Mack Brown Relying On Area Duo For Longhorns' Fortunes
FORT WORTH -- Texas coach Mack Brown said he wouldn't mind coaching at least another 10 years and that two East Texans will be instrumental if the Longhorns plan a turnaround in 2011.
"I feel like I'm in good health and my knee is better," Brown said during a news conference with Texas media on Tuesday in the Stockyard Room at the Fort Worth Omni. "I can see myself coaching at 70. ... I'm excited as I was in 1998 when I first came to Texas."
That said, Brown said his team must get tougher on the offensive and defensive lines if they want to bounce back from last year's 5-7 campaign. That means defensive lineman Ashton Dorsey of Tyler and center David Snow of Gilmer are being counted on.
"We are very thin on the defensive line," Brown said. "With the exception of Kheeston Randall, we don't have very much experience. We're counting on Ashton (John Tyler High School graduate). ... We need him to step up along with De'Aires Cotton, Calvin Howell, Desmond Jackson. ..."
On the offensive line, Snow ... "will be counted on heavily. He is a four-year starter so we expect big things from him."
Brown added two main topics were asked of him during Big 12 Media Days on Monday in Dallas.
"I had 972 questions and half were about our quarterback situation and half were about the Longhorn Network," he chuckled.
As far as the quarterback situation, Brown said all four QBs (returning starter Garrett Gilbert, returning backup Case McCoy, redshirt freshman Connor Wood, true freshman David Ash) are vying for the position. He said new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said before they would choose a starter, the QBs should first get a chance to learn the offense.
Brown said this year reminded him of 2006 when Colt McCoy was a redshirt freshman and Jevan Snead was a true freshman.
"Coming out of spring practice there was no clear cut choice," Brown said. "Both were really good and really talented. We didn't know who was going to run the team. I told them someone was going to come back with an edge over the summer. ... When I had a meeting with the players before Big 12 Media Days, some of the players told me 'Coach it's done. Colt took over.' He got the heart of the team. It was obvious during two-a-days. Colt took over and now he has a retired jersey at the stadium."
Brown is hoping something similar happened this summer.
He said there are three things he wants from his quarterback:
1, lead with swagger;
2, protect the football;
3, get the football into the end zone.
Workouts start next week so he will find out real soon.
As far as the Longhorn Network ...
"This is on the cutting edge," Brown said. "I admire Deloss (Dodds, Texas athletic director), our regents and Bill Powers (UT president) for cutting this deal. It was out there for everyone and our guys were aggressive and made it happen.
"It is good for Texas? Gosh, I think so. ESPN and Texas sure have gotten a lot of publicity."
As far as access, it is a work in progress.
"ESPN wanted to show our first practice live because they said everyone wanted to see it," Brown said. "I told them so does Oklahoma, Kansas, Baylor ... We have a lot to think about."
The high school football games being broadcast on the Longhorn Network has caused quite an uproar.
"I think this would showcase high school football in Texas," Brown said. "When you think about it we will have our 20 commitments from juniors in the spring before the fall games and 175 players in the state of Texas sign so there will be more football players playing for other Big 12 schools than Texas on the network.
"I just think it would be good for high school football in the state of Texas because 99 percent of the kids who will be on TV won't go on to play college football. It will be great for them and their schools and communities to be shown on national TV."SPOTLIGHT ON EAST TEXAS
Four East Texas schools -- John Tyler, Whitehouse, Henderson and Carthage -- will be showcased on the new TV program Fox Sports Southwest High School Football Friday powered by Dave Campbell's Texas Football.
On Friday nights, the program will air from 7-11 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest. The show will travel to a marquee game each week with pregame shows and updates from around the state during the broadcast.
Football Friday Live powered by State Farm (7-7:30 p.m.) will preview the marquee game. It will be followed by Football Friday Blitz (7:30-10:30 p.m.), Football Friday Overtime (10:30-11) and Scoreboard (midnight-1 p.m.).
Austin TV personality Jeff Power and Texas Football managing editor Travis Stewart will anchor the shows and Jamie Ratliff will be the sideline reporter.
The tentative schedule will feature John Tyler at Whitehouse on Oct. 14 and Henderson at Carthage on Oct. 21.
Three more East Texas games will be the DQ Big Game of the Week -- Gilmer at Tatum, Sept. 2; New Boston at Daingerfield, Oct. 28 and Kilgore at Whitehouse, Nov. 4.
Fox Sports Southwest reporter Neil Beasley will spend Fridays on the campuses of the schools and at the area Dairy Queen. He will chronicle the day's activities.
FSN will also televise the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic on Labor Day (Sept. 5) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
The schedule includes: Arlington Bowie vs. Edna Knar (La.), 10 a.m.; Dallas Skyline vs. Cocoa (Fla.), 1:15 p.m.; DeSoto vs. Oklahoma City Douglass, 4:30 p.m.; and Denton Guyer vs. Cedar Hill, 7:45 p.m.
Denton Guyer was a 5A Division II finalist last year, while Coca is a three-time Florida champion that is riding a 38-game winning streak. Douglass is the reigning 4A Oklahoma champion and DeSoto was a 5A Division I quarterfinalist. Edna Knarr was Louisiana 4A runner-up.
The games have averaged more than 40,000 fans the last two years.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and 18 & under. Tickets are good for all four games. Tickets may be purchased at the schools, Cowboys ticket office and ticketmaster.com.