Inside Texas finally reconnected with former Longhorn QB James Brown after a two-week hiatus. Brown's schedule has taken him in several directions as of late. Look for James in upcoming episodes of 'Friday Night Lights', where he plays the starting quarterback at an all-black college. (Footage was filmed either at Pflugerville High, as the backdrop for Dillon Panthers home games, while away games were filmed at a stadium that NBC created in Del Valle.)
Brown is also training and traveling in conjunction with the new All-American Football League that will hold its first Draft in late January. Brown is also an Austin appraiser and has traveled quite a bit the past several weeks to evaluate investment options. And the Big 12 Conference Championship week is always a busy time for Brown as national media will always want him to recount his renowned 'Roll Left' completion to TE Derek Lewis to seal the upset against No. 3 Nebraska in the league's inaugural title game.
Q: As a former player, what is your assessment of Texas' 9-3 regular season?
JB: This year was a phenomenon all the way across the board in college football. There has never been a year like this. There is a leveling of competition throughout college football.
Q: How would you evaluate Texas' level of play this year?
JB: We were pretty young in the secondary. You can start there. We had a good D-line, but our linebackers weren't that good. If our linebackers were average, they were usually protected by a pretty good D-line. In the A&M game, it was like we decided were weren't getting to let them beat us by running the ball. It was like, if they're going to beat us, then they're going to beat us by passing the ball. We stopped the run pretty well, but man, we couldn't stop the pass. As far how the season went, I go back to those turnovers against Oklahoma. If we hadn't had those turnovers, I feel like we would have beat them. If we had beat them, maybe that would have changed this team's attitude.
Q: What is the reaction from players when fans and media talk about replacing coaches?
JB: It never affected me. We had some of that going around, obviously, when I played. I didn't read the papers so I didn't get caught up in it. As a player, you try not go get affected by all that. Talk about a coach being fired can be a motivator, both up or down.
Q: How affected are players by fan reaction? Do players have a reaction when they are booed at home? How about on the road?
JB: It (booing) affects players. It's a depressing sound. But I never felt like I was being booed; I always felt like the coach was being booed. I guess that's just the way I felt about that. Any time I get booed, it affects me because I'm a perfectionist. I like to compete and compete well. It made me want to go out and work harder. It was different playing on the road against hostile crowds. I would always get energy from hostile crowds.
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James Brown (1994-96) guided Texas to three straight conference championships, including the final Southwest Conference and inaugural Big 12 titles. Brown ranks No. 2 all-time at UT in career passing yards (7,638) and third all-time with 58 touchdown passes.