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Charlie Strong’s goal? ‘Put the ‘T’ back into Texas’

Charlie Strong AP

One of the biggest challenges Charlie Strong will be facing — outside of “external” forces and politics — as he takes over at Texas will be taking what’s been a middle-of-the-road (at best) football program over the past three years and getting it back to a position of national prominence.

As part of that overall challenge, Strong and his new UT coaching staff must find a way to stiffen what’s been a soft defense against the run the past two years.  In 2012, the Longhorns finished 88th in the country (192.2 yards per game) in stopping the run; in 2013, that improved slightly to 85th (183.1 ypg), although that improvement was preceded by an embarrassing 19-point loss to BYU in early September in which the Cougars rolled up 550 yards on the ground.

There’s certainly talent on that side of the ball to improve, with Mack Brown still able to pull in Top-10 recruiting classes even as the rankings failed of late to translate to on-field success.  Talent, though, is not one of the T’s Strong will be stressing as he gets set to embark on his first spring in Austin.

“You have to coach it, you have to recruit it and you have to be about it,” Strong said of instilling toughness in his Longhorns while doing a radio interview late last week. “I have a slogan, there’s a t-shirt. It says, ‘Put the ‘T’ back into Texas.’ No. 1 is toughness. No. 2 is trust, togetherness, teamwork. Those things have to be done.”

Perhaps more interesting — and eyebrow raising — were Strong’s comments regarding the externals mentioned previously.

During the interview, Strong was asked what surprised him most about taking the Texas job. The coach’s answer was, well, intriguing.

“Everybody has advice for you. Everybody has an opinion,” Strong said. “More than anything I think that everybody wants to meet you, and then when they do have an opportunity they don’t know when to say, ‘OK, I have to go. It’s time for me to move on.'”

Get used to it, Coach Strong.  In Texas, the state’s flagship football program is everybody’s business 24/7/365.

(Tip O’ the Cap: Dallas Morning News)

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14 Responses to “Charlie Strong’s goal? ‘Put the ‘T’ back into Texas’”
  1. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 17, 2014 10:35 AM

    Sounds to me like he’s resorting to gadgets…

  2. narfmoo12 says: Feb 17, 2014 10:52 AM

    I assume a reporter then responded with “What does that even mean?” to which Strong responded with “Never question Bruce Dickinson!”

  3. monsterright says: Feb 17, 2014 11:46 AM

    It’s important that he put the t-bag into TX

  4. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 17, 2014 12:21 PM

    T is for Transfer

  5. ancientcougar says: Feb 17, 2014 12:22 PM

    I got a lot of thumb’s down when I said earlier that Strong would probably get his debutants to get down and dirty and learn how to do nasty things like blocking and tackling. It looks like I was on the right track with Mr. Strong.

  6. chinahand11 says: Feb 17, 2014 12:36 PM

    The five-star egos will be flying out of summer camp. Good on you, Charlie!

  7. thefiesty1 says: Feb 17, 2014 1:51 PM

    He’s got the horses if only he can install an attack style rather than a read and react (too late) defense it will go a long way in turning this think around.

  8. Professor Fate says: Feb 17, 2014 2:18 PM

    “In Texas, the state’s flagship football program is everybody’s business 24/7/365.”

    As a Texan who lives south of Austin I disagree with this statement. A very large number of the college football fans in this state have no allegiance whatsoever to UT. Some of us couldn’t care less what happens there and the past couple of years have made that easy to do.

  9. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 17, 2014 2:31 PM

    @professor fate

    That “flagship football program” was a bit of a jab by JT at some previous comments by Strong where he said that Texas was the flagship program in Texas…

  10. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 17, 2014 2:50 PM

    Charlie needs a nickname.

    How about Professor Gadget?

  11. mb34 says: Feb 17, 2014 4:42 PM

    No no,, goodfieldnohit, that one is reserved for Sumlin.

  12. goodfieldnohit says: Feb 17, 2014 10:06 PM

    Wearing T shirts with slogans on them, and faith bracelets sure sound like gadgets to me. Crappy ones, but gadgets nonetheless.

  13. rabbi187 says: Feb 18, 2014 12:07 AM

    “Swagcopter.” Yeah you lose. Aggies talking about gadgets. Give me a break.

  14. nolliabed says: Feb 18, 2014 8:17 AM

    The only reason he was able to do what he did at Louisville, was because he took advantage of Miami’s troubles and lack of scholarships. He went into Miami and grabbed a ton of talent and then used that talent in a VERY week conference. You would have seen him loose more and more games where he was at soon as that group of Miami players left the program. And still with all that talent, he still could not go undefeated in a week a$$ conference. At least 25 of his starters were from the Miami area. Nuff said.

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