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Tom Herman Media Availability – 4/11/2017

It was raining on Tuesday, so there was no open practice. However, we did talk to Tom Herman.

Tom Herman Press Conference

Couple injuries of note for the Spring Game. Kyle Porter with a slight ankle sprain. We’re being cautious with him. Probably not going participate in the Spring Game. Which is okay. We’ve seen him. He’s still got a lot of work to do, but the guy has given us everything he’s got for twelve practices. I’m impressed by his effort and durability.

Andrew Beck re-injured his foot. Not quite sure yet in terms of the severity of it. We’re going to send him to a foot specialist on Thursday. Should know more then.

Davante Davis came down on his shoulder. A very minor, first degree I believe, separation of the shoulder. Non-surgical. He’ll be in a sling for a couple weeks. He won’t participate either.

Other than that, everyone else should be good. Had a good day today.

Are Toneil Carter and Tristain Houston back in practice?

Yeah.

On expectations for RB during Spring Game

With Toneil and Tristain, you hope, one they can protect the ball. I don’t know if there’s been a full practice those guys have gone through, where the ball hasn’t been on the ground for one, if not both of them. So, they’re never going to play for us in a game if they can’t protect the football.

We had Jerome Bettis come talk to our team last year, and he specifically talked to running backs. He said a running back’s job description is to protect the ball and protect the quarterback. Anything after that is gravy. That’s the philosophy we take too. If you can’t protect the football, you’re not going to see the field.

If they can protect the football, get their assignments right, and run hard with good pad level, I think that’s a success considering one is really young and one is really, really young.

On what he wants people to see during Spring Game

A defense that, regardless of the call, is very vanilla because, like most Spring Game, it will be televised. We don’t want to give a whole lot away. That’s the one positive to being a new staff is you have a little bit of an edge going into the first game. So it will be very vanilla, but you still should be able to see a defense that flies to the football, gets eleven hats to the football, and gets take-aways.

You should see an offense that, hopefully at least with the one’s, gets very limited penalties and has the ability to sustain drives, but also make big plays.

On if he knows what he has

I think pretty good is an adjective or whatever you want to call it. I think we have a decent idea.

Training camp is about getting ready to go play a season and win a game. There is not a whole lot of time given to guys to earn their spot on the depth chart in training camp. And we’ve told them that. When we leave spring practice you’ll have a definitive pecking order of guys that we trust, guys that are on the cusp, guys that are probably a year away, and guys that will never be there. You’ve had fifteen practices to prove to us what kind of football player you are. If you’re not there yet and are making strides to get there, that’s a good thing. But, if you’re not, then we’ve got to move on.

On what he wants his players to get out of the Spring Game

Concentration. Focus. To eliminate distractions and not worry about who is in the crowd or what the score is because it’s a different scoring system that we’ll have.

Worry about doing their job each and every play, and being 1-0 on every snap with all of those things happening around them.

On how much QBs will play

My philosophy in the Spring Game, especially with walk-ons who have been here awhile and guys that have been here awhile, you want to get them in the game for a few snaps so mom and dad can take pictures and we can get some action photos and they can feel good about their hard work here.

For the most part the quarterback position, you’ll see those two guys [Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger] with probably Covey being the only other one who gets in a few reps here and there.

On DL from start of Spring practices to now

Strong to quite strong? I don’t know how you guys always want me to quantify things. They have come out and done their job each and every day and tried to get better.

You want to separate a guy? Because I have no problem doing it in front of the team dang-near every practice. It’s Poona Ford. If we can get eleven guys playing like Poona Ford on defense, look out.

If you’re a defensive player on our team and want to see what kind of fanatical championship effort you need to play with, look at number 95.

On satellite camp plans

I think our plan is to have four here in Austin. I think we’re having one May 28th, two the first two weeks in June, and then we’ll have a Friday night lights camp in July.

And then we’ll have one in the Atlanta area, one in the Las Vegas area hoping to attract both kids from Phoenix and Los Angeles, one in the Florida/Gulf Coast area, and one in southern Louisiana.

On satellite camp philosophy

The rule has changed to give you ten throughout the month of June and July. We’re not going to have ten on our campus. It just waters it down. But we’re not going to waste them either.

There’s a lot of really good player. Philosophically, if we can sign an entire class of National Championship-caliber players that are from the state of Texas, we’re going to do that. If you’re going to sign three linebackers and the first two want to come to Texas and are good enough to win a National Championship, but the third one doesn’t and the fourth and fifth are not quite good enough to win a National Championship, then you have to go out and find the best one in the country that is and that has a reciprocated interest in the University of Texas. It’s just a way for us to get our brand out there.

We’re not going to go out of state unless it is an elite, elite national recruit that can come in and make a difference.

We feel like those areas Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Louisiana, Atlanta, and Florida have some value to us because we’re in the south, there is brand recognition there, and kids like the University of Texas in those areas.

On assessment of the staff

Good. With all but one of them, we’ve worked together. And that one comes from a system that run very similarly to ours in Tim Beck. So, there wasn’t really much of an adjustment process. That’s one of the reasons I hired those guys is because they know our way of doing things and can disseminate the culture and message to their position groups and do a helluva job recruiting the state of Texas as well as developing their position group. They’ve done a fine job thus far.

On scrimmage

It was much more physical than the Saturday before. We laid an egg in that department both offensively and defensively the Saturday before. So, it was much more physical.

Especially with the ones. I was happy with the one offense, especially the one offensive line. You could have a semblance of a drive, they weren’t missing assignments, and weren’t having a bunch of tackles in the back field.

Probably the thing that sticks out to me is our twos on both sides of the ball have to get better. We’ve got to create more depth. There is only a handful of guys you’d like to have a true two deep, probably, everywhere but offensive line. We’ve talked about that. Going into the season trusting seven, maybe eight, offensive linemen. But beyond that you’d like to have a true two deep at every position and we’re not quite there yet.

On which position group’s depth really concerns him now

Corner, would be the one off the top of my head. We have three guys right now that you feel you can play in a game.

Apologies, but I accidentally cut my recording short here. There is more, including Tom Herman praising his walk on running backs Hafley and Yoder, talking demolition/his weak sledgehammer to the wall, and sassing Anwar Richardson about urine then getting sassed right back.

According to Tom Herman, they are very serious about hydration, even going so far as to check players’ urine every day to check hydration before practice. They call out who is hydrated and who is not. He emphasized that hydration is a key factor is limiting injuries, likening our muscle to beef jerky. If the beef jerky is dry it is brittle and easy to tear. If the beef jerky is damp it is more malleable. Now I don’t know about him, but some of the hardest beef jerky to tear I’ve ever had was pretty darn dry, but point taken.

He was embarrassed by his terrible first attempt at demolition, but stated, “I had a poor first quarter,” but came back and finished the job.

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Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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