Interview: Davis pleased with spring offense

Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis talked with <i>IT</I> about the O's early spring standouts, new OL/TE coach Mac McWhorter and more after Monday's DKR scrimmage.

IT: Has anything or anyone stood out to you over the first few days of practice?

Davis: Well, I think the retention first of all has been very good. We've thrown a lot at them but I think the retention has been good. There are several young guys -- Will Winston and Jonathan Scott have done some really good things in four days. With Will Allen, those three young linemen have really done some good things. The older guys, we expect them to play well and they are. I thought Chance (Mock) and Matt Nordgren both did some good things today (Monday) so I was encouraged by that. Ya know, any time you come in here and play 55, 60 snaps and you don't turn the ball over, you're always encouraged by that.

IT: How is the tight end situation shaping up behind Bo (Scaife)?

Davis: We're trying to look at Brock (Edwards) at fullback. He's been very encouraging there when he's been able to stay on the field. He's still fighting the stress fracture he came out of the season with. Behind Bo right now we have Artie Ellis playing there and Chad Stevens is playing in there some. Our overall plan was that we were going to leave Brock at fullback during the first part of spring and probably move him back (to TE) at the end of spring so we'll just have to wait and see depending on his injury. Behind Bo with Brock at fullback you could say it's wide open to say the least.

IT: What did you see from Anthony Johnson today?

Davis: That's the first time he's even gotten in a huddle offensively. He's been playing defensive back but I thought he made a couple of good cuts. I would imagine we'll continue to flip him back and forth from defense to offense as spring goes on because we don't want to wear Cedric (Benson) and Brett (Robin) out. We have a pretty good book on those guys and with Victor (Ike) and Ivan (Williams) not going through spring we're pretty limited there so we'll continue to look at Anthony some. I thought overall for just getting in the huddle and telling him 'run right there and we're going to hand you the ball' I though he did pretty good.

IT: Is the center position Jason Glynn's right now or is it somewhat open?

Davis: What we're trying to do in spring is find the top five guys and what we've told our offensive linemen is don't get all hung up if you're playing second right guard or second right tackle, just play and let us try to find the top five guys. At the center position specifically, because of the amount of snaps Jason Glynn got last year, somebody would have to come on. Right now, he's definitely the No. 1 center. The job is open because it's football but the fact is that he's established himself and at this point he is definitely the first center.

IT: How's Brian Carter doing?

Davis: Brian Carter is doing a good job. He didn't have a whole lot of chances today but he's a guy we're going to continue to work on offense and put him over on defense some. The plan is to let him see action at both places throughout spring and then make a determination going into fall with what he can do to get on the field the quickest.

IT: How has Chris (Simms) looked so far?

Davis: I'm real pleased with him. Today, the first play of the scrimmage he checked and threw a touchdown pass and he took care of the ball and I'm very pleased with the way he's practicing.

IT: Without Roy (Williams) out here, what does that give you an opportunity to do?

Davis: It gives us a chance to look at Tony Jeffery more. Obviously we've got a pretty good handle on Sloan (Thomas) and B.J. (Johnson) but it's really been beneficial for Tony Jeffery and Kyle Shanahan because they're getting so much more time and it gives us a chance to really evaluate what they can do.

IT: What has coach McWhorter brought to the staff?

Davis: Well, he's a high energy guy. He's a guy Darryl Drake and I had both worked with at Georgia and Tim Nunez knew him extremely well even though he had not worked with him. So even though he had been away from this system for seven years -- and like he said, 'I've been in three (other systems) while y'all have expanded this one' -- it comes back to him pretty quick because he was involved with it at Georgia. The main thing is he brings enthusiasm, he brings experience and he brings new ideas and those things are always good.

IT: Anything specific talking about new ideas?

Davis: Not right now. At the end of spring there will probably be some new things. Today we did a couple of things different. We're really trying to work on a play action pass. We hit a couple. We hit Bo Scaife on a new little play action pass and we hit Tony Jeffery on a play action pass. So nothing real specific yet, just the enthusiasm and knowledge. Just a veteran ball coach.

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