At Texas, expectations are always high. After a disappointing 7-6 season, Tom Herman was able to take away some positives from a season that many fans would label as a forgettable one. Herman cited that fact that, “We had our first winning season in four years and won a bowl game for the first time since 2012.” While that is true, in Austin, that’s not going to cut it.
However, he did bring up something that Texas hasn’t seen since the golden days of the Mack Brown era, consistency across the board. Not only did Texas retain most of their players but more importantly Tom said, “We retained all our staff including, in my opinion, the best defensive coordinator in college football, Todd Orlando, as well as the best strength coach in college football, Yancy McKnight. We also got one of the best offensive line coaches in the country, Herb Hand.” This statement was right on the money in my book because since 2010 Texas has been changing coaches more than some people change their own socks. Herman also added that signing a top five recruiting class last year was huge for the program as well.
Overall, Tom Herman made his opening statement extremely long. In fact, in the transcripts I have, it takes over a full page to get through it. Maybe he did that on purpose? It didn’t matter anyway considering the herd of people waiting for him as soon as he got done waiting for his every word or reporting every time he sneezed. By the way, we have breakout sessions in the afternoon that last two hours, but you know how it goes. It’s all about being first to a story right or wrong.
The theme of the offseason for Tom was, “Develop and finish. One, we want to develop positively better athletes in terms of getting bigger and stronger and faster. We want to develop as football players in terms of understanding the game and the techniques and the situations that arise in the game and we want to develop as coaches.” He then proceeded to tell us about how many guys in the program could lift certain amounts of weight and how high they could jump which may or may not come back to bite him in the ass when somebody beats his team. He wrapped up his opening statements by building off his offseason motto saying,“Our players back home in Austin believe that we are as close of a team as Texas has been in a long time. That’s not just player to player but coach to player as well. We also have been training our guys how to finish. Every drill we do, every workout we have, everything we do has a finish component to it.”
The best part by far of his Q&A was when he was asked about evaluating OC Tim Beck as a play caller and if he will be on a short leash this season. Herman responded, “The good thing is that we don’t have to make that decision now in the middle of July. I have always been very intimately involved in the play calling on game day. There isn’t a play that’s called that I don’t have veto power of, and so, you know, I think the true measure of an offense and its efficiency is one, the talent that is on the field, certainly. Again, there were multiple games where we started five true freshmen, a true sophomore, and there is an element to that you’re probably not going to light the world on fire on offense.”
While there are still plenty of question marks about Texas heading into the season, one thing is for certain, there is no question about the expectations at Texas.
It’s national title or bust for the fan base.
**Sign up here for our HCS weekly e-mails for a chance to win FREE Heartland College Sports and Big 12 team gear!!**