Almost one week since the start of fall camp, the Longhorns finally headed indoors for Thursday’s practice at Frank Denius Fields.
While the practice was closed to media members, here’s what we learned after day six of preseason camp:
Earning the right to air conditioning
As practice concluded, defensive lineman Chris Nelson explained that the reason the team practiced inside the bubble for the first time this preseason was because head coach Tom Herman felt like they deserved it.
“We earned it,” Nelson said. “We earned the right to be inside. We‘ve been practicing hard, going hard. … Everybody’s been excited. Everyone's been lifting each other up, lifting players when they seem tired. Coach said we earned the right to be inside today, so we’ll take it.”
Nelson talks team chemistry at camp
The increased level of chemistry between the players and Herman’s coaching staff this offseason has been noticed by nearly everyone around the team. Through six practices, it’s clear that the Longhorns are all on the same page.
“Everyone knows the system,” Nelson said. “Coming back this second year, things are a lot easier. The game slows down. Plays are being made more.”
As one of the team leaders on the defensive side of the ball, Nelson said the team is showing a level of kindness not seen before throughout his previous three years at Texas.
“Everybody is very compassionate,” Nelson said. “We’re brothers at the end of the day, but we’re scrapping out there on the football field. I haven’t seen it like that (before).”
Learning from the best
The Longhorns offensive line will see at least 12 different defensive matchups throughout the season, but senior offensive lineman Patrick Vahe said the most challenging one they’ll face is the one led by their own teammates.
“In my opinion, our defense is going to be the best defense that we ever have to go against, only because we have to go against them every single day,” Vahe said. “So, we’re expecting to know what they're going to do. The defense goes against us, it’s the same way back toward us.”
Vahe continued, “Being able to move the ball, it helps out with the offense and the defense, it just shows what we’ve got to work on to help each other and just building on that, so that if we see it in the season, it won’t be nothing new. It will just slow down for us.”
The Longhorns have Friday off but return to practice Saturday morning, three weeks before the season opener at Maryland.