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SMQ Sits Down With: Colt McCoy

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No one could fill the Herculean void left in Texas' offense by the departure of Vince Young, but the boyish-looking Colt McCoy gave a surprising effort in 2006, leading UT to a second straight win over Oklahoma and a come-from-behind takedown at Nebraska, earning freshman all-America honors and creating darkhorse Heisman hype for his sophomore season.

Still, there is an edge to the voluntary workouts McCoy helped organize this summer after a disappointing three-loss season that ended in the Alamo Bowl rather than the BCS. McCoy recently sat down with SMQ over miso sea bass, yuchoy and asparagus-mushroom risotto in a sauteed wonton wrap to discuss expectations, motivation and progress this offseason.
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SMQ: Since he can't communicate with players or recruits, sounds like Mack Brown is planning to spend almost the entire month of July on vacation back in North Carolina. Will the mice play a little while the cat's away?

Colt McCoy: Not at all. We don't look at it that way. First, other coaches are still around, even if there are restrictions on contact. But we shouldn't need the coaches looking over our shoulder to accomplish what we need to in the weight room during the offseason. We know how to work. We know what it takes to be champions. It just takes some of us guys who have been around here a little while to be leaders and step up and make sure what needs to get done gets done.

SMQ: How has participation been this summer?

CMcC: Awesome. Unbelievable. Some guys, you wonder, especially some of the freshmen, when they hear "voluntary," and they think, well, "I'm going to hang out with my girlfriend, do some mushrooms on the couch" or whatever, you know, but this year even the guys coming in are all enrolled in classes and they've shown up for the scrimmages. We tell them, in the long run, they'll be held accountable.

SMQ: By their teammates.

CMcC: What? No, man. I mean, ah, yes. By their teammates. By us. By those with whom other players are allowed to speak during this "dead period." Not by anyone else. Because who else would -

SMQ: What is that?

CMcC: What?

SMQ: That towering, sixteen-story monument right over there. Straddling the water tower.

CMcC: Oh, yeah, that's Coach Madden. As, you know, [Demonstrates air quotes], a "motivational tool."  That goes up every summer. It's the final project for the art graduates, I think. Pretty realistic, huh? Those guys do a really amazing job.

Motivation is bigger in Texas.
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SMQ: I would say so, yes. Frighteningly so.

CMcC: Well, that's the point, I guess. It's psychological. Coaches can't watch over us to make sure we're doing what we need to do to perform at the championship level commanded here, but the rules don't say anything about a 1,600-foot replica of the scariest coach alive hovering over practice with freshman film majors documenting every session through its huge Plexiglas representations of eyeballs.

I mean, as volunteers, of course. Because the athletic department has nothing to do with it. Those kids don't get credit or anything. They're not paid or, say, threatened with severe bodily harm. They use their own equipment. It's just a coincidence that it goes up, and it happens to bear an incredible resemblance to our bone-crushing strength coach, and it happens to overlook our practice facility, and they happen to be in there at certain specified times with cameras and flood lights to practice surprisingly intricate sessions of morse code, and that those times happen to correspond with our completely self-started 11-on-11 drills, and that random selection for August "bonus sessions" has heavily correlated in the past with participation in those scrimmages. And in some cases performance. Most cases, actually.

SMQ: That's quite a series of coincidences.

CMcC: Well, throw thousands of kids together and who knows what's going to happen. [Laughs] Frankly, it was always better with animatronics, but there's all the stadium construction, his burly mechanized arm would destroy all the cranes and the mega jumbotron. Hundreds would be killed by falling debris.

SMQ: But shouldn't they be willing to give their lives for something they believe in?

CMcC: Hell, you're preaching to the freakin' choir.

SMQ: Can you describe a "bonus session"?

CMcC: Again, legally, no. I can't divulge that information. I will say that we all dearly miss Myron Hardy and hope his family is receiving the compensation we agreed upon. [Leans in close, confidentially.] Are you familiar with the celebration of Festivus?

SMQ: I would say so, yes. Frighteningly so.

CMcC: Think of Coach Madden as the, uh, "head of household," if you feel me.

SMQ: Yikes.

CMcC: Although, I do have to give the NCAA credit for creating some degree of freedom. It is a little bit looser without the coaches. There is definitely a little more camaraderie. You can't sit on the couch and get stoned, obviously, but on occasion, for example, we'll do an afternoon session on mushrooms. It makes for a slightly mellower environment, most of the time. But oh my god, dude, you should check out that Madden statue when you're stoned! There's nothing mellow about that. Limas Sweed was tripping balls yesterday, and he was in the huddle freaking out, like, "Oh shit. Oh shit. Coach is going to fall on us! He can see us!...But we can't see him!"

Limas Sweed’s video workout diary for
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Er, that is, he was dropping balls. I think he tripped on a ball, after he dropped it, is what I meant to say. That's why we have to keep going out and every day and working hard to make ourselves better.

SMQ: It sounds like you have a good time.

CMcC: Aw, man, the summer rocks, dude. Just don't tell anybody.

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Colt McCoy is a sophomore quarterback for the Texas Longhorns.