"The first two or three days in shorts are really for guys to get used to the system and for the younger guys to learn how to practice so when they get out there this weekend with pads you can go ahead and start to play and earn their spot," said Brown.
It was a fairly uncomplicated practice, but sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy was happy with his performance in the first practice of August camp.
"My arm felt good, I played well. We didn't do much, but overall it was good."
A very large contingent of Longhorn fans showed up Monday night to watch their team practice and cheer for their favorite players as the team ran through drills. After the trials of this summer, Texas fans seemed happy to finally have this team playing football again. According to Brown, the team was happy to be back as well.
"It looked like a team that was excited to be out there and practicing," said Brown.
Observations from practice:
-On Sunday we reported that WR Jordan Shipley would be "limited" in practice, while Cedric Dockery "may or may not be limited." On Monday, Dockery participated in all drills. He wore a brace on his knee, but didn't appear slowed at all. Shipley on the other hand spent essentially all of practice with Coach Charlie Craven and the Texas training staff on the far side of the field, doing his own workout routine tailored to recovering his tweaked hamstring.
-Positions appeared settled for several true freshmen. Cody Johnson worked as a fullback and participated in all drills. Ahmard Howard worked with the tight ends. Tyrell Higgins worked with the DTs. The odd one was Brandon Collins. He is listed on the fall football roster that was handed out at practice as a DB, but he wore the orange jersey on Monday and worked exclusively with the wide receivers. Indications are he'll end up on offense for the Horns.
-The first and second team O-line looks set. We reported back in January that Charlie Tanner had the lead over Chris Hall for the final guard spot and Tanner worked at LG with the ones. The healthy Dockery took over at RG. The starting offensive line looks like this right now:
The second team offensive line looks like this:
That's right. Your back-up tackles are a true freshman and a converted tight end. Pray for health.
-James Henry remains at running back, despite the loss of Robert Joseph. The safeties looked solid and are deep this season, but four of the six scholarship safeties are seniors, meaning in 2008 the starters should be Ishie Oduegwu and Christian Scott, the only two left. The true freshman Scott appeared to be picking things up quickly. He'll have to.
-Jamaal Charles looks strong and very, very quick. He's always had good speed, but watching him work on Monday made me feel a lot better about Texas' 2007 rushing attack.
-There were major accuracy issues from the quarterbacks, except for McCoy...assuming you ignore the back-to-back interceptions he threw midway through practice. McCoy was obviously very upset and was nearly flawless the rest of the way. G.J. Kinne looked very good for his first day in a Texas uniform, but he had some mental gaffs. Sherrod Harris and John Chiles showed great arm strength and each had moments of greatness...and moments that were not so great. It still looks like, at least at this point, if McCoy goes down, Texas is in trouble.
-The young corners made some mistakes, but also showed very impressive athleticism. The potential is there, no doubt about it, we'll just have to see if things come together.
All-in-all it was productive practice for Texas. The Horns finally got to put on the jerseys and get some really good work in as a team. The talent on this squad is very apparent, it just needs a little more cohesion in a few areas, but it's there. Players worked hard and fans showed up in great number, but the overall feeling and atmosphere given off by everybody involved was obvious.
After everything that's happened this summer, everyone was just happy to have football back.