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July 21, 2005

Mack Brown

Jonathan Scott

Rodrique Wright

Vince Young


PETER IRWIN: Well, as we wrap up the morning, the Longhorns and the University of Texas are here and Coach Mack Brown, and Coach is going to introduce the one player who is here. As the other players arrive in a moment or two, he will stop and introduce and make a comment about that. Coach, welcome.

COACH BROWN: Thank you, Peter. Welcome back to everybody. Time to get started for another great football season. Edith Royal, the coach's wife, said jump back on the roller coaster. That is what happens every year. I will talk more about Rod in a few minutes. Vince Young is with the other TV people, and Jonathan Scott as well, so they will be in here in a few minutes. We have had a tremendous spring. The Rose Bowl was an exciting game for us. You never know what's going to happen leaving that game. You don't know if there will be some complacency with your team and your coaches because winning the last game for all of us is very important, and then when you win it in an arena that Texas had never played in before, we never played Michigan, never played in the Rose Bowl, it was really a special game for all of us. I have been really pleased with the staff and the student athletes because all of them have taken it as a positive and as a motivator to improve. Our summer camps were better. We had to close them out because we had too many requests. We had over 40,000 people at our spring game, which is the most we have ever had. We scrimmaged for an hour. It's not even a game. Even President Faulkner said applications for admissions were up, and he thought there was some credit that should go to the Rose Bowl win for that. Our sales of T-shirts, hats were eighth in the country, moved to fourth in the country in the year. After the Rose Bowl they moved to second, and it seems to have had a real strong impact in recruiting. Our guys worked harder in the off season than ever before. They always worked hard, but they were so focused. We had a tougher spring practice than ever before and the guys handled it really well. It sounds like, in talking to the guys last night at dinner, that their summer workouts have been the best they have ever had, understanding they have been good before, but they have taken it with the right attitude. It's obvious that we have to replace Cedric Benson, and the guy is as good a short-yardage goal line runner as I have ever seen. We have to figure out who goes in that spot because you can't replace Cedric Benson. You also have to look at Derrick Johnson. He was a great player at linebacker, the best in the nation. You just don't replace Derrick Johnson. We have some youth at linebacker, so that's a big concern for us. We are also not very good, consistently good, at all phases in the kicking game at the end of the year, so we need to be much improved in the kicking game. You look at Vince's progress as a quarterback coming out of the Missouri game and going to Texas Tech. He had a great run for six straight weeks and he flipped the switch and had confidence and took over our team, so this is now Vince Young's team. That's exciting for us. We have a concern at the second team quarterback because the only two scholarship quarterbacks on our campus are Matt Nordgren, who hasn't played much in an active role, and Colt McCoy, who was a freshman who just arrived. So we know who the boss is. We know that Vince had a tremendous run at the end of the year, and after the Rose Bowl the first conversation I had with Vince he said, "Coach, I have got to improve some areas here, these are the areas I need to improve," and basically he didn't want to throw bad passes to start a game. But he has a chance to be the winningest quarterback in Texas football history, and we are really excited about him going forward. As we look to the guys to my left, Jonathan Scott has already graduated. He is a young man who will be working in graduate work this fall. He is a tremendous leader. He has been an outstanding guy, started every play that he was healthy for the four years he has been at Texas. This is his fifth year now, and has a chance to be an outstanding player this year, one of the best in the country and a great pro player. I will apologize that he is wearing red shorts because he spilled steak grease on his pants last night and he couldn't get it off. He would not be up here in those ugly red shorts if he had not spilled grease on his pants. He will not be playing tight end because he can't catch. We discussed that last night, too. Rod Wright is a young guy that started every game he has been at Texas that he has been healthy. Jonathan and Rod did not red-shirt, but Rod is a guy that played alongside of the best players that we have had in the defensive line, and he is ending up his career as one of the great ones to ever play at the University of Texas. It's even more special for him today that he is in Houston, his hometown. This is his last year, and guys like these two seniors are guys who have put Texas back on the map over the last four years. We are really proud of them. I thought Rod was one of the key seniors, along with Justin Blalock, to have our summer workouts so strong last year. He took a leadership role and stepped up and he has done the same thing this year. Vince is here today as a junior. Vince had the best run I have seen in a long time as a quarterback. Last year at the end of the year it's hard for anybody to change momentum and come from behind in a ball game, and we have always felt like the mark of a coaching staff is who can win a game in the second half when you are behind. The mark of a quarterback is who can come from behind and lead his team when all the odds are against him and win. Vince did that six straight weeks. The thing that I learned, we knew he was tall and strong, we knew he had a tremendous amount of ability, he is a nice young man, I didn't know how competitive he was. When he gets in a ball game where the odds are against us, I just saw him time and time again take it and turn it, and I think he will be one of the great quarterbacks to ever play college football before he leaves Texas, and I do think he will be an NFL quarterback and a very, very good one. So that's a positive for us. Are there any questions?

PETER IRWIN: Questions for the coach or players? Gosh, you did such a good job, Coach.

COACH BROWN: Thank you.

Q. Mack, just to clarify, what was the run you were talking about that Vince made, the one against Kansas?

COACH BROWN: No, the run meaning the string of games that he put together. I'm sorry. I am from Tennessee.

Q. That game and that particular comeback, can you talk about maybe what he gained from that?

COACH BROWN: Yes. It has been hard for Texas traditionally to play well at Texas Tech. He took over that game from start to finish and scored 50-something points. I thought that was the first sign that this is the guy we saw in high school that can dominate ball games. Then he comes home and we are down 35-7 against Oklahoma State, and they are playing really well and we are not playing well at all. We are playing hard but not playing well. He drove two interceptions in the first half and they are kind of free plays. To lead that team back and score 56 points from down 35-7 is phenomenal. I am not sure I have seen a game like that on either side, and I sure don't want to see it from the other side ever. Then we go to Kansas and we didn't play poorly. Kansas has been a good team. They hung in games. They just had trouble winning games at the end. We let them hang around, and hang around, and hang around, and then, all of a sudden, we are in trouble. I think it's 23-10 with five minutes left to go in the game, and Vince just took over. We went with some no-huddle offense, and I will never forget, on the 4th down and 18, that he made 21 yards running. I tried to convince him to tell you all it was a quarterback draw because it made me look better as a coach, but when he ran out of bounds next to me, I said great play, of course, and he said, "Coach, I want us to go ahead and win the game. I don't want to go to overtime." I said "I'm for that, let's go." So he throws a touchdown pass the next play. Then after the game I said, "I am going to be asked by the media why you ran the ball on 4th and 18 because nobody is going to do that." Then, I remember, he drops back to pass, it's a deep square in and he pumps, he runs 7 yards past the line of scrimmage, and I am yelling at him, "Oh, no," and then he just glides, goes out of bounds. I said, "Just tell me what you were thinking." He said, "4th and 18, I saw the linebackers' backs turned, and run deep," and he said, "I knew there was one guy in the hash mark and he couldn't tackle me. Coach, I didn't have any question I wasn't going to make it." That's just the type of confidence and ability he has. Then the A&M game, to try to reach the ball over with 10 seconds left in the half, and the ball knocked loose, and they run 99 yards for a touchdown. The percentages say if you have a 14-point swing like that in the last minute before the half, there is 93 percent chance you lose the game. I thought I saw him more competitive in the second half because I thought he was pouting a little bit at halftimes. He was mad that he fumbled the ball. He came back and led the team. With eight minutes left to go in the Michigan game I said, "You are going to be the hero again." We were down by 10, and he was. I think this is important, too, there was a time this summer I called him on a Saturday night, and he was at home in Houston, and it was about 9:30, and some of the coaches would say "Don't call your quarterback in Houston at 9:30 on Saturday night. That's really dumb of a coach to be that naive." I was calling him to get a number from him, and he was whispering. I said, "Oh, oh, must have messed up, I don't know where he is." I said, "Where are you?" He said "I am over at the house with some of my friends." I said, "What are you doing?" "We are watching the Oklahoma State football game on film." I said, "I hope you started at halftime." He said, "We did." Of course, the coaches said sure he was over there watching the Oklahoma State film. But Vince, he is what you see. He is a great young man, a tremendous competitor, and we are sure looking forward to seeing that again in the future.

Q. Coach, what's your preference on the running back situation to replace Cedric? Would you prefer to have one guy come into camp and just set himself apart or would you mind going with two guys if you had to?

COACH BROWN: What's our preference on the running back situation? Would we like to have a guy come and take over or do it by committee? I think you would always like to have a guy and have two guys capable of backing him up and stepping in and taking over, but you would like to know who your guy is. Our guy in the past with Cedric had been Seldon Young. Vince has been around him a lot this summer. It sounds like he is 100 percent. He is on track. He is 220 pounds. He is really motivated. He was giving Cedric a run for his money for playing time two years ago before he got hurt. So you would have to think that he would be the lead candidate. Then you have some other guys. He has done it so far, and he has been there. I am really pulling for him to stay healthy and have a great year. Our coaches did a tremendous job last year of taking Vince in an inexperienced state without much confidence early, a really good offensive line that they are basically all back, two really good tight ends, and Jason Thomas and Bo Scaife and any receiver and figuring out what to do offensively to give us a chance to win will be a different offense this year. We can go for 4th and 1 and 4th and 2 and 3 with Cedric and Vince in the backfield. We have to see how good we can be in that area and how good we can be on offense and what our penalty will be. It will be toward Vince this year instead of Cedric.

Q. Coach, will you red-shirt Jamaal Charles?

COACH BROWN: Will we red-shirt Jamaal Charles? The fact that some of these guys have been around this summer and some have been in school, and they have been able to work out with our team more now since the rules have changed, it really gives guys even a better chance to play early than before. Jamaal had the fastest time in the hurdles in the country. He was a tremendous running back last year, and with our running back situation, he will definitely be a guy that will get a good look to start the fall. But we are not planning on red-shirting anybody at this time. We will play everybody that has a chance to be in the two deep and help us win.

PETER IRWIN: Gentlemen, thank you very much. If you will step to the back, they will do one-on-ones and we wish you the best of luck.

End of FastScripts...

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