Tracking the Longhorns: Sept. 23
Sept. 23, 2008
Tight ends coach Bruce Chambers
On having to play a new tight end: We're going to do what we've always done, and that is to play to the strengths of those guys. When you have guys like Blaine [Irby], Peter [Ullman] and Greg [Smith], they all bring something different to the table. The good thing about our offense is that since we are so multiple, we can actually throw those guys in and keep doing what we've been doing.
On Ian Harris returning to practice: Today was his first day back and he had a really good day. I liked what I saw. He's very encouraging. The thing he was able to do throughout when he wasn't able to practice was condition. He kept that up. His conditioning looked really good today, and like I said, he did some good things.
On if they are going to use the new TEs for more run blocking: I think we've been running the ball well and we are obviously going to continue to do that. I think we have a great plan for this coming Saturday, and I'm looking forward to watching that. We're going to go out there and just have fun.
On Ian Harris: Ian is a guy that is in the same mold as Blaine [Irby]. He is a guy who is really versatile and a guy who can run and block. In some cases, tight ends have been called a "glorified tackle," and he's not that. He's an athlete, and that's obviously what we saw in him during recruiting. And that is what we have seen since he's been here. That's what I see when I look at Ian Harris.
On if their game plans have changed now that Blaine Irby is out: We're going to stick with the plan that we've got, and there is no need to move anybody at this time.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
On if anything about Arkansas has changed since they first prepared two weeks ago: It's basically the same thing. They're still running the same offense, the same personnel is still in, they've still got good receivers, good backs. Their coach is going to have them ready to play Saturday when they come down to Austin, so we've just got to be ready and just to practice hard this week and focus.
On the growing confidence among the defense: We've still got a long way to go but we're feeling confident within the defense. You can see guys getting a feel for the game. You can see them getting a feel for what the offensive line is doing. Once you get a feel for that, you can play within a defense and you're confident in what you're doing out there. When you get confident in what you're doing out there, you can play hard and just play fast and physical, great things will happen.
On what they have seen from the Arkansas run game: They've got the zone, stretch plays, the little screens, basically the same things we've been seeing, just different personnel, different speeds. We'll be ready. We've just got to continue to practice. We've still got Wednesday and Thursday to get ready.
CB Deon Beasley
On if the team gets any extra motivation to play Arkansas: It's a game, even if it was any other game we would still get real hyped about playing again. Those guys are, like I said, good players. I can't wait to play again on Saturday.
On the progress he and the other defensive backs have made this season: We're all progressing as the season progresses. We started out a little slow but now we're gradually becoming real good players and we're all working together. We're doing real good right now.
On if he thinks Saturday will be an easier game after Arkansas QB Casey Dick's three interception game last week against Alabama: No, because they come in with a different swagger when they're playing Texas. UTEP wasn't the same team that we saw the week before. It's not going to be the same team that we see this Saturday. He threw three picks, but he's still a good player and he's going to play his best when he plays us.
DE Aaron Lewis
On what they are trying to focus on for Arkansas: We try to focus on what they did last week against Alabama. The score doesn't really reflect the game. They played tough and they played well, but they had some tough breaks. Alabama took two interceptions and returned them for touchdowns, so I'm sure that helped them out and crushed Arkansas' spirits a little bit. But, we just have to go out there and play our defensive scheme.
K Hunter Lawrence
On what the coaches have been telling them this year: They tell you that you just have to make them to keep your job. They always tell us that our job is always open. We have to do all that we can.
On what he has worked on to earn the starting kicking job: This summer, I really just started over. I've been really working on it. I focused mainly on kickoffs the first two years. But, this summer, I really worked on field goals a lot more. I just tried to get the ball up a little more and I tried to be more consistent.
On having multiple players for the different kicking positions: I think it's fun. It makes every practice like a game. You have to treat every practice like they are game reps, and if you miss one, it is just as big of a deal as missing one in the game.