Longhorn Headlines: Open Practice Yields Both Good and Bad


Can you feel it in the air? I sure could sitting in the metal bleachers of Darrell K. Royal stadium on Sunday morning. The smell of the turf, the hot August sun relentlessly beating down on us, the sound of pads popping and whistles blowing…. Football is upon us. Just being able to take in the Texas Longhorns open practice over the weekend got my juices flowing.

This was the first opportunity for the fans to get a peek at the 2015 Texas football team that is going to be on display week one against Notre Dame in South Bend. While everyone was most concerned with who was leading in the battle for the starting quarterback job, and looking for the shadiest spot in the stadium, I was most concerned with being able to take in each position group from quarterbacks to the kickers and punters.

Thankfully I arrived at the stadium with plenty of time to spare. When I arrived only the specialists had taken the field to get loose, but not long after I arrived that coaches took the field to several applause from the fans already in the stands, and the team trickled out shortly after.

I took several notes down in my phone of the the duration of the practice that lasted almost three hours and made several other observations via my Twitter account. Here are some of the things I saw that were noteworthy on Sunday:

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– My first observation of the day: If I was a player down on the field today, this would be the worst day to get cussed out by a coach because everyone would be able to hear it clear as day. I was sitting about twenty rows up from the field and I could hear every word from every coach.

– On offense, the first team wide receivers consisted of Armanti Foreman, John Burt, and Marcus Johnson in the slot.

– The second team wide receiver group consisted of Dorian Leonard, Lorenzo Joe, and Daje Johnson

-During the two minute drill/ hurry up on air, the second team offense with Jerrod Heard at quarterback was not nearly as crisp as the first team offense.

Kai Locksley ran third team quarterback all day. His first pass during the two minute drill on air was air mailed.  hope that was just the nerves because there is no excuse for that.

– Early on the ball seemed to be coming out of the hands of the quarterbacks funny as they tried to throw on the move.

Cecil Cherry got lit into pretty good by a defensive coach early on during pre-practice. They are not taking it easy on the freshmen.

– After the team came together and stretched, Charlie Strong blew his whistle and called the team up for some bull in the ring.

– From where I was sitting, the defense won more than lost during this little bit of competition. Cherry and Breckyn Hager absolutely buried their opponents and that had everybody excited.

DeShon Elliott sustained an injury during his turn. He wasn’t seen for the rest of practice, but it seems that it was only precautionary.

– The field goal team looked alright during special teams. Nick Rose ended the segment by hitting one from the 35 yard line or so.

– Coach Strong ran the pursuit drill with the defense. The man is always involved and is always watching during practice.

Vance Bedford chewed out the 2nd unit during the drill. He wasn’t happy with the group for not moving with a sense of urgency.

– Dalton Santos was participating in individual drills. I couldn’t tell if he was braced up or not, but he was out there.

– Malik Jefferson looked like a grown man in pads. I have to keep reminding myself that he is only a freshmen. Looks like he has been living in the weight room for a year already.

Kris Boyd is very physical in coverage. He is going to irritate a lot of receivers because of his willingness to put his hands on you. Be prepared to draw a few flags in the process though.

– Tempers flared during the inside run period. The offensive and defensive line got after it a couple of times. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

– Ryan Newsome can absolutely FLY. He has easy speed that you can’t teach. He ran right past a DB right up the seam during one on ones, but couldn’t come down with the catch.

– Antwuan Davis put the clamps on Leonard during one on ones. Leonard was barely able to get off the LOS. That had Coach Vaughn fired up.

– Adrian Colbert may have had the hit of the day on Daje Johnson on a screen.

– Tempo, Temp, Tempo. Not a lot of wasted time between snaps all around.

– I wasn’t very impressed with Blake Whitley. Still a long way to go with him.

– There were WAY too many drops by receivers and tight ends across the board. I hope they get this out of their system early on, because what I saw on Sunday will get you beat.

– Tyrone Swoopes was the most consistent passer of the quarterbacks on the day. Wasn’t really close from what I saw. He won’t be the best runner by any means, but when it comes to putting the ball in the air he is the best Texas has on campus right now.

– D’Onta Foreman is the first running back coming off the bench behind Johnathan Gray. The big fella can rumble, but I want to see him run behind his pads more consistently. Duke Catalon, and Chris Warren both followed Foreman.