Reese, Davis: No Sweat, But Ax Can Fall Any Time

Although head coach <B>Mack Brown </B>said questions regarding job security for UT assistant coaches should be deferred until after the season, both defensive coordinator <B>Carl Reese </B>and offensive coordinator <B>Greg Davis </B>responded Tuesday to media scrutiny about whether they thought they&#146;ll be canned following the Oklahoma debacle.

"The end of the year has nothing to do it, I think the next game (at Iowa State) has a lot to do with it," Reese said. "If we don’t play well, there may not be any decision at all. The handwriting, as they say, will be on the wall: You’re out!"

Since directing college football’s top-rated defense in 2001, Reese has come under fire for producing nationally ranked units that crater against quality opponents at critical junctures (2001 Big 12 Championship, Oklahoma and Texas Tech in 2002, Oklahoma and Arkansas this season). The latest: Oklahoma receivers had zero career starts prior to this season and shredded a Texas secondary that entered Saturday’s contest ranked No. 1 against the pass. By days end, WR Mark Clayton had shattered OU’s single-game receiving record and QB Jason White was suddenly the Heisman frontrunner.

To Reese’s credit, he did not fault sports media for asking tough questions about his job security.

"We’re at this funeral and you’ve got to figure out who died," he said. "Texas has been known to eat up their coaches every once in a while. If it eats me, they can say, ‘Ol’ Coach Reese got eaten up.’"

Davis, it seems, has been under fire since Ricky Williams took his dreads to the NFL. Today, he spoke of the general tenuousness of his profession.

"My mindset is to try to do whatever we can to help The University of Texas beat Iowa State," Davis said. "Those other things will take care of themselves. When you coach for 31 years, you know that your job is on the line every day. You know that’s part of joining the rodeo. My mindset is what can we do to win this ballgame."

Texas’ 135.5 rushing ypg (NCAA No. 74) running game last year was a new low for the Mack Brown era. This year’s ground game is averaging 193 ypg (NCAA No. 20), but that’s largely due to QB Vince Young’s ability to adlib and make off-schedule plays. RB Cedric Benson remains largely ineffective (59.6 ypg, NCAA No. 97) while SE Roy Williams has been kept completely out of the end zone against Oklahoma, Kansas State and Arkansas.

"Coaches are on a day-to-day contract, but that’s not my concern," Davis said. "My concern is that we get our guys back and get them ready to go."

Reese, age 60, said he has no plans to retire and clarified a related rumor regarding a conversation that took place between him and Brown last June. When Reese raised the issue last summer, he said it had nothing to do with whether Brown was either trying to get him to defer, or to establish a timeline for, retirement. Rather, it had to do with Reese’s concerns regarding his qualifications for full health insurance benefits.

For now, he plans to coach at Texas as long as folks will let him.

"There are two (types of coaching) jobs: you either want to have a real good one or you want to be at the junior high school," Reese quipped. "That’s the way I look at it. It’s (junior high) not bad because they play on Tuesday and the score is never in the newspaper."

Meanwhile, we’re left with the score that just won’t go away: 65-13.


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