"We're really excited about the progress of (NTs) Roy Miller and Derek Lokey," said Mack Brown. "Tully Janszen is much better because he's a year removed from his knee injury. Thomas Marshall has his weight down, and he's playing well. Ben Alexander has come in. We think we could have six guys inside that can play and rotate and there not be a drop-off at that position."
Texas is deeper at end than at any other spot on the defense. If Five-Star stud Eddie Jones cracks the rotation (as expected), then Brown has the luxury of being three-deep at the very position that was decimated by injuries three seasons ago.
"We've got four defensive ends with experience. We're really pleased with Brian (Orakpo) and Aaron Lewis. Those two guys have come on like gangbusters. They can go in and play at a high level. They can play at any time during the ballgame. "
"Rod Muckelroy would be in that linebacker group right now, so that would be four (co-starters)."
I asked Brown if coaches had reached a decision of whether to keep freshman Antwan Cobb at RB or move him to linebacker.
"We're going to leave him a few more days at linebacker and let him learn that position because he's played more on offense than defense. He's more natural at tailback right now, so we'd like to look at him and see where he fits the best. Until he learns more about defense, it's harder to evaluate him."
"If we played today, Colt (McCoy) would start. Colt has had all the snaps with the Ones and Jevan (Snead) has had all the snaps with the Twos. We do need to get Jevan some snaps with the Ones and Colt some snaps with the Twos so that they'll get to work with each center."
The depth at WR is just as loaded as the depth at DE.
"We've got five or six receivers that can play. The young linemen need to come on, but you definitely have two backs (Selvin Young, Jamaal Charles) and a third who has played (Henry Melton). We're planning on (TE) Jermichael Finley helping Neale Tweedie. Marcus Myers is 260 pounds and doing a good job at being physical (at FB). This is his fifth year, so it's time for him to do that."
"We've really been pleased with Hunter."
TOUGHEST PART OF THE SEASON
What's the toughest week of the season for the 2006 Longhorns? Ohio State week? OU week? The 11th week without a bye? No, the toughest part of the season is this week, according to Brown.
"We're in two-a-days today, we were in two-a-days on Sunday, we'll have two-a-days on Thursday, and a big scrimmage on Saturday. For these young people, especially the freshmen and sophomores, this is the toughest week of the season because they're sore and tired and they can't see the end. The freshmen are in more meetings than they ever dreamed about being in. One of them said yesterday, 'Coach, it's all football.' I said, 'Oh, yeah. It is. And it's not going to get any better this week, so understand that.'