Chance Mock: 'I've... Got Stuff To Prove'

Junior <B>Chance Mock </B>said<B> </B>the worst part about his lofty status as starting Texas quarterback is that he&#146;s too honest with the media. Heading into the last week of preseason drills, this is what Mock had to say Monday about&#133;well, nearly everything.

First of all, he does not necessarily look to Heisman candidate SE Roy Williams as his go-to receiver. A healthy Williams will hold every significant receiving record by the time he books passage for the December Heisman presentation in New York City. It’s just that Mock knows he must distribute the rock among his ridiculously talented corps of receivers.

"Right now, I’m trying not to have a go-to guy," Mock said. "The thing now is that I’m just trying to play within the system and playing the concepts. So, I’m not really going out there with a go-to guy and try to force stuff."

Ever quarterback’s "worst deal" is contending with so many guys who continually insists he should have had the ball thrown to him, Mock added.

"The biggest concern I have is not getting the ball to all the guys as many times as they want," he admitted. "Everybody’s open on every play, and you will hear about it. Getting them all enough balls is the biggest thing I’m worried about…You’ve got all these NFL prospects and all these guys want to be great NFL players, and you’ve got to get them all enough balls…And they’re open every play, whether there’s three DBs on them in triple coverage, and they’ll come back and say, ‘Man, I was wide open!’"

Like his tosses, Mock’s comments will be well-received by his pass-catchers. And Roy will be open for business, early and often. In fact, Williams will be a primary target in Mock’s favorite new play that the team worked on during Monday morning drills. It’s a play-action pass that is well-suited for third-and-long situations.

"It gives you an opportunity for the deep ball, and it gives you an opportunity for a deeper comeback on the run," he said. "It’s a good third-down ball because it runs a comeback at 18 yards."

Mock said Texas had a mean, nasty, aggressive offensive line last year -- it’s just that most of them were on the bench.

"Last year, I thought the second-team line was the meanest line we’ve had since back in the day of Ben Adams and those guys (1995-98)," Mock said of the crew that paved the way for Ricky Williams, Priest Holmes and company. "Those (second-team linemen) were a lot of the guys I was playing with last year, and a lot of those guys have moved up, with the exception of guard Tillman (Holloway) and (center) Jason Glynn. So, they’ve moved up with me. Tillman’s a good ‘ol boy. He’s a pretty rough cat."

Mock pauses for a half-second, as if remembering it is important to distribute the praise as equally as the football.

""I guess they’ve all been pretty tough since we’ve been here," he added. "It’s fun watching them play together."

(Parenthetically, just how much like Mack Brown did that sound?).

But there has been a marked trickle-up effect of aggression from younger OLs, with the now well-publicized trickle-down infusion of attitude from OL Coach Mac McWhorter. As such, there have been more skirmishes during 11-on-11 contact drills than at any time in recent memory.

"You can see it out there every time," Mock said, recalling an incident where Holloway went head-to-head with sophomore MLB Garnet Smith. (Imagine the polar opposite of former LB Lee Jackson’s sweet spirit and you’ve got an inkling of the ‘tude Smith brings to the defense.)

"Garnet pulled him down by his facemask and Tillman, instead of just getting up and walking away, just took a shot at him," Mock said. "Coach Brown talks about being smart about it but, at the same time, you gotta have an attitude. You have to have the attitude that, every time you go out there, you’re gonna whip ‘em. And I think they do have it (attitude)."

As far as McWhorter’s influence:

"He’s hard on them," Mock said, "but he’s one of those guys where you’ll go back and thank him for it. I mean, I’m thanking him right now. I’m sure Cedric (Benson) and Selvin (Young) are thanking him, too, because they’re looking really, really good. I think he’s done a great job with them, and he’s brought an intensity that we haven’t had in a while."

The biggest surprise of the preseason, Mock said, has been the play of junior FL Tony Jeffery.

"Unfortunately, I had to play against him in high school," Mock recalled. Jeffery was a three-year starting QB at Houston Klein Forest while Mock, of course, was a Parade All-American out of The Woodlands. Fortunately, Mock knows how good of a receiver Jeffery has become for the Horns.

"It wasn’t a surprise to me, but I don’t think a lot of people expected him to be as good as he is," Mock surmised. "He’ll get plenty of catches this year. With the double-coverage on guys like Roy and B.J. (Johnson) and the extra attention people pay to them, he’s going to be open a lot of the time. He’ll get a lot of deep balls. I think he’ll be a real big factor in our offense."

Mock describes himself as "the low man on the totem poll" since he is just one of three offensive newbies in the starting rotation.

"I’ve still got stuff to prove to these guys," he said.

Then again, "You’re not going to find a harder critic than myself."

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