We’re in Austin today to check out spring practices for the Texas Longhorns. There should be a lot of new faces and we’re excited to report on Mack Brown’s last spring as the head coach for the University of Texas (There will be a new coach next year, so next year’s installment should be more interesting).
Last year was a disappointing year for the Horns. They barely missed out on a repeat trip to the BCS title game and witnessed both the AP and Coach’s Polls turn their backs on the storied program.
The 2010 season also saw the rise of the hated Aggies to very temporary national exposure. Somehow, they managed a better record than the Longhorns and a bowl game. A federal investigation has been opened to procure whether or not boosters associated with Texas A&M had any involvement with this charade.
That being said, this is a new year with new coaches, new plays, new players and maybe even some new footballs. Basically, the Texas football program smells like a brand new car (We’re guessing one of those really nice exotic cars from Europe that Christian Bale or Charlie Sheen drive).
The largest question mark, by and large, for Mack Brown is the open competition for the starting quarterback position.
There have been some rumors that Coach Brown is trying something a little unorthodox this year in order to choose who will lead his team to an undefeated season this fall.
The good reporters that we are, we "imaginarily" caught up to Brown and threw trash at him until he finally agreed to give us an update on the quarterback race. This is what he had to say (Editor's note: Not really)...
“Oww. Stop throwing trash at me.” More trash. “Fine, fine, fine, fine. What do you wanna know?” Quarterback race.
"Well, obviously, I had to open up the quarterback position because Garrett Gilbert didn’t get it done last year. He was so breathtaking in that National Championship game. Who’d a known he was going to stink so bad this year?
"Anyway, we have four guys working their rear ends off this spring to be ‘the guy.’ I have tried typical quarterback evaluation techniques in the past and they always seem to get me the wrong guy. So, that wasn’t gonna work. Then something amazing happened.
"I was sitting on the couch in my office with one of those plastic barrels filled to the brim with cheese puffs—okay it was only filled half way—and I was watching Jay Crawford on ESPN’s First Take—I’m not a big football fan so I like that they cover all sports—and he was interviewing some NFL player. He capped off the interview by asking the player, ‘If you were placed on the 15-yard line and a black bear was in between you and the end zone, would you be able to score?’
"That made perfect sense to me. What better way to judge a quarterback than his ability to elude a man-eating bear? So that’s what I did.
"Case McCoy is no longer with us, God rest his soul, and true freshman David Ash had a chunk the size of a baby’s fist taken out of his left calf. He’ll need a full season to recover from that injury so we will, in all likelihood, redshirt him. That just left Garrett Gilbert and redshirt freshman Connor Wood.
"Gilbert took his place at the fifteen yard line. We gave the players a football just to remind them what is at stake here. At the sound of the whistle, Gilbert immediately threw the ball at the bear’s head. He missed by a few feet and then began to cry. He just sat down, Indian style, and cried. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was so off-putting that the bear actually walked up to him and gave him a hug.
"That’s a way to win a game, right? Beat your opponent into submission with pity?
"Then it was Wood’s turn. He is a smart athletic quarterback and I really like his chances to win this race. He decided to use strategy versus power. Wood ran to the opposite end zone and took a safety, opting to take his chances with the bear on offense against our defense rather than play outside of himself. He is very cerebral like that, I’m telling you. He really knows his limitations.
"Now I just have to decide if Texas will win another championship with pity or quick thinking. It’s a hard decision, but I think I’m up to the task."
This was exciting stuff. We would first like to thank Coach Brown for the time he took out of his day to talk to us. When Coach Brown wins another championship, you can bet that this “Black Bear Workout” will revolutionize scouting for the next few decades. It is taking chances like these that have kept the University of Texas at the center of the football world for past 100 years.
Till next time…