until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, September 26


Answer: There IS no coach...

Here's what I can tell you about UT special teams coaching (at least it was the case from 1998-2002, when I covered the team):

Mack doesn't have a special teams coach in title, because all coaches work with the special teams. For example, one assistant coach is in charge of the punt team, one is in charge of the punt return, another the kickoff, another kickoff return, and one the field goal/extra point team.

What Texas has now is a “special teams coordinator” – defensive tackles coach Mike Tolleson. My understanding of his role is to make sure the other coaches are doing their jobs with their area of special teams.

My problem with this is, for example, that a linebacker's coach shouldn't be in charge of kickoff returns, and Greg Davis shouldn’t have to worry about helping with this stuff when he should be drawing up new plays. Most problematic, obviously, is the dilemma of who is coaching the kickers themselves.

I see no reason whatsoever (other that to satisfy Mack's ego, because a change at this point would be admitting what he's done for years is wrong) to finding the money in UT’s ginormous athletic budget to hire two full-time special teams coaches, one for kickers and one for the other special teams units.

The role of the kicker’s coach would be obvious. He’d scout for top high school kickers/punters and work with them on their technique. The special teams coach would work with backups and other players who have the skills necessary to succeed on special teams (like Beau Trahan, Michael Ungar, etc.).

If I were coach (ha ha), I’d hire a guy who created an attitude for special teams. Let them wear shirts that say “Special Forces.” Make it a privilege to be on special teams. Give him complete control over those units and give him whoever he asks for. (Within reason of course. Vince Young shouldn’t be returning kicks, but Ramonce Taylor sure as hell should be.)

Then you’d see Texas winning games because of special teams, like VaTech does, not in spite of them, like Texas does now.

Well that's about the dumbest thing I've heard in a long while. And totally debunks the crazed 12th Men petri kids theory. No excuses, Mack.
You can't just hire two special teams coaches. There is a limited number of coaches you can have on a staff (I'm not sure on the number, I think it's like 13). If you have a special teams coach that only coaches special teams, you have to lose another position coach. Now, I'm not necessarily saying having a special teams coach is a bad idea, but you have to give up something else if you want one. I know Texas used to have a defensive tackles coach and a defensive ends coach, instead of just a defensive line coach, so it's certainly plausible to drop one of those if that's still the case. But the point is, your idea is flawed, because Texas' athletic budget has nothing to do with the number of coaches' the team has.
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