Taylor Estes - HornsDigest.com

CHIP DIPS: TEXAS SPRING FOOTBALL STARTS WITH ROARS

In his latest CHIP DIPS, HD's CHIP BROWN details how Texas' first spring practice under Tom Herman started off with a roar - a bunch of them from coaches (some of them directed at QB Shane Buechele) ... Herman's thoughts on former Houston DT commit Jordan Elliott and a moment in practice Tuesday that apparently had DT Poona Ford trembling ...

CHIP DIP #1 ... Tom Herman said the Texas football team is a family with no secrets - "If you're a bad guy, your teammates are going to know you're a bad guy."

That comment from Herman came after he was asked about turning down the music at the team's first spring practice Tuesday, so the media members gathered across the field could hear the names of those Herman was screaming to the rest of the team as the "culprit" or "lazy guy" causing the team to repeat a 10-yard sprint over and over again following pre-practice stretch.

 

"I want the team to know why they are having to do something over and over again. I want them to know who is the culprit, who is the lazy guy, because we have no secrets. It’s a family."

 

Herman added, "And there's going to be zero preferential treatment."

 

The first-year Texas coach then proceeded to describe how incumbent QB Shane Buechele "got disciplined as hard as anybody today on the field. 

 

"That’s the way we do things around here. He was loose with the football, and every single offensive coach undressed him, because it was the second time he was loose with the football. 

 

"He did up-downs and the whole nine. I’m not sure that’s how things have been done around here before. 

 

"But it’s pretty good for the Average Joe to know, ‘Hey, this coaching staff plays no favorites. There’s no teacher’s pet. And there’s no doghouse, either.'"

 

CHIP DIP #2 ... The reason the team had to keep doing its 10-yard sprint after pre-practice stretch over and over again is because everything is done "plus two." So a 10-yard sprint is really 12 yards.

"We sprint at the end of stretch - 10 yards," Herman said. "And we do things ‘plus two’ around here. So any 10-yard drill should not be pulled up until after 12 yards, and they kept pulling up. They kept testing the fence. Zzzzzt. Is it still on? Zzzzzt. Yeah, it’s still on. Zzzzzt."

 

 

CHIP DIP #3 ... Any D-lineman in shape?

"Poona Ford is not in shape," Herman said. "But he goes really hard. 

"He was the only D-lineman who got a pat on the back (Tuesday), because we made a big deal that every time the defense takes the field, they’ve got to sprint. And I mean every time.

"And the last set of plays in Period 24, I mean his 300-pound butt was hauling you-know-what to the football. So I stopped practice and yelled, ‘Who is 95?’ A coach yelled, ‘It’s Poona Ford.’ I said, ‘Poona, come here.’

"And I mean he was so scared. I said, ‘No man, you’re good. High five.’ Poona Ford went really hard. It was pretty to watch - as pretty as a 5-foot-11, 305-pound man sprinting can be. It was neat to watch."

Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and Herman both said they want "length" on the D-line. Well, the guy with the most length at DT is sophomore Jordan Elliott, who is listed at 6-4, 330.

So I asked Herman how Elliott performed in winter conditioning? Hold on tight for his answer:

"Better than I thought for a guy who committed and de-committed from 19 schools - including the University of Houston," Herman said. "So I know Jordan. We’ve had conversations. We’ve had long conversations.

"I was very pleasantly surprised with him in winter conditioning.

"For as out of shape as he was, he knows how to go hard, which was a big concern of mine, because usually guys who do all that committing and de-committing are not usually go-hard guys.

"But he was impressive in winter conditioning from the pure fact of being so out of shape but trying to push and improve himself."

 

  

CHIP DIP #4 ... I asked Herman if his two quarterbacks - Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger - were in the "Champions" group at the Champions Dinner Monday night, and he paused for a second and said, "I don't know. You'll have to ask me again (later). We had 31, which is pleasantly surprising."

 

So I followed up by asking if he'd expect his quarterbacks to be in the "Champions" category at the end of each of the four quarters of the year as determined by Herman (1Q - winter conditioning; 2Q - spring football; 3Q - summer conditioning (June and July); 4Q - fall camp and the football season)?

 

"I don’t expect anyone to be in the champions group (their first winter conditioning)," Herman said. "They better be in the champions group in July, or they’re probably not gonna play.

 

"Being a champion after this winter conditioning - I mean coaches were on the road. I was hiring a staff. If a guy oversleeps and is late for a class, he’s dinged and ineligible. That’s it. That happens when you come in transition. 

 

"Now, your quarterbacks better be champions in June and July - in that segment."

 

 

CHIP DIP #5 ...When asked if his players are scared of him, Herman said immediately, "I hope so."

Then, he paused and said, "I retract that statement. 

"They’re very sure (Herman's scary) on the field," he said. "They’re unsure off the field. So I’m trying to show them I’m human by talking to them during stretch and going to eat with them and asking them how they’re doing or how their family or girlfriend is doing."

 

 

CHIP DIP #6 ... Herman was asked if he has more talent at Texas than the rosters that helped him win 20 games at Houston? (Herman quickly corrected the reporter and said - 22 games ... Herman was 22-4 in two seasons at UH.)

"Oh yeah, way more. But it’s relative," Herman said. "We were the second- or third-most talented team in the American Athletic Conference. Toss a coin between Temple, us, South Florida and maybe Memphis when Paxton Lynch was there.

"We play in the Big 12 and not the American Conference. I haven’t played a full season in the Big 12, so I don’t know if it’s good enough to win every game in the Big 12. It’d be good enough to win every game in the American for sure."

 

 

CHIP DIP #7 ... You know I had to ask Herman if he'd seen enough in winter conditioning to know if Erick Fowler - at 6-2, 260 - moves like a linebacker or defensive end?

"I don’t know. Coaching cliche answer - let me watch the film," Herman said. "He looks pretty standing out there - I know that."

  

 

CHIP DIP #8 ... I asked about the recovery of redshirt freshman OG Patrick Hudson after breaking his foot last year?

 

"Good. No ill effects," Herman said.

  

 

CHIP DIP #9 ... You know I had to ask Herman about my man - RB Kirko Grinds (Kirk Johnson)?

 

"Very good work ethic," Herman said. "He's a try-hard guy. Love his passion for football."

 

 

CHIP DIP #10 ... Naashon Hughes and P.J. Locke said after Tuesday's practice they were both part of the "Champions Dinner" on Monday and are both members of the top - Gold - group in Tom Herman's Gold (top), Green (middle) and Crimson (bottom) "Meritocracy."

 

Both Hughes and Locke said they ate like kings on Monday night - taking in prime ribeye, shrimp, chicken, loaded baked potatoes and a "killer cheesecake," Hughes said. 

 

Locke said he went to the East Side Club for the Champions Dinner and walked in the wrong entrance and found himself staring at a buffet of burnt hot dogs and dried out buns.

 

"Then my coach (Jason Washington) was like, 'Locke, what are you doing? You're over here (at the Champions' buffet)," Locke said. "And I ate everything. That's probably why I'm 215 pounds right now."

 

Hughes said the advantages of being a Gold member are huge, such as having the right to live off campus, no mandatory study hall, better food, always being at the front of a line and better "gear." 

 

At Monday night's Champions Dinner, the "champions" got a black, Nike "kd" backpack in addition to their decadent feast.

 

  

*****

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