8/19 Longhorn Scrimmage Photos and Notes

RJ Esq

Prick Since 1974
From Hornfans.

It's still early at this stage for analysis, but the photos are great. They include photos of the completed scoreboard which is the largest HDTV in the world and the new south endzone bleachers the Horns will temporarily use this year and the next 2 years due to greater ticket demands and the demo and reconstruction of the north endzone after this season.

I'll add more comments from the scrimmage when they come available.


Another thread with details about the scrimmage. Alot of attention paid to the QBs, including 3rd string Sherrod Harris, a true freshman:

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Apparently #1 LB recruit Sergio Kindle did not play and has been reportedly injured for the past week.
Repeated observations:

1. The #1 D shut down every offensive unit it went against.

2. Charles is looking like everyone expects him too in his second year--a top featured back. He was running hard and bouncing off tacklers.

3. Everyone is impressed with Tony Hill's (Jr. OT) size. He's listed at 6'6" and 295 but is taller than Snead and Sweed (also listed as 6'6").

4. McCoy will probably get the starting position. Nothing new. He is very accurate and makes good decisions. Snead throwes bullets but hesitant in his decision making.
From BurntOrangeNation.com

Saturday Scrimmage NotesBy HornsFan Section: Football
Posted on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 09:58:33 AM EST

Goooood morning, Horns fans. Some of you may have been up bright and early like I was this morning, and if you got yourself together in time, made it to DKR for the a.m. scrimmage. As promised, notes from this morning's action.

Colt McCoy is your starter. Absolutely no doubt about it. McCoy started with the first team offense, moved the ball well, looked very, very comfortable and poised with his reads, and delivered the ball exactly where he should have. Just judging from his presence, decision-making, and performance, you'd not guess he's a freshman.

What was absolutely clear from today was that McCoy has built a rapport with the first team and feels, looks, and acts like the job is his. A lot can happen between now and game day, so caveat emptor... but if I were a betting man, and I am, I'm betting the house on McCoy.

That brings us to Jevan, who I was eager to see today. Let's just say that he's most assuredly had better days. He was picked off once, should have been picked off another time, and, most importantly, is taking too long to decide what to do with the ball.

Fans who watched the Titans' preseason opener saw Vince Young play reasonably well, but it was clear he was thinking a lot out there. That's a characteristic you see in someone that's still learning how to make his reads and digesting the offense.

Same with Snead. As receivers made their breaks, and the ball should have been released from his hand, he was still looking around, deciding where to go. On the three throws where he made a decision on time and threw the ball in, he looked good. He threaded the needle on one very nice throw to his left, and it's clear he has some real talent. But based on what I saw today, he's not ready, and isn't going to be our starter.
What was -really- interesting is that...

...Sherrod Harris outplayed Snead by a lot today. So much so that I asked myself if Snead, and not Harris, should be the one redshirting.
Then, of course, I reminded myself that this is one practice, and I can't draw any conclusions off of one practice. Still, Horns fans shouldn't write off Harris. He looked very comfortable in the zone read, made a gorgeous throw on a deep ball that was dropped (exactly like VY's throw in the Titans' opener), and looked comfortable out there. He was picking on third team defenders mostly, but he's sort of the forgotten man among Longhorn fans. I won't forget him after today. He has real talent.

Most interesting thing I saw today: the number of plays run out of the two tight-end set. There were a lot of them. There are some distinct pros to such a set for this particular team:
  1. <LI value=1>It puts both Jermichael Finley and Neale Tweedie on the field at the same time. This has numerous advantages, most notably that we can disguise whether we intend to use Finley as our receiver, or Tweedie as our man to run behind.
  2. It's a fine set up for a team that's lacking in a great fullback but wants to run the football a healthy number of times.
The first team defense was inpenetrable. The second team offense, faced with the task of trying to move on this unit, could not. They could not run. They could not throw. Snead was ineffective against this unit (as well as the second team unit, which he saw action against later). As expected, the unit looks big, fast, and tough. Sounds simple, and it is. The first team defense is disgusting.

Staying with the defense: Frank Okam is an absolute monster. He's going to require two blockers on every play he's in, and if teams try to use one man against him, he'll disrupt the play in the backfield, as he did on one occasion this morning. Offensive coaches better gameplan for Okam; those that don't will be in big, big trouble.

Marcus Griffin got the start at safety alongside brother and returning starter Michael Griffin. He's more than adequate, but I was particularly impressed with Erick Jackson today, and won't be surprised if he winds up our starter at safety. Both will play; both looked good.

Jamaal Charles was unbelievable today, as one might expect, but so was Selvin. Young looked quick, strong, and made several impressive runs, including one he made a perfect cut inside on for a touchdown.
For his part, Charles looked every bit the best tailback in the country, as I think he might be. High praise for a true sophomore, but if he stays healthy, look out. He's so incredibly balanced, he maintains a perfect body position in traffic, bounces off would-be tacklers while always keeping his legs moving, and of course has that unreal speed. He'll share duties with Selvin, which is fine by me, but if he were the sole featured tailback, I've no doubt he'd run for 2,000 yards and wind up in New York as a Heisman finalist.

Henry Melton got significant action today, and didn't look much better than last year. He looked a little more spry, but he's still running too upright, and he runs into the pile too frequently. It was just one scrimmage, but the improvement I've been hearing about wasn't evident today.

Limas Sweed is ready. For one thing, he's grown into his frame, filled out, looks right, looks comfortable, runs good routes, isn't afraid to use his body... just nothing bad to say about Limas at this point. He looked like a leader out there, and like a man who knows he can succeed. That's a lot of development from his freshman year, when he was timid and unsure of himself, and his sophomore year, when he was still growing into his role as a go-to receiver.

McCoy hit Sweed twice, once on a perfect out (Sweed made a great catch, and bounced off a would-be tackler), and once on a deep ball to the outside (perfect throw, great route by Sweed). McCoy to Sweed looked like a great combo today.

Greg Davis haters prepare your eyes for some rolling - the bubble screen is back. I'm just sayin'...

Deon Beasley was fielding punts before the scrimmage, but only saw action at cornerback in the live ball. He didn't -quite- look ready to me. He's a terrific athlete, though, and will be an asset by mid-season. Chykie Brown saw some solid minutes with the second and third units as well. Both will play this season.

Greg Johnson did a great job as our kickoff man, punter, and place kicker. Hunter Lawrence shared the duties, but didn't perform nearly as well. His kickoffs were decent, but no match for Johnson's arching, hanging deep balls, and Lawrence had a field goal blocked on a ball that never got up. Hunter made his final attempt and looked much better. I'd hate to see Johnson have to do it all, but right now, he's the best man for the job. We'll see. This remains an area of concern.

Overall, I was eager to see these guys live, and I came away feeling good. The starters (I'm counting McCoy in here) looked great, and there are lots of guys already there, or well on there way, to provide excellent depth. The secondary is going to be deep, with plenty of rotation. The starting linebackers were excellent; the guys behind them looked solid, and will keep getting better. The defensive line was the best I've seen at Texas, as expected. On offense, the receivers are ready, the tailbacks are terrific, and the offensive line did a solid job. For those wondering, Blalock spent a lot of time at guard today, and it looks like the goal is to get the five best out there; if that means moving Blalock around, so be it. He'll be a guard in the NFL anyway.

Oh, one more thing: at this time two weeks from now, Texas will be kicking off their season opener against North Texas. You ready?
Update [2006-8-19 11:28:56 by HornsFan]: Can't believe I forgot to mention this: the scoreboard is freaking ENORMOUS!! You have to see it to appreciate just how gigantic it is. Ohmygod.
These are all from Rivals...

1. Let me begin by saying that this 7:30AM (really 8:00AM) start for the scrimmage is for the birds. Overall, I was more entertained by this scrimmage than the majority of scrimmages that are held at the stadium, but let’s be clear about what this was. It was 1’s vs 2’s and it was a very vanilla showing. The only thing exotic about today was the fan that showed up in a cut off shirt, athletic shorts, three sweatbands on each arm and receiver’s gloves.

2. If you’d never read about the quarterback situation and had no background information prior to today, it would seem clear that Colt McCoy is the guy right now. I’ve been saying that since I watched them in the summer, but he’s just more comfortable right now and the game is much slower than it is for Jevan Snead. I thought McCoy did some nice things in the two series that he participated in, both of which concluded with touchdowns. His 40-yard pass to Limas Sweed was a veteran’s throw. Overall, McCoy looked like a third-year player and not a second-year guy with any experience. Now it’s time to see what he can do in live situations.

3. Speaking of Limas Sweed, I’ve been singing his praises all camp and all summer, but he showed a couple of times today why he might be ready to take the next step. The 40-yard reception from McCoy was a beautiful catch and run that Sweed has not been known for during his career. He actually was forced to run underneath the ball and make the play rather than waiting on the pass or simply jumping up and making a snap. It was one of the cleanest and most fluid looking athletic plays I’ve seen of him as a receiver.

4. It was interesting to note that Cedrick Dockery started out with the first-team offense today, along with Tony Hills, Kasey Studdard, Justin Blalock and Lyle Sendlein. I watched Dockery quite a bit and thought he was very solid.

5. I’m not sure, but I think Chykie Brown was the first true freshman on the field for the defense today.

6. Hunter Lawrence didn’t look like a guy ready for prime time. His kickoffs were line drives and didn’t get a lot of depth, while one of his two field goal attempts from 37 yards was blocked in part because of a low, line drive kick. Greg Johnson was the best guy in every phase of the kicking game today. Not a good thing.

7. Robert Joseph might have made the play of the day with his acrobatic interception off of Jevan Snead. The freshman from Port Arthur seemingly leaped seven feet in the air to make the play, which occurred moments after one of my more well-known peers had commented that No.12 would be playing football for a very long time.

8. If Joseph had the play of the day, Montre Webber had the banana in the tailpipe moment of the morning when he dropped a perfect pass on a deep fade from Sherrod Harris. BTW, Harris had a good scrimmage.

9. Erick Jackson made a bone-jarring hit on Nate Jones. No.6 looked very good out on the field today.

10. Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young are going to be very good.

11. Lamaar Houston and Eddie Jones both showed up today, with Houston getting a sack on Snead against the first-team offensive line.

12. James Henry and Jared Norton both stepped up in the final drive of the scrimmage with a series of very nice goal line stops. Henry’s series of strong work came moments after he had a bad play in taking a poor angle and poor attempt at tackling Vondrell McGee.

13. It was only one workout, but Henry Melton didn’t look any quicker or faster through the holes than he did last year.

14. George Walker made two catches today. I loved seeing that.

15. All four of the freshman defensive backs made some things happen today and performed well in limited action. All of those guys are going to be very, very good.

16. Ishie Odueqwu showed up big today several times late in the scrimmage. He might have had his best day as a Longhorn.

17. Brian Robison and Tim Crowder both came to play, as they made life miserable on just about every lineman on the second and third teams. J’Marcus Webb was matched up with Crowder on a couple of occasions and it was no contest.

18. There weren't any Sergio Kindle sightings today. Makes you wonder what kind of impact he's going to have.
1. Colt is the man.

2. The collection of talent on the defensive side of the ball is so impressive, it's scary. It very well could be and should be the best defense in the country.

3. Greg 'The Leg' Johnson had some beautiful punts today. Each one of them went left to right but they went exactly where he wanted them to go. He has also worked his approach out to where hopefully, it won't seem that every punt is going to get blocked.

4. Hunter Lawrence has got to get the ball up. Even his extra point are low and the kick that got blocked might not have ben high enough if nobody jumped.

5. There is a drop off in play once you get past the first team linebackers. This team will have to continue to develop depth there.

6. The team is trying it's best to be the energetic team that was on the field before games in 2005. It would really be okay to be a different kind of team and let them be who they are. I hope they are being themselves and not doing what Vince did because it worked.

7. Fans should never wear sleeveless half-shirts, wrist bans, receiver gloves, cowboy hats and eye black. It's just wrong.

8. Am I the only one that got scared whenever Aaron Ross returned a punt and then had numbers of folks falling around his legs. I know Mack wants to get his best guys on the field but I would have to something happen when there are so many other guys that could return punts.

9. How productive is it to have Jordan Shipley out there running routes with the wrong version of McCoy at the QB spot. Although, the crowd did go crazy when Shipley caught a ball near the east side sideline.

10. Sherrod Harris looked closer to Snead that Snead looked to McCoy. A lot closer.

11. That is one big scoreboard. The new video board when coupled with the temporary stands in the south endzone really create a different feel in the stadium and that should increase more when those stands are occupied.

12. The Texas defensive line is not going to be good but great. The speed and athleticism coming off the edge when coupled with the push that should come from up the middle will allow the Texas defense to get pressure with four players and won't force the defense to blitz.

13. JC and Selvin are going to be one heck of a duo in the backfield. Selvin looks fast as his first year and JC is well, just JC.

14. Neal Tweedie could have a big year even with J-Mike on the field. He is one heck of a blocker and has hands that most folks underrate.

15. Limas Sweed should have a breakout year. He has played with such confidence since his catch to put the game away at Ohio State last year that he plays with an expectation of having success. That kind of play works.
1. Must…..have….more….coffee. 6:00 AM isn’t all that early, but it feels worse on a Saturday than it does during the week.

2. I felt cheated when Hunter Lawrence’s line drive kickoff opened the scrimmage without any return at all.

3. If you think that Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead don’t feel the pressure of the quarterback situation, you are wrong. I got all the evidence I needed by watching Colt celebrate the first touchdown of the morning on Selvin Young’s scamper.

4. Selvin’s TD run was facilitated by a long pass from McCoy to Limas Sweed. Nice to see somebody lay a ball down the field far enough to make Sweed run under it, instead of throwing it short and letting him jump-ball for it.

5. Eddie Jones was out there making plays on special teams early. If you were looking for signs of who will play this season, any of the fish that can contribute on special teams automatically boost their stock in the coaches’ eyes.

6. The first team defensive line just abused the second team offensive line.

7. Goodness gracious and good-golly-miss-molly that video screen is huge. And the south endzone looks very odd with the temporary bleachers in it. DKR just has a totally different feel to it.

8. It wasn’t his biggest gain by any stretch, but Sweed showed great hands on his third catch of the morning that came down the LOS and was below his knees.

9. Be afraid North Texas. Be very afraid.

10. Much has been made of the depth on this team. There are so many athletes on the field at any time it’s staggering, but when the backups are working against the first-teamers it’s clear that the depth needs more time before they are ready for the Ohio State’s of the world.

11. Vondrell McGee looks awfully little out there when he’s running into the likes of Frank Okam and Tim Crowder.

12. Stick of the day belonged to Erick Jackson who blew up Nate Jones. Jackson put his shoulder right into Jones’ ribs and lost his helmet in the collision. Nothing like a big hit to get the whole team fired up.

13. Lamarr Houston had a would-be sack on Jevan Snead, when Snead took too long to survey the field.

14. Ishie Oduegwu was active throughout the second half of the scrimmage. He absolutely baited Matt McCoy into a sideline throw that he promptly intercepted.

15. Robert Joseph also had a nice pick, his coming off a pass by Snead that was intended for Billy Pittman. Credit the DB’s for catching the ones they should have this morning, I didn’t see anybody hit the field for pushups.

16. Sherrod Harris lofted a beautiful ball down the sideline for Montre Webber, but the young wideout let it drop through both hands. Both players will be recognized for that play in the film room, but only one of ‘em is going to be pleased with the notoriety.

17. Hunter Lawrence’s field goal attempt from the 20 yard line was soundly blocked after coming off his foot too low. He is going to need to get the ball up in the air quicker to be successful at this level.

18. Greg Johnson was booming his punts today. I don’t know if air conditions were similar to what he had in Nashville, but fans caught a glimpse of The Leg that tore it up at Vandy early today.

19. Sherrod Harris looks really comfortable running the option and has a nice play fake as well.

20. Robert Joseph, Brian Ellis, Eddie Jones and James Henry were all on the field and making plays at the end of the scrimmage. Definitely a look into the future of the Texas defense to close team drills.
"6. The first team defensive line just abused the second team offensive line."

Did they run 1s against 2s in this scrimmage??
SoonerBS said:
"6. The first team defensive line just abused the second team offensive line."

Did they run 1s against 2s in this scrimmage??


Liked your other avatar better.
From the Austin American-Statesman:

Give us your thoughts on the scrimmage

By John Bridges | Saturday, August 19, 2006, 10:08 AM

Share your observations from Saturday morning’s (my it was early!) scrimmage with us. Post your comment below.

Here are a few of mine:

— I second Cedric Golden’s take that Colt McCoy cemented his role as the No. 1 quarterback and that Selvin Young was impressive, running like he did as a freshman when some of us began to wonder if he shouldn’t be taking some carries away from Cedric Benson. As for McCoy, he looked poised in the pocket. I see now where the Major Applewhite comparisons are coming from. He’s got Major’s mannerisms, right down to the fist pump as he ran downfield after a long completion to Limas Sweed. Jevan Snead, by comparison, looked skittish, frequently failing to find an open receiver and tucking the ball for a scramble or sack.

— Sherrod Harris, the forgotten freshman QB, was impressive, although often playing against what must’ve been the third-team defense. It’s doubtful that Mack would want to juggle three freshman QBs this year, but Harris looks like someone to watch for the future.

— At risk of committing hyperbole, I’ll confess that the low-center-of-gravity running style of freshman tailback Vondrell McGee reminded me of Emmitt Smith. McGee has a knack for staying upright when avoiding tacklers. (Of course, it helped that many of those were third- and fourth-team tacklers.)

— Texas is a big state. Why can’t the Horns find a kid who can kick the ball into the end zone on kickoffs? The return side of the special-teams equation looked a lot better than the kicking side.

— Limas Sweed is either taller or faster than last year. Regardless, he was just plain better. The flip side: The Longhorn secondary is going to have trouble stopping a receiver like him; they sure couldn’t do it Saturday.

— That new scoreboard, dubbed the Godzillatron by the message-board crowd, is a real monster. It wasn’t ready for a dress rehearsal Saturday, though. The atmospherics at DKR should get a substantial boost this year, thanks to the new scoreboard, new bleachers in the south end zone and new burnt-orange banners that circle the bottom of the stands. Beware of falling into a trench in the north end zone construction area, however.

Scrimmage update: Short day for Colt and the starters

By Suzanne Halliburton | Saturday, August 19, 2006, 09:00 AM

The first-team offense, including quarterback Colt McCoy, has taken the bench during the Saturday morning scrimmage.

In fact, McCoy participated in only two series, leading the Longhorns to two touchdowns against the second-team defense.

Unofficially, we have McCoy at three of five for 69 yards.

Texas Coach Mack Brown said all plays run Saturday were shown in games in 2005. He does not want to give anything away to opposing scouts in what will be the Longhorns last public appearance until Sept. 2.

Early views from the Longhorn scrimmage: McCoy, Young impress

By Cedric Golden | Saturday, August 19, 2006, 08:52 AM

Here are some early on-field impressions from today’s scrimmage.

— Colt McCoy looks like the starting quarterback. He is more comfortable in the pocket at this point than Jevan Snead.

— Selvin Young looks as quick as he has in years. The 16-pound weight loss is evident. Young is shiftier and looked particularly effective between the tackles.

— Freshman defensive tackle Ben Alexander will play this season. The 6-foot, 310-pounder was solid at the point of attack and made a couple of nice tackles in the backfield.

— The hit of the day came when junior CB Erick Jackson nearly decapitated WR Billy Pittman on a pass play. The hit was so hard that Jackson’s helmet came off.
More from AAS:

Texas football countdown to kickoff

New defensive backs draw raves

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Young Lions to roar this year

Coach Mack Brown said all of his top three freshman defensive backs — Deon Beasley, Robert Joseph and Chykie Brown — have a chance of playing this season.

Playing safety, Joseph reached over wide receiver Billy Pittman to make a spectacular interception Saturday while Beasley and Brown drew high marks from their coach for their play as cornerbacks.

Nicknamed the Young Lions, the trio is being mentored by old hands Aaron Ross, Tarell Brown and Michael Griffin.

Scoreboards bigger in Texas

The new scoreboard at Royal-Memorial Stadium, dubbed the Godzillatron by some, was not used for the scrimmage.

This just in: it's big. From the front, it looks like an IMAX screen on steroids.

The atmosphere at DKR should get a substantial boost this year, thanks to the new scoreboard, new bleachers in the south end zone and new burnt-orange banners that circle the bottom of the stands.

Hills plays through family loss

Junior offensive tackle Tony Hills played Saturday despite a death in his family that occurred during the past week. Brown said Hills probably would head to Houston on Saturday evening to be with his family.

Freshman linebacker Sergio Kindle did not play in the scrimmage.

Apparently, he is still recovering from an ankle injury that occurred on Aug. 8.

Jackson jacks up Pittman

Junior cornerback Erick Jackson made the hit of the day when he unloaded on Pittman on a pass play. The hit was so vicious that Jackson's helmet came flying off.

To his credit, Pittman jumped up immediately. Not shaken but probably blurred.

Webber needs to pull 'em in

Freshman wide receiver Montrae Webber has the ability to get open, but his hands are a little behind his legs right now.

The speedy Webber dropped a sure touchdown pass in last month's Texas High School Coaches Association all-star game, and he dropped another pass on Saturday. The latest bobble came on a long toss from freshman quarterback Sherrod Harris.


Quarterback Justin Zwick suffered a left shoulder injury during a scrimmage on Friday. Zwick, who is battling to hold on to his backup spot behind Troy Smith, was squashed by linebacker John Kerr as both were diving for a fumbled snap, according to the Columbus Post Dispatch.

The paper said Smith was the only one of five quarterbacks wearing a black, no-contact jersey. The rest were fair game apparently. Coach Jim Tressel indicated the injury might not keep Zwick out for an extended period of time.

Zwick split time with Smith during the Buckeyes' game against Texas last season, but right now he is trying to hold off third-year sophomore Todd Boeckman for the backup spot.
JumpOnBoard said:
lmfao Hunt....these local reports are always encouraging....esp when everyone is salivating for football.

Totally agree. Big time homerism, especially from the local paper. I think AAS would have better Longhorn coverage if they just read BurntOrangeNation, Rivals, and HornFans and picked and chose from the best posters. Would be more informative. Local papers are the remedial reading of sport research.
Update and Notes from BurntOrangeNation.com

Go ahead and read this entire Mack Brown press conference. Lots of interesting notes that we can draw some conlusions from.

--Depth chart will be released Monday. BON will have a huge breakdown of the depth chart Monday night.

--Mack all but named Marcus Griffin the starting safety; the Griffin brothers will start together. Erick Jackson is gonna push Marcus for playing time, and the depth at secondary is encouraging.

--Lance Armstrong with some very important advice re: hydration. It ain't gonna happen at halftime. You start NOW for a game a week from now. Wild.

--Robison and Mike Griffin each blocked a kick in last night's scrimmage. Shocking; just shocking. --There's big battle heating up between Ulatoski and C-Dock for the fifth starting lineman. Hills, Seindlein, Blalock, and Studdard are all locked in, and healthy.
Article in San Antonio Paper Quoting Mike Griffin on Scoreboard Distractions

Says this might be distracting to players. Whole board is video capable and VERY bright.

Those ads are actually video displays.

Note worker at bottom for scale.

UT Depth Chart Released

Depth Chart Released

By HornsFan Section: Football
Posted on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 02:00:59 PM EST

Mack Brown and the Longhorn coaches have released the 2006 depth chart for the season opener. As expected, Colt McCoy is your starting quarterback.

Were there any other surprises? Not really, but here's some important notes:
The official starting line will slot Cedric Dockery at guard, with Blalock and Hills at tackle. However, the staff also notes that freshman Adam Ulatoski will see lots of action, and when he does, Blalock will slide in to play guard.
DT Derek Lokey "will see action at FB in short yardage situations," according to the depth chart. Hot dog! Absolutely love it. Ogbonnaya, who had a strong summer and fall camp, is your starter at FB.
Greg Johnson is officially listed as the starter at punter, kickoffs, and place-kicking. Yikes. If anyone's up for it, it's Greg, but it's a lot to ask of anyone.
The biggest surprise in my mind: freshman Robert Joseph is your backup at strong safety behind Michael Griffin. Impressive.
Lokey will start at nose tackle, but Roy Miller's going to get lots and lots of playing time. He's eating up blockers to help Okam become even more disruptive in the backfield.

All told, this is about what close observers expected to see. This is as good a team two deep as you'll find in the country, and if McCoy is solid to strong this season, we'll be very, very tough to beat.