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Tracking Mack: August 23

The Longhorns held practice one of the final two-a-day Monday morning. Following the session, head coach Mack Brown gave his thoughts as MackBrown-TexasFootball.com will "Track Mack" throughout training camp.


Mack Brown
Review of the scrimmage:
After reviewing the scrimmage we felt like it was one of the better first scrimmages we've had. We've emphasized kicking game so much and Derrick Johnson blocked a field goal against our first-team field goal unit. That's great for the defense, the offense needs to do a better job. We returned a punt for a touchdown and had a long kickoff return. Selvin Young had a great day. We were pleased with our first offensive line; we were sporadic with our second team.

We were excited about Vince Young. He played flawless. We had good ball protection. The tight ends did a great job. Defensively, we chased the ball better. The defense was much better compared to last year's first scrimmage. Rodrique Wright played super. Our secondary was improved and did a good job. We were chasing the ball better and tackling better than last year at this time, but we still have some room to improve.

On linebacker Derrick Johnson:
Derrick Johnson has elevated his game this year. Part of it's because he's a senior, part of it's because he's the only returning runner-up to the Butkus Award. That's obviously very important to him. He feels like he is the team leader on defense. When you bring in a guy like Greg Robinson with two Super Bowl rings, it excites Derrick who wants to play in the NFL. Derrick is doing an excellent job for us with his leadership, toughness and his fundamentals.

On the secondary:
We've got more depth in the secondary than we've ever had, and it's really good for the young receivers to go up against the bump and run. We expect people to crowd the line and bump us, which is why we are going deep.

On the freshman:
Frank Okam did a good job on defense; he's very athletic he'll play in the first game based on what we've seen so far. Drew Kelson is also a guy that could possibly play early.

On the status of the team:
We are not exactly where we need to be, but we are further along than we have been in some years, because we pushed this team harder in a lot of ways. This morning was tough and they responded well. It's hot and it's the 16th practice, but they fought through it. We are working a lot on the mental game.

On cornerback Cedric Griffin:
Cedric has been a terrific player for us. He's got great competition now with Aaron Ross and Tarell Brown. It's pushed Cedric; competition is the greatest motivator you can have. Instead of getting his head down when those guys were pushing him, he's fought back and had a great camp.