Quick hitters from Steve Sarkisian's Tuesday press conference

On3 imageby:Joe Cook04/02/24

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Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian was available for just over 10 minutes on Tuesday following the Longhorns’ return to the practice field after a brief Easter break. Here are a few notable updates from his time with the media.

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***Texas returned to a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday format this week after it was Monday-Wednesday-Friday last week to give players a chance for a break over Easter weekend. Sarkisian said they had a “little bit of a walkthrough” and meetings on Monday.

“Then, we really got after it in today’s practice,” Sarkisian said. “When you get three days off, that’s when we feel like we can start pushing ourselves, extending more reps for a longer period of time.”

***Sarkisian said they incorporated more parts of the “game of football.” Third down and red zone situationals have been installed. They introduced two-minute offense and defense today.

“Now we’re starting to learn the facets of the game, and not just instillation,” Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian said they will have a lighter day on Thursday before ramping it up for a “practice/scrimmage” on Saturday in front of a number of top recruits.

***Kenny Baker was the topic of a question to Sarkisian, and the Texas head coach said he believes his players have responded really well to Baker. Sarkisian praised Baker’s ability to teach technical ability for players across the defensive line and up and down the depth chart.

“We’ve got to coach them all,” Sarkisian said. “We’re trying to develop all of our players and I think Kenny is really bought into that. I think all the guys in that room understand that and are working to get better.”

***True freshmen were the topic of one of the questions tossed Sarkisian’s way. While he was complimentary of the entire group, the one name Sarkisian put into the public sphere was Ryan Wingo.

“I feel like the last week, he’s really starting to make some plays and you’re starting to see the size, speed, and athleticism,” Sarkisian said.

***An area Texas needs to make progress in?

“Naturally, one area I know we really want to really improve upon this season is creating those turnovers,” Sarkisian said. “That’s always the challenge there. When I tell you that the run game is getting better on offense, I think we need to shore some things up run defense wise. If the run game is starting to come to life offensively, then where are the issues defensively? Why is that occurring?”

***Tre Wisner was the subject of a question, one that asked whether he could fill in a role similar to that of Keilan Robinson in 2023? “I think that’s fair,” Sarkisian said.

***For Sarkisian, receivers have to earn trust in order for the idea of expanding the WR rotation to be realistic.

“There’s a trust factor that they know what to do, they know how to do it, and they know why we’re doing it,” Sarkisian said. “I think there’s rapport with the quarterback and looking at efficiency when balls are thrown in your direction. Are they completed and why not? Which quarterback? Things of that nature.”

***Quinn Ewers spoke recently about how he’s been rushing his “entire life,” and that this third season in Austin gives him a chance to enjoy being in the moment. Sarkisian said that has a lot of benefits for him as well.

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“The fun part for me is I get to keep coaching him hard, and I get to keep coaching him hard on stuff that maybe I wasn’t as hard on him with in the past,” Sarkisian said. “But that’s how you keep pushing the guy to be the best that he can be. He’s taken the coaching, and he’s playing at a really high level for us right now.”

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