Friday Practice Notes and Observations

Notes and observations from the Horns' Friday practice at Denius.

Mister Benson, meet Mister Johnson: The collision of the day, appropriately enough, was the sudden impact between Texas' best defensive and best offensive player. During the last five minutes of 11-on-11 drills, WLB Derrick Johnson absolutely leveled RB Cedric Benson. On the play, QB Vince Young dumped off to Benson over the middle on what appeared to be a jailbreak screen (but Johnson blew up the play before it had a chance to develop). The reception was good for about five yards but Johnson was the immovable object that put Benson on the dirt before he could turn upfield. Benson can find solace in the fact that a) it wasn't in full pads and b) there aren't many linebackers he will face in 2004 that will greet him like D.J.

No competition: P/K Richmond McGee is so far ahead of the competition (namely, Greg Johnson who earned freshman All-American honors before transferring from Vanderbilt) that Brown said the battle is, in effect over. What coaches are looking at now is which punter is more effective pooching the ball when Texas is inside an opponent's 40-yard line. ("Sometimes it's not a guy that averages 45 yards a punt," Brown said. "Sometimes it takes a different guy. So, there's still a battle to see who can get the ball down inside the 15.") Meanwhile, senior FG Dusty Mangum "has the edge" over David Pino because of Mangum's experience. As expected, junior Selvin Young has nailed down starting PR as well as starting KO return alongside sophomore CB Tarell Brown.

Gettin' better: SLB-turned-QB Eric Foreman may be the most improved player of the week but, then again, he had considerable ground to cover. His quick-hit and intermediate tosses were far more accurate Friday than they were just three days ago. He has a strong arm, a polished release and the kind of spiral that No. 3 QB Matt Nordgren dreams about -- but he tosses some of the prettiest over-throws that you will ever see.

Injury report: DT Tully Janzsen was injured on the last play of scrimmage and carried off the field, favoring his left leg. He left the field on the back of a cart... CB Aaron Ross suited up but did not participate in team drills. With Ross sidelined, Cedric Griffin and Tarell Brown worked largely with the ones, but Brandon Foster is getting a long look as a potential contributor at both corner spots, rotating in at times with the first team. (And he's acquitted himself well -- probably as good or better than any of the DBs -- so far in coverage.)

[Note: Clendon Ross contributed to this report.]


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