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Harsin looking for 4 things from Texas quarterbacks

Texas co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Bryan Harsin is looking at 4 components to determine the Longhorns’ starting quarterback.

Garrett Gilbert, Case McCoy, and Connor Wood are competing to lead the Longhorns.

Harsin explained, "There are four things that we talked about, and this is just quarterback play in general. One is toughness. Two is preparation. Number three is decision-making, and four is accuracy. We’ve been talking about the decision-making process while we are out there on the field, and then we have been working on the fundamentals to try to get better with our accuracy.”

“The toughness part will come when you get into the scrimmages, when you get into those game situations where those guys will stay in the pocket and move around, or they will throw the ball away when they are supposed to and that is the only play."

Co-offensive coordinator / running backs coach Major Applewhite said, “Guys are really taking to the offensive scheme. They really like the stuff that we’re doing. But more so, they’re taking to the tempo - what we’re doing in practice and how we want to see them work. Everybody runs the zone, everybody runs the power, everybody runs four verticals, but how do you practice it?”

“The players are willing to learn new things, new ideas, new tempos and new ways to practice. Trying to understand that it’s more than just putting in new plays, we’re trying to change the culture of how we practice - the effort that we put forth and the tempo in which we practice drill-to-drill.”

Texas will wrap up Spring practice with a nationally televised game on ESPN.  The game is set for Sunday, April 3rd at 3 pm EST.

Quick Hits: Bo Pelini, Gary Patterson, and Bobby Petrino

Bo Pelini reflects on staff changes and former offensive coordinator Shawn Watson: “I had a plan the whole way. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, how I wanted to get there. I wanted to do it the right way for me, and for the guys. People may not agree with how I did it, but I have to do it the way I see fit.’’

“There was such a negative air around everything. It was his (Watson’s) decision as much as anything. He had said, ‘I’ve got to move on.’ You get to the point where you get beat up the way he was getting beat up, I mean, he has goals. He’s done a lot in his career. It had become like the snowball was running so fast, it was out of control. He wanted to remove himself from the situation as much as anything else.’’


Gary Patterson describes first day of Spring practice: "We just taught more defense today than some defenses teach all year with our zone-blitz package. [The younger players] handled it pretty good; actually the guys who screwed it up the most were older linebackers."


Bobby Petrino glad to keep coaching staff intact this off-season: "It was critical to keep our coaching staff intact this year. We had a lot of changes last year. With the loss of some of our seniors and guys with a lot of experience, to have the continuity in the techniques that teach and the language that we talk, we'll be a step ahead of last year when we started spring football.”

(on his 7-year contract) "It helps a lot. It's really refreshing for me to go in a recruit's house and talk to mom and dad and let that young man know I will be here. I will be your football coach throughout your entire college career. I certainly feel like that helps a lot.”

Quarterback / assistant offensive coordinator Weeden teaching Todd Monken

Mike Gundy hired Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach Todd Monken as offensive coordinator with the objective to keep the Cowboys’ offense very similar to the scheme installed by Dana Holgorsen.

Here’s where it gets weird.

After the first day of Spring practice in Stillwater, quarterback Brandon Weeden offered an interesting critique of Coach Monken…or “Todd” as Weeden has called him.

Weeden sounded more like a coach when he explained, “Yeah, I was very impressed.  He (Monken) did great.  He’s really learning.  I think he probably sleeps up here.  If I had to guess, he’s spent a lot time up here studying film.  He didn’t miss a beat.”

“He (Monken) did a great job.  He did a lot better than I did on my first day.  He said he was going to make a lot of mistakes, but I don’t think he made any, to be honest with you.  I think he did well.  He was signaling well, communicating well.  It’s amazing how smart he is, how much football knowledge he has.”

Monken admitted, “It’s different. It’s different running the offense and signaling and having the quarterbacks.  I’m used to having the wide outs and being a little more involved.”

Monken is one of three new coaches to the Oklahoma State offensive staff.  Former Air Force assistant Jemal Singleton coaches the running backs and former Southern Miss assistant Kasey Dunn coaches the wide receivers.

Weeden is still listed as "Quarterback" on the roster.  The "assistant offensive coordinator" title has yet to be approved by the Board of Regents.

We are kidding about the title, of course. 


YouTube helped Manny Diaz land Texas job

Mack Brown told the New York Times that 3 SEC head coaches recommended that he hire Manny Diaz as his defensive coordinator.  The recommendations were important to Brown, but the Texas head coach said that Manny’s YouTube clips were important, too.

Brown explained, “Everywhere I would call, and I hire a lot of SEC coaches because the pressure is a lot like this place, I asked three different head coaches in the SEC who they would hire and they all said, ‘The guy at Mississippi State.’ I don’t even know if they knew for sure what Manny’s name was at the time. They said that he’s doing stuff no one else is doing, that’s he innovative and on the edge of it.”

“So after the third call from an SEC head coach that said that I ought to hire Manny Diaz, I called my brother Watson and said, ‘Do you anything about Manny Diaz?’ He said, ‘Yeah, my offensive line coach is his best friend.’ He said they were graduate assistants together at one point. He said he’d find out about him and he called me back and said the guy is brilliant and on the edge of everything. When I started studying all of their video, you watch the Ole Miss game and Michigan game. I had about seven videos of them.”

Now you can pull up, it’s unbelievable, you can pull up anything on YouTube. You get him at clinics and talking to the team. I got interviews without ever talking to these guys. That was fun for me, too. In looking at what he was doing. He’s doing a lot of stuff that Rex Ryan is doing with the Jets.”

Texas will wrap up Spring practice with a nationally televised game on ESPN.  The game is set for Sunday, April 3rd at 3 pm EST.

Butch Jones responds to College Game Day tweet

These days, most college head coaches are using twitter to market their programs in some sort of fashion.    

This morning we noticed a tweet from @CollegeGameDay that said, “You’re down by six, and need a QB to drive your team 80 yards in 2 minutes. Who do you want under center?”

After checking out The Scoop (we assume), Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones responded, “@CollegeGameDay Who do you want under center? Zach Collaros #12 Cincinnati Bearcats.”

It's just a coach that is capitalizing on a unique opportunity to marketing his program.  Good stuff, Butch!

You can follow the FootballScoop Staff on twitter @footballscoop

Here are some of the coaches using twitter with their number of followers in parenthesis:

Les Miles (26,000), Brian Kelly (24,000), Joker (19,000), Dan Mullen (16,000), Bill Stewart (13,000), Lane Kiffin (11,000), Will Muschamp (7,000), Houston Nutt (6,000), Pat Fitzgerald (5,000), Butch Jones (4,000), Mike Riley (2,000), Gundy (1,000).

After visiting Tuscaloosa, Boise State assistant explains the difference

In the off-season, coaches tend to visit another school or two to learn new schemes, techniques, and terminology.

Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Chris Strausser visited Tuscaloosa to meet with Nick Saban and the Alabama coaches.

As Spring practice approaches for Boise State, Strausser reflected back on the recent trip and offered some high praise for the Nick’s ship.

Strausser explained to the Idaho Statesman, “It was an extremely classy place and yet not a ton of bling. We’ve been to some places that are Top 10 programs that it’s a flat screen every time you turn around a corner. That wasn’t their deal — but it’s a classy, classy place.”

“They work as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Strausser said.

The great are always looking to get better.

Strausser said, “We’ve been to many places where the idea going in was to share ideas and after two days us walking away going, ‘They didn’t ask a question.’ That’s the way we like it. But these guys weren’t the same. They definitely had a mission and were trying to find a few things out.”

A year ago, certain Boise State assistants visited Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona State, and Houston.

Hmm.  We wonder who Strausser was referring to.

Derek Mason, Todd Monken, Jedd Fisch talk about spring practice

Stanford co-defensive coordinator / defensive backs coach Derek Mason talks about goals: "Last year we tried to lay a defensive foundation. The foundation's been laid, and now it's time for the walls to go up. We're just in Phase 2."

"We want to push for greatness. You came to Stanford to be the best, not average. We don't have average students here. We have some of the best in the world. (Football) goes hand-in-hand. We want these guys to change the world - change the game. Let's change the game. We can do that here at Stanford. They've got to believe that. I think they do."

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken is learning Holgorsen’s offensive scheme through 27-year old QB Brandon Weeden: "It's so easy because the guy's like a 38-year-old. The guy's been around for a while and it's like dealing with an NFL guy. It's not the information that he has, it's how he's able to communicate with you. He has an air about him, a confidence to where he'll ask a question that a young guy won't and he'll tell you that he doesn't like it, like a young guy won't.”

"They'll just sit there and say, 'Yes, coach,' and just nod their head."


Miami (FL) offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch talks about the Hurricanes' offensive plan: “We’re going to use all the personnel groupings you could possibly think of. We’ll try to attack defenses by running a pro-style offense, meaning we’re going to huddle. We’re going to run the football well because we have a great offensive line and running backs. And when you run the ball well, you can take advantage of the play-action passing game and the movement game, the keepers, the nakeds, the waggles, the boots.”

“Now you’ve got people having to stop your runs, and that’s where explosive plays occur. What we have to do is find a way to be great on third down and stay on the field.’’

Mack Brown explains importance of Spring coaches clinic

Texas head coach Mack Brown says high school coaches and families are the difference in the Longhorns’ recruiting process.

That’s part of the reason why Texas puts an emphasis on their Spring coaches clinic, which took place this past weekend.

Brown said, “The Coaches Clinic was great. We were concerned in talking to a lot of our coaches - there are so many cuts in our state right now with education - that a lot of the coaches had to take a day off, an unpaid day off, yesterday or Thursday to come. A lot of the coaches had to pay their own way to come. Still, our numbers were great. We had 400 or 500 coaches here, and the ones that were here sure wanted to be here.”

On a day where there has been a lot of talk about recruiting services and also street agents, it is even more important that we spend our time with high school coaches. Because in our recruiting program, the high school coach and the family are the difference makers for us. And with high school coaches - since our relationship has been so good with them - this is one the reasons. We get to share ideas and spend a lot of time with them. Even with the background checks, our coaches are usually really honest with us. They tell us if a young man is troubled or has had a troubled past, and that has all been good for us.”

“And I did think that since we had so many new ideas, a lot of the coaches were excited to come and listen to that as well. The coaches love our clinic. It is a lot of the same guys each year. They just write it down - that is why we haven't moved it. We try to keep it on the same weekend. And each year, there is something special, and it is great to see them.”

Texas will play their Spring game on April 3rd.  ESPN will televise the game.