Ask Brian Jones

Former Longhorn and NFL linebacker Brian Jones answers your questions.

Q: I've got a two-word question for B.J.: What now?

B.J.: [Laughs] What now? Hell, I don't know what know. As a player and a coaching staff, you have to put the loss behind you and do what they've done in the past, which is run the table or almost run the table with the remaining games. But for the fans and the alumni, you don't get the taste out of your mouth from the loss to Oklahoma for the fifth year in a row. And I'm just resigned to the fact that that game is not a life and death situation to the Texas football program anymore, whereas in the past, when I played in it, when the guys before me played in it, when the guys who came after me to a certain extent played in it, and growing up watching it, it was (life or death). That was the magnitude of the ballgame. It was life and death. [Follow up question: Why do you think it's not life and death anymore?] I think UT has transformed... it doesn't matter if you don't win a conference championship, it doesn't matter if you're not in the running to play in the national title game. That doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is the bottom line and the bottom line is about money. As long as the stadium is full, as long as the suites are sold, (the powers that be) are happy. There are only a few schools in the nation where that is not true, where it still matters that you win at least a conference title. Now nine or 10 wins is great -- I'm not pissing on that -- but that used to not be enough here at The University of Texas. I think it is now. You can look at Tennessee, you can look at Michigan, you can look at Ohio State, those schools -- even USC -- that is not enough. It used to be to a certain extent at Alabama. Georgia is like that. Florida State is like that. Miami is like that. You can't just win nine or 10 games, and I think we're at the point now where Texas is not in that group of schools where that does matter.

Q: I hate to beat a dead horse, but why in the world is Eric Hall still in the Texas starting line-up?

B.J.: Dude. [Long laugh] Your guess is as good as mine. I actually diagrammed a couple of plays the other night on the Fox Sports show that I do, and I just talked about containment because it seems like for the last three or four years Texas has always lost containment in certain games and you can not do that and still play great defense. But it continues to happen and happen... First of all, you have to be physical at the point of attack. Second of all, you have to have good technique. But first and foremost, be physical! Hit somebody, get off the block, force the ball back in there to (the middle) or if you're using the spill technique where you force the ball outside to the safety or the corner, do it! But the Horns don't do it. They get pushed around on the edges. It's unreal. And it's been going on all season. I took a play from Arkansas and I compared it to a play Saturday from the Oklahoma game. Same thing happened. I don't understand, and we've talked the last couple of weeks about Garnet Smith. Why is he on the bench? Marcus Myers. Why is he on the bench? These kids can play. They should be in there. I thought it was all about playing your best players, but apparently not.

Q: Would you have tried to spark the offense with Chance Mock off the bench?

B.J.: What I would have done to try to spark the offense is get out of those damn very predictable plays. They utilize Vince as if he's a traditional dropback passer. He isn't. Never has been. He may be sometime in the future if he gets someone that can teach him that but right now he's not. I'd roll him out on bootlegs and waggles and I'd give him a run-pass option. He's not your traditional dropback passer. He has an unorthodox motion, so roll him out, get him moving because you know they're going to come after him. Get him in space. That gives him a lot better opportunity to elude the pursuit. But roll the kid out. Let him get out there and run around and throw the ball. If not, he can run it. That would have sparked the offense, I think, more so than Chance coming in. But if you're not going to teach the kid how to throw, you might as well put him at receiver and put your better passing quarterback in there, which is Chance Mock.

Q: How would you rate the D's performance? It only gave up 12 points but still surrendered 400-plus total yards, including 225 to a true freshman running back. Should we still be worried with Mizzou this week, and Tech in Lubbock on the horizon?

B.J.: I think you should (be worried). And here's the thing: I've heard a number of people say that Texas wasted a great defensive effort. Folks, if you give up 300-something yards rushing, that is not a great defensive effort. Giving up 300-something rushing is the equivalent of giving up 600 passing. It is so demoralizing to allow a team to run on you. I'm sorry, that's just the truth, and I wouldn't be sitting around patting myself on the back if I was on that defense about holding OU to 12 points, because you just gave up 300-something yards rushing, 225 yards to a freshman running back! And he would be the last person to bust loose on me because he's the one that came out and said (paraphrasing), 'They don't develop their players, they don't beat Oklahoma, they don't contend for a national title.' Albeit all that's true, but he's going to be the last one to run for 225 yards on me. I'd let Bob Stoops run for 225 before Adrian Peterson. That being said, he's a great running back, Texas didn't tackle well and didn't hold containment as I said, so I wouldn't be patting myself on the back. That's a mediocre day for a defense. That's not a great day for a defense giving up that many yards. And I've been on defenses with Greg Robinson at UCLA. He was a defensive line coach and I was a linebacker and we gave up over 230 yards to Brad Muster, a running back for Stanford who went on to be a first round pick of the Chicago Bears. We lost that game and we weren't patting ourselves on the back even though it was a close ballgame. No, you're not happy about that effort (Saturday) and it wasn't a great effort.

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Brian Jones played middle linebacker for the Longhorns in 1989 and 1990, leading the team in tackles both seasons and earning all-SWC honors as a senior before an eight-year NFL career with the Colts, Dolphins, Raiders and Saints. He also recently worked as the sideline reporter for the Longhorn Radio Network, host of Longhorn Sports Center and co-host of a popular radio sports talk show in Austin. His 'Ask B.J.' columns appears weekly during football season on

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