Brown: All Starting Jobs Are 'Open'

Texas' post-season preparations began Monday with coaches serving notice to players that "all jobs are open", according to head coach Mack Brown.

The warning, for what it's worth, comes on the heels of Texas' second consecutive loss to Texas A&M, marking the first time the Horns have dropped two straight against the Aggies in 13 years.

"We're starting back and all of our jobs are open," Brown said during a Monday teleconference. "We'll grade them every day and, hopefully, we'll be more consistent than what we've been."

While wholesale changes are not expected, Brown said a thorough assessment began almost immediately after the A&M loss.

"We have gone back and re-evaluated the whole thing," Brown said. "We have looked at every coach and at every film. The kids are meeting with coordinators this week, and we're going over every explosive that we gained and all that we lost. We're going over all the sacks. We're putting all that on film and showing them who missed tackles. We need to improve tackling with those who are missing tackles. We've got some that are tackling great. What you do is look at your problems and try to fix them. That's what we've been doing for the past 10 days and that's what we'll continue to do until the bowl game."

It begs the question: to what extent is Brown scrutinizing ‘every coach'?

"In some cases, the game plan was good but we missed tackles or we didn't execute. There were some things we could have done better with schemes. We'll continue to talk to the team about motivation. As Coach (Darrell) Royal said, ‘Teams don't get ready to play; individuals do'. When enough individuals play well and play with emotion, your team plays well. You can't say that your team doesn't play with emotion because a lot of kids play with emotion. If not, we make sure we get them out of there and get somebody else in. That's the process we're doing right now."

The Horns, of course, accepted an invitation Sunday to face No. 11/12 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl, slated for December 27. It marks the first time the programs have met, but Texas' fourth Holiday Bowl appearance in eight years.

"We need to play much better across the board, but especially on defense, to have a chance to hang in there with Arizona State," Brown said. "I looked at all their stats last night. We've all seen their speed and their ability to throw the ball. It's good for us that we're playing a team that has had a better year than we did. We need to do a great job in the bowl game so we can finish better than we did last week."

Brown is in New York City for the Nation Football Foundation's annual gathering. It includes Tuesday's awards dinner, in which senior C Dallas Griffin has been named a finalist for the Draddy Award honoring student-athletes for combined academic achievement, level of play and community service.

Afterwards, Brown's primary focus will be guiding his team toward what could be a school-record fourth-straight bowl win.

"We need to win," Brown concluded. "There is no question that you carry a tremendous amount of momentum into the spring out of bowl game if you win."

The Horns will work out twice this week as part of practice sessions in Austin before arriving in San Diego on December 22.

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