DALLAS — Like everyone else, Charlie Strong is looking for progress in his third season as Texas’ football coach.
“The expectations here are always high, which they should be. Why would you want it any other way?,” Strong said. “There’s no reason for us to go 6-7 and 5-7. You want to see progress. I totally agree with that.”
Likely on the hot seat, Strong says one of the keys to turning things around is improved defense after the Longhorns’ posted the worst statistics in school history on that side of the ball in 2015.
“Defensively, there’s gotta be a major, major improvement,” Strong said. “This is a throwing league, but when you allow teams to run the ball on you they can impose their will.”
Strong is not yet ready to name a starting quarterback, but he continues to praise true freshman Shane Buechele, calling the early-enrollee a “gym rat” who basically lives in the football building. Buechele is competing to unseat the past two starters, sophomore Jerrod Heard and senior Tyrone Swoopes.
“He just puts the ball in the right place and understands the offense,” Strong said.
Additionally, Strong says he’s seen strides made in senior leadership, including from the four players who accompanied him to Dallas — safety Dylan Haines, offensive lineman Kent Perkins, defensive lineman Paul Boyette and tight end Caleb Bluiett.
“It’s a lot better than it’s been,” Strong said. “If you harp on something enough they get the message.”
Strong also encouraged all the current Longhorns to welcome the four players who left Baylor for UT.
“Not only are they good players, but they’re unbelievably good men,” Strong said. “Don’t ever make them feel like they do not belong, and they’re going to be a part of the success here.”
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