Tracking the Longhorns: March 25
March 25, 2011
Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Manny Diaz
On the excitement level of the players during practice: They have been excited to practice all week. Monday was tough. It was the first day back from spring break. They fought through it. But Wednesday they really responded. There was a lot of energy at Wednesday's practice, which we were really happy with. Now tomorrow we scrimmage. So you have today,sort of a donut day, and as a coach you want your team - anytime we throw the ball out there - we want them to perform, regardless of who you play, situation, and setting. And I thought our guys attacked the practice pretty well, and that's got to be a player-driven thing. As coaches we are always going to be asking that out of them, but what you want to see is whether the players brought it, and I thought their attitude today was a very pleasing sign from a coaches standpoint.
On losing LB Jordan Hicks to injury for the spring: It's disappointing because he was having such a fabulous spring, but the blessing is that it sounds like he'll be okay for when we reconvene in the fall. It does provide for other people, but I think in the first two weeks Jordan submitted himself as one of the guys we'll count on as one of our top players for the fall. He's a great young man - very smart, a very humble football player, and very passionate. I think that if you went in that locker room right now, I think Jordan Hicks is a guy that has the respect of the entire football team. So I think they will welcome him with open arms.
On LB Demarco Cobbs: Demarco has really taken his opportunity this spring. He's had a lot of at bats, and he has really performed well. And you know he's a guy that had been here and been there, but we said lets just go play and put you in a position where when you go in that locker the guys are happy to have you on the team. Ultimately that's the jury. That's what you want. You want the respect of your peers, and without a doubt his athleticism is what we want on our defense. He's tough. He doesn't back down from challenges. He's smart. He's got a great attitude. He's got one of the top smiles on our team. People don't think that's not a great skill for a defender, but honestly when you want to work with somebody day in and day out, that's something that is very important to us. And he's been a delight to coach.
LB Emmanuel Acho
On keeping the intensity after the break: Being a senior I have to come with it everyday. I have to lead. I love the game, and I am excited about it. And it's my job to pick those guys up that say it is a little harder. I am just excited to continue and finish the spring strong.
On learning how to lead: It came quicker than expected. I talked to a lot of guys. I talked to Coach [Madden]. I talked to my brother. I talked to Coach Brown, and just tried to pick a little bit of everybody's brain. And with a lot of their insight, and just a daily learning process, I am just trying to become a better leader everyday.
DT Kheeston Randall
On the biggest change the fans will see in the defense: It will be crazy. It's a lot of blitzing. It's controlled craziness. You never know who's coming. For the most part I don't know who's coming when and where. You're in for a surprise.
On how fun it is to play in the new defense: It's definitely fun. I get to tee off on the guy in front of [me], and I know Emmanuel and Keenan [Robinson] are running around. So it's very entertaining.