Brown seeks answers to questions regarding 2007 Football squad
Although Texas Football coach Mack Brown knows this summer that he has the real McCoy at quarterback, that doesn't mean the Longhorns' mentor is without concerns looking toward the coming year.
"We do have a lot of question marks with our team," Brown said during the Big 12 media days in San Antonio in late July.
The departure of center Lyle Sendlein, guard Kasey Studdard and tackle Justin Blalock -- 145 combined games played in their careers (115 combined starts) -- on offense and corners Tarell Brown and Aaron Ross and safety Michael Griffin on defense gives Brown cause for pause.
Not so the Big 12 Conference media that picked the Longhorns to win the Big 12 South and return to San Antonio in December for the Big 12 Championship Game in the Alamodome.
"We've got some talented guys coming back with experience and we've got some talented guys who haven't played a lot," Brown added. "We (the coaches) have to do a great job of trying to mix those two together and get them to be able to connect and get the right chemistry.
"We have a chance to be good."
Not even the best scriptwriters in Hollywood could have come up with a better story than what was Colt McCoy's in 2006.
Replacing the seemingly irreplaceable Vince Young at quarterback, all the 6-3, 205-pound Tuscola Jim Ned High School alum did last year was become the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
McCoy tied the NCAA mark for touchdown passes by a freshman with 29. Those TD tosses were the most ever in a season by a Texas quarterback. His 2,570 yards passing were the most ever by a UT freshman and his six TD passes against Baylor were the most ever in a game by a Longhorns QB. For the year, he completed 68.2 percent of his passes and suffered only seven interceptions.
McCoy also became the first UT freshman QB to win 10 games in a season, as the Longhorns managed 10 or more victories in a season for the sixth year in a row. He capped his year by winning the Offensive Most Valuable Player Award in the Alamo Bowl triumph against Iowa, giving UT its third consecutive bowl victory -- a school record.
However, McCoy did not rest on his laurels, spending the summer lifting weights to work on his strength and conditioning. He also was the leader in making certain all of the players in Austin during the summer worked out together.
"He has great confidence," Brown said of his signal caller.
With a receiving corps of seniors Limas Sweed, Nate Jones and Billy Pittman and juniors Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley all returning, that is one reason why McCoy can have confidence.
And, sophomore tight end Jermichael Finley, at 6-5, 245 pounds, provides another target for McCoy. Finley set a school record for freshmen tight ends with 31 receptions, 372 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Brown will have more confidence when he is more secure on a back up for McCoy, whose injury last November at Kansas State showed the need for a solid No. 2 quarterback. Sherrod Harris, a redshirt freshman, and recruit John Chiles are in a competition that will last into summer camp as Brown looks for one to distance himself from the other.
"Your backup quarterback has to make plays," Brown said. "We want to see which guy can throw the ball the best, which guy runs the huddle the best."
And speaking of running...
Brown looks for junior Jamaal Charles to become the durable back who will spark a running game that also will make McCoy and his receivers even more effective, causing defenses to have to play the Longhorns more honestly.
"He (Charles) has 'as good as anybody in the country' written all over him,'" Brown said.
Yet, the most interesting possibility concerning Brown's 10th Texas team as fall practice begins during the first full week of August is the head coach pondering playing a two-deep with his defense, as in subbing 11 for 11 at different junctures of the game.
"It's a concept I'd like to look at to help with depth," Brown said. "Maybe play one defense for 11 plays and then sub 11 new players for the next 11 plays. We can find out how good some of those young ones are. Besides, morale is better when lots of people play."