Tom Herman opened up the press conference offering condolences to the victims of yesterday’s shooting, “I do want to express our heartfelt condolences to those suffering because of the shooting to the south of us.” Says he is looking to see if there is some way they can help.
– As we reported QB Sam Ehlinger returned to practice today after suffering a concussion vs Oklahoma State, but is still non-contact. Tom Herman expects Ehlinger to be ready to go again this year, “Nothing long term.”
– OL Zach Shackelford and RB Toneil Carter both practiced Sunday (non-contact) and are expected to play this week.
– DB PJ Locke is questionable at best to return this week after suffering an ankle injury vs Baylor.
– BLB Jeffrey McCulloch suffered a high ankle sprain vs TCU and will be out for this week vs Kansas.
– LT Connor Williams is close to returning. Tom Herman said he was working out and is “hopeful for maybe this week… probable is probably too optimistic.” I’d expect to see him get back on the field vs West Virginia at the earliest.
As was expected after Saturday’s performance, most of the questions for Tom Herman revolved around the offense.
– Tom Herman says that with the absymal OL play, “The biggest thing we can do as a staff is mask the deficiencies as a staff as best we can.” A few ways he named that this could be accomplished are by getting the ball out of the QB’s hands as fast as possible, getting the ball out to the perimeter and away from the middle, and putting the linemen in a position where they are not forced into 1-on-1 situations. #CuneyIsland
– Herman singled out Patrick Vahe and Terrell Cuney as two guys who he has seen major improvement in. For Vahe, it is expected as, “…he’s the only one to start all 9 games.” For Terrell Cuney, Tom Herman praised Derek Warehime for his job in turning Cuney into, “…a serviceable player…” from where he was in the Spring.
– Herman does not expect the offensive line issues to be addressed over night or maybe even this year, “All of the issues aren’t going to be solved. They’re going to be solved through bowl practices, winter offseason, spring football… Derek Kerstetter is not going to add 30 lbs to his bench press and gain 20 lbs in the next 3 weeks.”
– Herman was asked about Tim Beck and whether or not Drew Mehringer would start to take over play calling duties. Herman said he knew the question was coming and already knew how to respond, “Naashon Hughes has seen 33 assistant coaches come through…I think continuity and consistency with your staff is really, really important in college football.” Tom Herman said that Mehringer will not be taking over play calling duties. He reiterated multiple times that the play calling process was collaborative where after a drive they would discuss what they liked and didn’t like. Ultimately, VETO power rests with Tom Herman.
– Consistency with this staff is huge for Tom Herman. When asked if he wants to stick with the same wants to stick with the same 9 guys his response was, “Oh my gosh, yes. 100 percent… That’s my job, as the head coach, to coach the assistants.”
– Tom Herman on starting Jerrod Heard, “Starting Jerrod is dependent on the health status of the other two QBs.”
– Tom Herman says he doesn’t know what Chris Warren’s role is going forward.
– Mitchell Becker was kicking field goals in the 2-min drill at practice.Josh Rowland still graded out better through 9-weeks. Herman doesn’t know who will be the starting kicker and it appears it’s an open race.
When it came to the defense, the questions once again had the offense in mind.
– Tom Herman on if defense is pressing to make plays due to anemic offense: “If anything it’s an early game issue not a we need to make plays for offense issue.” Says he has talked it over with Todd Orlando and is trying to figure out what is the cause of the rough starts.
Herman’s year in review
– Herman did not expect the struggles they have had so far this year on offense, but the losses of Connor Williams, Elijah Rodriguez, and Andrew Beck hurt. Expected it to be a tough slog through the Big XII as he pointed out that 7 of the 9 teams they would face have veteran QBs and a veteran or two on OL.
– When asked whether or not this year is a success Herman responded, “I think anything better than previous years has to be considered somewhat of a success. It’s called improvement.”
I’d also like to take this stage to relay the message that it’s okay to realize that the situation Tim Beck and Derek Warehime have been handed is dang-near impossible, but still not be a huge fan. From my re-watches, I’ve seen some smart game plans the past two weeks given the resources. I think Tom Herman realizes this as well. TCU, Gary Patterson, and their top-5 defensive line deserve a lot of credit for punching holes in the weak point of the Texas offense. There is not much you can do as an offense when the defense rushes two and get pressure.
Here is the full press conference