In Sunday’s American-Statesman, we examine the top 10 issues facing new Texas coach Charlie Strong. Here’s a look at the top of the list:
1. Who are the team’s real leaders?
The locker room has dozens of personalities, and it has a quasi-tribal vibe. Coaches know which players are truly talented enough to be there. They also know which players just want to show up, wear the uniform on Saturdays and get the girls. Walk-ons have been doing that for decades.
Fans and media can perceive which players are considered “leaders,” but the public really doesn’t know whether the players will play hard for one another or quit. Strong cannot instill his form of discipline and toughness until he separates the true leaders from the wannabes.
That’s only going to come with time.
“They want to win. They sense it,” Strong said of the one-on-one meetings with the players. “They know right now that we need to raise the standards; they understand it. The program is not where they want it to be themselves.
“When they admit to it, you know you have a good way to go change it. They realize the problem.”
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