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Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Four Downs: Big 12 media days edition

By Sean Adams

AUSTIN, Texas -- Each week Sean Adams looks at a few topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First Down: Different David Ash?

I was tempted to start this point with a caveat of it tying to production over the course of the 2013 season, but I’ll refrain. Ash is the most confident that I have ever seen him. Again confidence has nothing to do with yelling or pounding your chest. Confidence is about having a command of what you are supposed to do and being capable of doing your job.

Ash spoke on his confidence level and his team confidence level in him.

"When you a freshman you know about 30 percent of what you should know and you are faking the other 70 percent," he said. "When you are a sophomore it is about 50/50. Now I’m on the other side of that and I know what I’m doing and my team has to understand that I know and believe in me."

He even checked a media member who repeated the same question over again. That might not seem like a lot, but Ash having to confidence to be in charge of the interview at Big 12 media days is a big difference from where he was.

Mack Brown
Mack Brown and the Longhorns haven't been shy about looking toward this season as a big one.
Second Down: Texas not shy in 2013

The Longhorns, from Mack Brown to all of the players, are on top of owning their fates. Brown started off his comments saying, “You will hear from our guys today that, with 19 of 22 starters back, we’ll have more experience. We’ll have more depth.”

Brown has continously pointed to 2013 and 2014, and obviously the players have carried on the mantra. Jackson Jeffcoat seems to be chomping at the bit to get back on the football field, and Adrian Phillips is talking about the seniors having a three-year chip on their shoulders.

Third Down: Another advantage for the offense

The Big 12 is going to add an eighth official and the lion’s share of his role will be to place the ball. Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy described it as, “Place the ball and get out of the way.”

With the ball being placed faster, it could take away even more preparation and and adjustment time for defenses in the age of the up-tempo offense.

While I don’t believe in the correlation coaches and media members are making between injuries and up-tempo offenses, I do believe that this will be yet another help for the offensive side of the ball.

Fourth Down: Is the offense new?

If there is anything that I’m sick of, it's hearing and reading is that the Texas offense is new. I refuse to write about it again after this small snippet right now. The terminology has not changed. The play-caller has changed and the tempo is going to speed up. How does that signify a new offense?

They added to the offense, but the offense is not new. There! I’m done.

Extra points

1. Why is everyone so afraid of Bob Stoops? Most of the Oklahoma media talks to Stoops during a press conference the way husbands are taught in marriage therapy to talk to their wives. You have to say something positive before you ask a question that might be negative. Seemingly all of the questions from the Oklahoma-based media starts with, “Bob, you guys have won a lot and had a ton of success and won all of the conference championships BUT ...” I don’t know what to do with that. While Bob has always been a little truculent with the media, I never assumed anyone had to walk on eggshells around him.

2. It is easy to see why high school players and parents around the state have a certain amount of openness to Art Briles. He has a communication pattern and an ease about him that draws people to him. Whether it is his, “No sheets over silk sheets,” comment he made to me on my radio show when I asked him about not having the facilities that others have in the Big 12 Conference or his “It is what it is. Speed limit is 55, drive 55. You’ve got three open dates, deal with it,” comment today when asked about three open dates before eight straight games, Art Briles infuses an attitude and an energy in his team that Baylor desperately needs.

3. Why not us? That was the question asked from Lache Seastrunk when asked about the media picking Baylor fifth in the preseason poll. It is the attitude that every fan is looking for from their team and Seastrunk has the infectious attitude that can carry a team to heights that nobody thought it could reach.

4. The two biggest stories of the Big 12 Media Days were Stoops and his 2013 defense and Ash quarterbacking Texas.