Ask James Brown

Former Longhorn QB and NFL Europe star James Brown answers your questions on Colt McCoy's fast start in '08 compared to his '07 performance, playing in a game like Arkansas that is a rivalry game for just one sideline, and his new coaching responsibilities and influences.

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 insidetx@realtime.net, with the subject "Ask James" by 5 p.m., Tuesday. Brown's column will appear Wednesday's during football season.

Q: What have you seen in Colt McCoy the first two games? What looks different from last year when he struggled with accuracy?

BROWN: I've always been a Colt fan, even last year when he didn't do so well according to some. Colt is mobile, he's a competitor, he wants to win. He plays hard. He has a good mind. He's a good kid. He's a positive thinker. He doesn't whine. You don't see him throwing his hands down when he makes a bad pass. He's an even-keeled guy. As a freshman, he tied the record for most touchdowns by any freshman quarterback in college football history. That says a lot, even if he had a bad second year. I like Colt. He runs the ball like a running back when he takes off running. He throws the ball like one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He fought through the problems of having a young offensive line last year, and Texas still won games. He played hard and learned a lot. Now, Texas is a lot better team and is more experienced. I think they're playing well.

Q: Can you talk about preparing for team like Arkansas that seems to have more hate for Texas than vice versa?

BROWN: Texas wasn't that good in the late 1980s, so we started surprising a lot of teams my first two years (1994-95). We surprised a lot of teams during the 1996 (Big 12 championship) season. We got our heads beat in '97. We didn't have a good squad. I love the competition. If any team wanted to play 110 percent against us, I'm giving 110 anyway. I think that's the attitude UT has. You'd have more than 70,000 cheering fans either in our stadium or another stadium, and the crowd noise is still exhilarating to me. It didn't matter if I was at home or on the road.

The (2005) national championship changed things. Everybody wants to beat a champion. Everybody wants to win their game against The University of Texas. It's a major school that people want to beat. The way Texas prepares is knowing that every team that comes in is going to give 110 percent. That's how they have to prepare. If you've watched college football recently, the underdogs are playing harder. They're coming in expecting to win. You have to respect every underdog and play them just as hard as they're playing you. They're going to try to come out and beat you in the mouth.

Q: Congratulations on your new coaching position (QB coach at Lamar University). What, specifically, are you working on now since your first season won't be until 2010? What have you learned from different coaches that you plan to incorporate into your coaching?

BROWN: It's odd not having any kids right now. The one thing I've learned from other coaches is to bring a lot of enthusiasm to the job. Right now, we're just working on recruiting. I've learned a lot about recruiting since it's such a major part of any college program, especially one like this one that hasn't had a team since 1989. We're starting from scratch trying to get our name back into kids' heads. I have to take my recruiting test. We're taking tests today. We have to take the NCAA test before we talk to kids. I can talk to coaches, and that's what I'm going to do starting Thursday. I'm recruiting inner-city Houston inside Loop 610. Then we're going to move to Dallas and then Austin. We have some guys from Navarro Junior College coming in for a visit this weekend. We'll have 30 scholarships coming in and they'll all redshirt. We'll have a big walk-on program. I'm going to try to be patient and be as honest as I can. I believe in being honest and not telling a kid something that won't come true once he gets here. I'm not going to promise a kid a position but an opportunity to play. I've got a lot to learn about recruiting. I'll be in the inner-city Houston looking for those diamonds in the rough.

We have some pretty lenient entry requirements to try to build the program up. We can promise kids that they will play. The first two classes that come in will have to play. Guys are going to get a lot of playing time, and I think we can get a lot of good athletes if they know they're going to be on the field. Guys want to get on the field and not sit three-deep on the depth chart.

We're getting new facilities. I've had a lot of support out here. The newspaper and television people have been here two or three times to interview me. I'm walking around and people are noticing, ‘Hey, you were the guy in the paper yesterday.' We're just trying to get some interest back in the Lamar program.

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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.


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