Steve Sarkisian has a lot of work to do if he wants to close the gap between Texas and arch-rival Oklahoma. But one major difference between how he and his predecessor Tom Herman manage the team is quickly making itself apparent.
According to Steven Wagner of the Dallas Morning News, Sarkisian is already differentiating himself from Herman by how he conducts practice. Per the report, Sarkisian is having starters compete against other starters in around 90-percent of practices.
Wagner pointed out that, by contrast, Herman preferred pitting starters against the second string team in practice. Time will tell which method proves more effective, but it feels like a noteworthy change.
Texas went 7-3 in 2020 and will have a new starting quarterback in 2021 now that Sam Ehlinger is gone. It stands to reason that Sarkisian wants as much competition as possible to make sure he has the right person for the job.
Sarkisian is heading into his first head coaching gig since his controversial tenure at USC ended in 2015. He has spent the last five seasons working for the Atlanta Falcons and Alabama Crimson Tide.
Sarkisian says almost 90% of Texas’ practices are starters competing against starters, a stark contrast in practice philosophy from Tom Herman. Herman often favored playing starters against the second string in practice.
— Stephen Wagner (@stephenwag22) April 10, 2021
But Steve Sarkisian’s long absence from the head coaching ranks didn’t stop Texas from ending the Tom Herman era and making him the new face of their football program. The Longhorns gave Sarkisian a six-year, $34.2 million guaranteed contract.
Clearly the Longhorns have a ton of faith in the former USC and Washington head coach. He is 46-35 overall with a 2-2 bowl record.
Will Steve Sarkisian find success in Year One at Texas?