"When youre in shape, practice is more fun," Brown said. "We set the tempo but they kept up with it. Thats the biggest thing. Theyre in good enough shape. They ran through it, and they focused throughout the practice."
This, despite the strength-sapping triple digit heat and Browns remarks Wednesday about slowly assimilating the freshmen.
"We felt like that, since theyre in great shape, we wanted to set a tempo with them early," Brown said. "This was probably a faster pace. We got more in today. Weve got older guys, so were going to push them a little bit faster than we have in the past. The guys work year round for 11 to 14 games. The seniors know its their last trip. A lot who havent played very much had a chance this summer to improve their status, and they looked good today. I know were not in pads yet, but there are some names that well be talking about that we didnt talk about last spring."
For the second straight day, Browns roll call of the new, improved Longhorns (as in pumped up and tightly cut) focused on junior RB Cedric Benson. The dreaded one looked damn fast, particularly in making his cuts on a blistering afternoon.
"I think he looked quicker today than Ive ever seen him," Brown said. "Hes in great shape because he stayed out there all day. I was really pleased with him coming back in top condition. He looks so much stronger up top. I am really pleased with what we saw today out of Cedric."
Of note, sophomore C Will Allen worked with the first team OL instead of junior incumbent Jason Glynn. Well see if it lasts, but the 6-2, 275-pound Glynn (who started all 13 games in 2002) gives up four inches and 30 pounds to the challenger. Although Allen struggled with his snaps out of the shotgun, Brown euphemistically has said that Glynn "got overpowered a couple times" last season.
Junior Stevie Lee (6-4, 315) is back at his old DT spot after shifting to the OL last spring. More to come about this, but the move speaks to the need of shoring up the D-line rather than the oft-criticized offensive counterpart. At various times since the spring, coaches have called out the DTs for failing to attain a championship level of strength and conditioning. Defensive coordinator Carl Reese has singled out senior DT Marcus Tubbs and sophomore DT Larry Dibbles for scrutiny while RS-freshman DT Marco Martin looks like he could go into labor any day now.
Meanwhile, Eric Hall and Brock Edwards worked with the first team offense at fullback as senior Ivan Williams is still sidelined with the knee injury suffered last February in a pickup game of basketball.
For the first time in 25 years on Day One of August practice, freshmen worked alongside varsity athletes.
"They (freshmen) will be incorporated in the system a lot quicker this way than the way before when they had four days of orientation," Brown said. "Some of them had to jump in there today and go full speed."
Following 30 minutes of stretching, Texas will practice each day this weekend at 3:30 p.m.