Texas coach Mack Brown has closed off some practices to the media and fans in previous years, but never all of them.
That’ll change pretty quickly when one of college football’s strongest programs has their first losing season in over a decade.
The Longhorns officially started spring practice yesterday and all drills (for now) will be closed to the public as Brown and his staff — including an overhaul of new assistants — try to pick up the pieces from last year’s 5-7 ordeal.
No cameras. No autographs. But probably some more cursing and yelling.
“We’ve got to start over and we’re rebuilding a foundation at every level: offense, defense, special teams, credibility, strength and conditioning, swagger, body language, chemistry, everything,” Brown told the Associated Press Monday.
“I don’t want our players and our coaches trying to please other people to start practice. We’ve got a lot to do. I don’t want media, I don’t want people in the stands, I don’t want autographs. Nothing right now. This is only about getting better.”
When Texas does take the field April 3 for their spring scrimmage, it will be the first time fans will get to see their team since a disappointing 24-17 season-ending loss to rival Texas A&M. Brown is hoping for patience and support from those who attend.
“I want the largest crowd at our spring game we’ve ever had,” Brown said. “I want them to see a sharp and organized football team.”
Spring scrimmages highlight the good and the bad, so no one should be expecting perfection, but it will be a first impression in many ways with new coordinators Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz. And with Brown’s $5.1 million salary, fans are going to want to see some improvement.
Closing practice is not a bad idea; Brown should do whatever he needs to do to right the ship.
It just needs to translate into wins next season.