QBs On Center Stage

It's the last week of spring football for defending national champion Texas and the annual Spring Game, also known as the first public viewing of the freshman quarterbacks, is set for 6 p.m., Saturday at Memorial Stadium. So, what does Longhorn coach Mack Brown know about Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead now that both have had a dozen practices under their belts?

"Colt knew more about the offense, and what to do, because he had been here since summer with Vince (Young) and Matt Nordgren," Brown told Inside Texas. "Coming in, Colt knew the offense: the reads, the hot routes. He knew what to do before he took a snap. The first day that Jevan stepped out on the field was the first day he had a chance to work with this offense. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on him even stepping into a huddle, as a high school senior, being the quarterback on the defending national championship team. Both of them have continued to improve, but it will be interesting to watch them Saturday night because we'll see them in front of the public for the first time. We'll see who responds to the public pressure because it's different here for a quarterback. We closed practice on purpose to let Colt get settled and to let Jevan learn the offense before they were critiqued. Now, they'll have those critiques on Saturday. We feel like both of them can play right now. We feel like both of them can win for us right now. We're really excited about the progress they're making. The decision we'll have to make is how we play them and what roles they'll play in the fall if nothing changes between now and then."

Brown is primarily looking to see if his young guns are as poised in public as they were during each of the private sessions this spring. The most important thing at this point, Brown has said, is how well each QB manages the game.

Thing is, the strength of this year's team should be its defensive front. The down linemen are loaded with depth and attitude; they expect to pin their ears back and relentlessly pressure the QB in ways not seen during Brown's nine-year tenure. In short, Saturday's scrimmage shapes up as a trial-by-fire for whoever is behind center, but both QBs have received plenty of props this spring from counterparts on the other side of the LOS.

"I'm trying my best and doing my pass-rush but they (QBs) are doing really well," said DE Brian Orakpo. "Colt and Snead are both working with the first group. You really can't say they're different because they both have played so well. They're both young so they're still coming up. Our offense is looking great. Today was a great practice and they got a lot done."

To be sure, the two-deep rotation is still to-be-determined at several key areas, notably MLB, NT, TE and RG. But there's no question that the eyes of Texas, literally, will focus primarily on VY's heir(s) apparent. FSN Southwest will present a live telecast of Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage. It will be replayed Wednesday, April 5, at 1:30 p.m. (Central).

"The big question will be the quarterbacks because no one has seen them except for a few shots on TV," Brown said. "Those guys have really improved and I'm excited about them. You don't how they'll respond Saturday night, but we'll see it when you see it."

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