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September 5, 2013

Best of All Access (week leading up to NMSU)

The best of LHN's version of Hard Knocks, the behind-the-scenes "All-Access," easily some of the best programming on LHN (this episode looks back at the week leading up to the New Mexico State game).

It opens with Mack Brown listening to his iPod and talking about liking Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Usher and Lionel Ritchie.

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Mack talking to the team leading up to the New Mexico State game ...

"We're not going to let anyone dress who doesn't bust their ass all week and give us a good look in practice."

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Carrington Byndom: "It's time to make a statement."

David Ash: "You want to send a message in the first game about who you are as a team."

Adrian Phillips: "First impressions mean everything. And we're ready for it."

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Mack at his Monday press conference leading up to NMSU: "I want to see the defense we saw two years ago, not the defense we saw last year."

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Manny Diaz: "You see the team finishing your sentences. You're getting ready to say something, and a guy like Jordan Hicks says it first. All great teams are player-driven."

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Jordan Hicks: "The guys have seen the downs we've had - the 5-7 year, the Alamo Bowl and the Holiday Bowl. We want to do BCS. I don't think anyone here will be satisfied unless we do that."

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Interesting film session with the defensive coaches in which they study DE Reggie Wilson in a one-on-one with LT Donald Hawkins.

Wilson uses a long arm rush with his left arm, then swats away Hawkins left hand by crashing down on it with his right arm before using a rip move with his left arm to keep Hawkins from recovering.

The coaches praise him, and then you hear one of the coaches (I think it's Oscar Giles) say in the background of Wilson, "He's trying to play ball."

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Highlights of OU running all over Texas as the narration talks about last year's defense being the worst statistically in school history.

Manny Diaz says the experience of 20 returning players on defense should be a big key to improvement.

"When you're a young kid, you make the mistake of trying to memorize the answers that are going to be on the test," Diaz said. "We're teachers. But we don't give the test. Another team tests our students every week.

"And if you just try and memorize what we anticipate being on the test and something else shows up, you're not going to know the answer, because you don't understand the big picture. With guys who have a little more experience, you should be able to adjust and react more to the unknowns that happen, especially in a first game."

Jackson Jeffcoat: "We've learned the system. We know it well. Like the back of our hand. He's able to throw wrinkles in there, whenever he wants, because we know so much football."

Carrington Byndom: "Being in the third year, there's a lot of experience now in the schemes we're running. And that allows you to play fast. It's easier."

Jordan Hicks: "We're out to prove last year was a fluke. That wasn't who we are. It was very disappointing for a lot of people, including ourselves."

Adrian Phillips: "When you turn on the tape, I want you to be fearful. I want to see that if you come across the middle or you try to run the ball on this defense, we will hit you."

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The receivers and DBs are shown competing in one-on-one drills with players talking about how competitive those battles are.

Quandre Diggs says, "We always have a goal of keeping them under 50 percent (completion in one-on-ones)."

Then, Duane Akina is shown in a team meeting room with the DBs and says, "They completed 45 percent in the one-on-one drill. That's a great job. Forty-five percent. We can live that all day."

A screen on Akina's computer shows 63 of 139 were completed in one-on-ones - 45.32 %.

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Highlights of the RBs and LBs in one-on-one drills with "pads clacking" (Adrian Phillips) and "pads popping and trash talking" (Johnathan Gray).

OLB Jordan Hicks says the most competitive drill is 9-on-7 "inside drill" when the offense tries to run between the tackles against the front seven on defense.

O-line coach Stacy Searels yells, "Get your minds right."

DE Jackson Jeffcoat: "We know what's gonna be run. The offense knows we know, and everyone is just coming off 100 percent hard. It's just a test of will."

OG Trey Hopkins: "There's no play-action fake. There's no throws or anything like that. It's just running straight up the middle."

OLB Jordan Hicks: "They are coming right downhill at you. You better be ready to pack a punch when they come."

DT Chris Whaley: "Everyone is dialed up and ready to go for like four plays straight of just hard-nosed football."

When the All-Access producer asks Whaley who wins most of the 9-on-7 or inside drills, he smiles and says, "The defense."

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Mack Brown talks to the Texas marching band and says, "I was in the band. I played the trombone."

He talks about how "the group is bigger than the individual" and how his team has "more leadership" and "more guys buying in" and "more guys with an edge who are tired of winning nine."

"They're tired of losing any."

Mack tells a story about a player who told him, "Coach, this is give and take. I've got to listen to you, and you've got to listen to me."

And Mack says, "I'm really sorry, it's not. It's I give and you take."

Mack then praises Vince Young for coming back to school to get his degree, then going to Pro Day, being around Texas players all summer then going and competing for a job in the NFL.

"That's the kind of attitude we have to have every day. Get rid of your pride. Get rid of what you've done in the past. I used to sit around and talk about what we'd done in the past.

"No one cares about that. It's right now or tomorrow. Nobody cares about the past, because it's gone. We can't do anything about that.

"We can fix the future. We can't do anything about the past."

A band member then asks Mack if Texas is going to win (against New Mexico State).

"Yes, we are going to win Saturday. And if we don't win, I'll be dead," Mack said, smiling and drawing laughter. "So it won't make any difference. There won't be another Saturday. Let's put it that way."

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Mack Brown finishes talking to the Texas band members by saying, "I want us to be good again, so I'm so pumped.

"I don't know if it will be Saturday night (vs New Mexico State). I don't know how good we'll be Saturday night. But I can feel it. And I like it. And we're getting closer.

"I think we have a chance in every game this year to win. It doesn't mean we will. We gotta play and coach and keep our mouths shut and do it.

"But I can't wait to see that, because I've worked my tail off for three years to make sure we can get back to this point. And I want it to be good, and let's have some fun this Saturday night (vs New Mexico State). Hook 'em."

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Case McCoy intercepted by Adrian Phillips in a practice highlight.

Mack pleased enough with Wednesday's practice (last week) that he lets the team leave without any additional running or conditioning "because I thought they gave it to us today."

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Mack Brown introduces Texas president Bill Powers to players at practice last Thursday:

"We're lucky we have the best president in the country. You all have no clue how much he does to step up for students on this campus."

Bill Powers to the players: "Your campus is proud of what you do to represent us. When I see you come out at home in the burnt orange or on the road in the icy whites, I'm proud to be a Longhorn. So hook 'em and go have fun."

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Team dietician Amy Culp addresses the team after practice and says, "Make sure you're hydrating all throughout the day.

"Don't wait until tomorrow. Don't wait until Saturday. Your pee should be clear before you go to sleep every night."

That draws chuckles from some of the players.

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Mad Dog Madden announces the team captains at the end of last Thursday's practice: Mason Walters, Trey Hopkins, Jackson Jeffcoat and Chris Whaley.

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Mack Brown: "There hasn't been selfishness. We haven't had issues. People are showing up on time and working really hard. We haven't had many distractions."

"We've worked really, really hard the past two years to get things where all the phases are in pretty good shape. And they are right now. Now, we gotta go out and prove it."

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There's a close-up on RB coach Larry Porter, talking about his experience as RB coach at other stops such as LSU and Arizona State and how he was the head coach at Memphis.

In the RB meeting room, Porter breaks down film of Johnathan Gray blocking.

Major Applewhite talks about how he appreciates Porter's "big-picture" perspective as a former head coach and also how Porter "brings a level of toughness" to the position.

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Nice tribute to Freddie Steinmark and how the players touch the plaque with Steinmark's picture and story on it located in the tunnel to and from the field.

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When players arrived at DKR two hours before facing NMSU, they were greeted by members of the 1963 national championship team being honored that night at the game.

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Manny Diaz: "We have to establish a style of play - re-establish a style of play. The things that we rule non-negotiables - playing fast, playing physical and playing violently - we need to see that on tape."

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Mack is shown walking outside the east side of DKR, listening to his iPod. He says he likes "all different genres" and has 10,000 songs on it.

And he pronounces Beyonce as Be-yon-see

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Mack Brown wrapping up his post-game speech in the locker room after beating NMSU 56-7:

"All we want to do is be 2-0. The rest of it is really unimportant. Because we have a chance to win all the games. We just gotta get better."

That's a wrap for this week.


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