Offense Shines in Second Practice

Tuesday was the second practice of August camp and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and the wide receivers looked sharp. Inside Texas has more from Longhorn camp...

Observations from practice:

-Colt McCoy was on fire and the offense was the clear winner on Tuesday. The young DBs, talented as they are, got taken to school on a number of occasions. Limas Sweed looked sharp, but the wide receiver who made the most noise in both practices was Quan Cosby. The speedy flanker made great catch after great catch and was drawing some "oo"s and "ahh"s from the assembled fans.

-McCoy was accurate, but his back-ups were less than spectacular. Balls were sailing over receivers' heads and into the dirt more than you'd like to see. Oh, they had some good moments, like when Sherrod Harris took off running and scored from 50 yards out (which I don't think he was supposed to do, since it was a passing drill, but it certainly woke the defense up), but they had some not so good moments, like when G.J. Kinne misfired and whistled one by my head (or maybe he just read what I wrote about the back-up QBs after last practice).

-The first team defense took on the first team offense in 11-on-11 drills and there were some interesting personnel decisions. As it stands right now, your starters on the D-line are Brian Orakpo, Derek Lokey, Frank Okam and Aaron Lewis -- no surprises there. Your starters at linebacker are Robert Killebrew, Rashad Bobino and Scott Derry. Derry over Muckelroy is a little bit of a surprise, but secondary is where it gets interesting. The four DBs are Marcus Griffin, Erick Jackson, Brandon Foster and Ryan Palmer. Jackson over Drew Kelson and Foster and Palmer over Chykie Brown and Deon Beasley was an interesting move.

However, it may not matter that much. While the offense worked in full units and only interchanged individual players, such as Chris Ogbonnaya and Vondrell McGee alternating at back-up running back, the defense was switching players in groups. The second team linebackers ran with the first team defensive backs and vice versa. The first team defensive line jumped in with the second team LBs and third team DBs, etc., etc. What's significant about this is that it's the first legitimate indication that the possible "platooning" of positions that has been mentioned off-hand by coaches may actually occur. The defense would stay fresh by entire units switching mid-drive. It only works if you're two-deep on D, but Texas coaches certainly speak as if that is the case and it may very well be.

-Jamaal Charles continued to impress. He looked especially good on a wheel route, beating a LB and deep safety up the field. McCoy put the pass in perfectly. It would have been a great play...if Charles hadn't dropped the ball, but the effectiveness of the play (see: Alamo Bowl) was definitely shown.

-Running backs coach Ken Rucker was at practice, barking at players and coaching, just as he's always done. He's not physically impaired by the cancer at all. When he announced he had prostate cancer, he said he felt completely fine and was continuing to work out, just as he always did, which is why he reiterated the need to get checked out. He should be fine all the way through August camp and he's going to coach right up until his surgery on August 27th, the Monday before the Arkansas State game.

More notes on the second day of Longhorn practice by Inside Texas co-publisher Clendon Ross.


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