Dame after struggling to end last season.

He had to demote long-time friend Shawn Watson from offensive play-calling duties in favor of Jay Norvell.

Well, the Longhorns are struggling mightily on defense right now giving up 38.2 points per game and 507.2 yards per game. Could change be in store for defensive coordinator Vance Bedford?

When he was asked on Monday how he would handle Bedford moving forward, and if he might take more control of the defense, Strong danced around the question.

This was his complete response:

“You look at the things that hurt us on defense. It’s a loaded coverage and they run a wheel route. It’s so simple that we don’t chase the inside route and we end up having a defensive back take the wheel and we let it go.

“The big throw, Holton Hill had really good coverage on the receiver [Josh Doctson] and he just goes up and comes down with the ball.

“On defense, it’s about gap control, it’s about getting off blocks. What I did yesterday, I gave it to the offensive side and the defensive side, I gave them certain commandments that you have to have on both sides of the ball. When you talk about penalties, how many did you have any why? You talk about turnovers. On offense, how many runs were two yards or less and why? On defense, how many runs were five yards or less and why?

“When you break that down, I said this in the team meeting yesterday, it’s not so much what someone does to us, it’s what we do to ourselves. We get those things corrected we will be a good football team. But we have to get those things corrected.”

Leads you to wonder if there is something else going on there.

Strong also didn’t give a clear answer as to how Texas’ struggling special teams can be fixed and how duties dealing with that part of the game were divvied up throughout the staff.

This was his complete response to that question:

 “You look at the breakdown, it’s not so much the coverage units it’s all about the execution. When you look at the snapper snapping the ball over. What he told me is that ‘Coach when I go down I thought I heard him say ready so I hesitated and then let it go. I probably should have just taken a penalty.’ I said it would have been best to take a penalty because we gave up two points.

“The kickers it’s just about punting the ball where we need to be punted and then the field goal kicker executing and knocking them down.”

Obviously, Strong is not happy with the way things are going but he did avoid two straightforward questions regarding his staff on Monday.

They are tough questions to answer but ones that deserve clear-cut answers nonetheless.

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