Late last week it was revealed that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would be a guest keynote speaker at the Longhorn’s coaching clinic this weekend. Pretty cool, right? Well, thanks to Reddit user CowboyColin, we have a glimpse of what it was like to be there. CowboyColin, admittedly a Texas Tech fan, posted his account on Reddit but has given us permission to share his notes here.
About a week ago, I just happened upon the UT athletics website and saw an ad for this clinic. I got to meet Texas coaches and Bill Belichick was giving a keynote address. A lot of things to go over so I will try. I realize I’m a Tech fan/alum, I don’t believe any of the things I mention will give away anything that UT coaches wouldn’t tell you themselves in an interview or something. So, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything.
- The Cost – This clinic was only $50. Now, don’t get any ideas, they confirm your school and whatnot so they don’t allow just anyone into the clinic. Still, 50 bucks to really be able to see one of the most profitable athletic departments and football programs, and see the greatest NFL coach… it’s really something special. The athletic department gets some praise on this.
- The Atmosphere – I felt welcomed by every member of staff and coach that I came across, even Coach Herman himself. That was a big theme of the weekend, that Texas high school football was dear to their hearts. There were 800 something coaches and I didn’t hear one complaint.
- What They Said – I realize that’s part of the last point I made, but they all talked about this opportunity being their dream come true. Herman mentioned he’s moved 6 times in the last 11 years and he plans on his kids graduating high school from here. They talked about what players they want, expectations of players, and expectations of themselves. This wasn’t arrogance, but confidence. From an outsiders perspective it was moving how much they cared about UT.
Before I make my next points, please note I’m not an expert on UT football. I usually focus on Texas Tech on Saturdays during fall. Here are some observations.
- Defense – I honestly can’t tell you how defense was during last season. But it is a crime that Todd Orlando isn’t a head coach by now (it’s possible he’s turned it down). He was very excited about the drills he works with his players and went over a bunch of them for us coaches. If you’re a UT fan weary of how UT will do next year, I’d expect your defense to keep you in games. The secondary looked really good in practice, especially. They swatted balls, made interceptions, disrupted plays.
- Offense – I’m not sure the offense will take a big step forward next year. Buechele looked okay in practice, and may have gained a little muscle too. Most of the drills I saw of QBs focused on footwork. The backups looked comparable to Buechele when they were taking snaps, so I’m not sure there was a lot of daylight between 1st and 2nd string. Just an observation.
- Mack Stops By – Coach Brown stopped by. He has always came off a little… weird to me, like a fake good ole boy type. Well, after hearing him speak and come watch practice, I’ve changed my opinion on him. He’s a great symbol for the school to keep around. When Herman introduced him, he said there’d be a statue of him one day. Brown got on the mic and said “Darrell Royal once told me statues were only good for birds to shit on.” Great stuff here.
- The GOAT – Belichick shows up in a suit. He even suggested “I bet you guys all thought I’d be in a gray sweatshirt.” But he talked about the team, how they all know each other and are truly brothers. He talked about the fundamentals of the game being what he focuses on the most. He also had a great story, that I’ll type out in BB’s own words.
“I was the Special Teams coach for the Giants a while back. We were playing the Steelers in a preseason game, so we had a lot of 3rd strong guys in. We’re down by one point in field goal range with 3 seconds left. Our kicker comes out and the other team calls a timeout to ice him. The kicker comes over to me. Parcells looks at me like ‘What is there to talk about?’ The kicker says, ‘I’ve never kicked through these uprights before. Coach Parcells has me kick to the other ones.’ I say to him, ‘The ones you’ve been kicking through are more narrow than these ones. You’ve got this.'”
I can’t do it justice, so read it in a monotone voice with “uh” as every few words.
- Meeting Herman – I shook his hand, got a dude to take our picture, and threw up the hook em sign. I immediately chopped off my own hand. In all seriousness, part of me wanted to throw up a guns up sign, but I just didn’t want to be disrespectful to the man. You don’t toss dinner in the trash can after a persons cooked it for you, so, when in Rome.
- The Food – They really could’ve mailed this in, but they didn’t. They had fried fish for lunch, and it was probably some of the best fish I’ve ever had. Dinner was no joke either. Kind of a stew with beans, brisket, and sausage.