Mack Brown Pro Day Q&A

Inside Texas spent a few minutes with Mack Brown after 15 of his seniors (and one very high profile junior) auditioned for over 100 NFL scouts and executives. The Texas head coach talks about life without VY, just how good the '06 defense could be, and the search for chemistry and leadership out at Denius.

Inside Texas: You had 16 guys out here today. What we're you thinking watching that many guys from one class audition for the NFL while knowing that all 16 of them won't be wearing the Orange and White for you this fall?

Mack Brown: Two things, you're like a proud father. Our staff evaluated the proper guys and we've been able to help 'em develop to get to this point because it's a dream for them, so you're proud for them that they do it. On the other hand, we better get back to work because we've got to go back to work tomorrow. We lost a lot of really good football players, Vince being one of them, but we lost a lot of good football players. We had a great team other than Vince and sometimes that's gone unnoticed, but thank goodness we've played a lot of people, we've got a lot of depth, and a lot of guys have an opportunity to step up now and do the same thing these guys are doing.

IT: These guys obviously played a big part in winning the national championship and now they're out here. Is that a testament both to what they meant to the program and their future prospects?

Brown: Well, it is, and most of these guys have already graduated. That's the other thing. They have great character off the field, they've graduated, they've shown wonderful leadership, they've lost one game over the last two years and won two Rose Bowls, so they're a group that will go down in the storied history of our storied program as one of the best ever. They've worked hard for it and they've earned that right and they deserve it.

IT: How's it going out on the spring practice field?

Brown: Good. It'll be fun to watch the spring game and see how they respond. We're really good on defense right now. We're so quick that -- our secondary guys aren't well, but when we can get them back out on the field, this has a chance to be our best defense because of the speed and quickness two deep.

IT: You have to look at what you guys did last year on offense, which was unprecedented...

Brown: It is.

IT: ... it'll obviously be hard to duplicate that, but on the other side of the ball, you have so much talent, as you've pointed out, do you look at this year's team as one that is going to win in a different way than in the past.

Brown: It does, and one of things we've got to do this spring is try to figure out what that means. Who are we going to be offensively so we can make sure that we continue to be really good, but we'll be different. [Laughs] We may not score 50 points in three quarters like we did last year and have that many big plays that fast, so we'll have to develop more patience without getting frustrated. And that's something I can see right now that it's good for us to struggle some in the spring because we didn't struggle much last year offensively and when we did we could come out of it really fast, so we're just trying to develop a new chemistry, a new set of leaders, and figure out who we are.

IT: You just mentioned chemistry, and that's something you've talked about a whole lot in the past; is it hard to find out right now if you have that?

Brown: Yes, usually you find it when you're in trouble, because the flaws show up when you're in trouble and that's why the Ohio State fourth quarter was so key for us last year. We were in trouble and this bunch came right back and it showed there was a lot of carry-over with their confidence from the Michigan game into the Ohio State game and then it carries on into Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State and throughout the year. When they responded in Columbus, in that setting, against what ended up being as good a team as we all thought it was, I knew we had a chance to make a run at all of it. And that will be the question next year. When we're in trouble, how will we respond?

IT: Is it also a question of finding out the guys who will be the leaders on this team? Because a lot of them from last season were out here today...

Brown: Yes it is and who takes the place of -- we've got a lot of leaders but who's the next guy to step up and be the guy, and it may be the quarterbacks at some point but you can't ask them to be the guy the first game they walk out there because they'll have enough on their mind that there'll have to be a lot of guys step up, so you've got the older offensive linemen, Selvin's really stepped up and helped in a leadership role, the receivers are getting older now, so we feel like all of it will come from different places on offense.

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