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How much of a leash will Tyrone Swoopes have for the Horns on Saturday?
Will the Tyrone Swoopes era quickly transition to the Jerrod Heard era?
If there's one truth about football fans, it's that they love the newest, shiniest thing.
After Texas Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes showed well on one series during the 2013 Orange-White game, he was the new, shiny thing, even though the recruiting cycle didn't end with overly favorable impressions of his immediate upside.
After Jerrod Heard drew buzz during the spring, he's become the newest, shiniest thing at the position, the position where fans and even media are most drawn to the new and shiny.
To the extent that that Austin-American Statesman columnist Cedric Golden said on Sunday that Heard would be his starter ($), even though Heard hasn't thrown a single pass for Texas and even the media hasn't seen him throw much in the multi-colored Horns practice uniforms.
To the extent that even respected Texas/national X's and O's analyst Ian Boyd is saying that he thinks Heard should and will get the call at some point.
Texas head coach Charlie Strong, for one, will be a little bit more patient, but the question of how long the leash will be for Swoopes is a legitimate one.
"Well, he may struggle early, but we have to have confidence," Strong said on Sunday. "You can't just all of a sudden go in and just pull him because of some bad plays but he's going to have enough around him."
Of course, as the last part of Strong's statement makes clear, the leash for Swoopes might be longer because the coaches may not ask that much of him against BYU.
"We don't have to put it [all] on his shoulder," said Strong. "Like I said, you have two good running backs back there and you can turn around and hand them the ball and let them run for a while.Then when you do ask them to do something, it's not like he's just going to walk in and just say the game plan is on his shoulder, now could go execute it.Yeah, he has to execute it, but as a coaching staff, too, we have to know what he can do, also and what he can do at his best."
As for what Swoopes can do best, Strong said that the coaching staff is still working on the tweaks to the offense that will be necessarily to feature the skills of the big, strong-armed sophomore.
"I don't know how much we are going to tweak it. Our offensive coaches are studying that right now and we were able to get a start on it yesterday. Tyrone can handle it. I'm not concerned about that and the team will rally around him and like I said, we'll be able to get to the problem and we'll get it fixed and move on."
Strong has made a point throughout his short tenure at Texas and especially during the fall that confidence is something that he's trying to instill in every player as he and the staff work to build up each and every player on the roster after breaking them down during the first four phases of the year.
So for a coach who has been considered remarkably candid throughout his roughly nine months on the job, this is probably an area where Strong isn't being entirely honest with the media, and for good reason.
But know this -- as ready as some are to move on from Swoopes before he's had a chance to prove his worth, Strong and his staff won't be as reactionary.
Charlie Strong's Monday morning press conference
Here is Charlie Strong's first post-victory press conference as a Longhorn.