Ask James Brown

Former Longhorn QB and NFL Europe star James Brown answers your questions on how long to leave a quarterback in, facing a defense like UTEP's and more.

Legendary Longhorn QB James Brown (1994-97) returns to Inside Texas for his second season to answer your Texas football-related questions. Brown led Texas to three consecutive conference titles, including the inaugural Big 12 Conference championship. If you have a question for James, please submit it to, with the subject "Ask James" by 5 p.m., Tuesday. Brown's column will appear Wednesday's during football season.

Q: I understand that you had big announcement today (September 3). Can you talk about it?

BROWN: Yes. It was announced today that I am the quarterbacks coach at Lamar (University). Today was my first day. I may take on another position once we get started. [Note: The Cardinals discontinued their football program in 1989. It was announced in June that 1982-83 Longhorn DT Ray Woodward was named as the head coach of the renewed program.] We're not going to play until 2010. I'm moving down to Beaumont. We'll recruit this fall, bring in a class and they'll redshirt. We'll bring in another class in 2010 and we'll get to work. I'm excited. It's a good thing. I'm just trying to switch from the corporate world back to football.

Q: As a former starting quarterback, what do you think of the decision to leave Colt McCoy in the Florida Atlantic game once the score got out of hand late in the second half?

BROWN: Every year I played, we'd blow people out early in the season and I'd play most of the game. I think it's good to get Colt those snaps just so he can get that full-game experience. They've been practicing for sevent months, so it's good to get out there against somebody else. There are pros and cons about keeping your starter in the game, but I think it's good to keep your starter in. It can build your confidence back up.

Q: You mentioned last week your preference for the I-formation when discussing Texas' offensive identity. Can you elaborate on that?

BROWN: (laughing) It may be because that's all I've ever played in, but I like running the ball with a fullback. It makes more sense to me to run the football with a lead blocker. Texas runs a lot of zone plays and stretch runs. I guess if you're going to run a Zone Read you don't need a fullback. But I just like having a fullback. Your fullback can come out of the backfield for passes, he can block, you can do a lot of play-action with a fullback. You can do much of the same thing out of a spread (offense), but I just like the deception of having a fullback. It seems like a fullback is a dying breed in this state, and all over the nation for the most part. Some SEC schools keep the ‘I', but it is a lost art form.

Q: Texas will face a 3-3-5 defense this Saturday at UTEP. How many teams, if any, did you face that based out of a 3-3-5?

BROWN: I didn't see teams that based out of a nickel defense. When you play with four or five wideouts, defenses have to go to the nickel. The DBs would have to come up and try to tackle the running back if you go four-wide and try to run the ball. They would adjust by putting an extra DB on the field, but you didn't see that as a base. UCLA played with a rover, but that was really like a 4-4. It's part of the trend of defenses trying to stop the spread; otherwise, you'll have a linebacker on a speed guy.


Have a question for the next 'Ask James Brown'? Send to, with the subject Ask James.

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.

Horns Digest Top Stories