Orlando talks overcoming depth issues at linebacker

Ross Burkhart

With only a few days left until Longhorn football returns, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and offensive coordinator Tim Beck talked about the challenge ahead of them this weekend in the season opener at Maryland.


Here’s what the two coaches had to say:


McCulloch a game-time decision in depleted linebacking corps


Texas has already faced a number of issues at the linebacker position this fall. 


Freshmen Ayodele Adeoye and DeMarvion Overshown have already been ruled out for week one with knee injuries and senior Anthony Wheeler has been suspended for the first half of Saturday’s game after getting ejected for targeting during last season’s Texas Bowl.


Meanwhile, junior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch is likely to be a game-time decision, according to Orlando.


“We’re going to mix and match,” Orlando said at a news conference Wednesday. “We’re still trying to figure out with Jeff whether or not he’s going to be available. We’re going to let A.P. (training staff) do his gig and then try to get the kid right and then it’s probably going to be real close to game time whether we know if he’s back or not.”


If McCulloch isn’t ready to go on Saturday, the Longhorns may have to resort to moving some players over from their natural positions to compensate for the losses. However, Orlando said that McCulloch’s lack of practice leading up to game day won’t likely affect his ability.


“That’s probably the biggest thing that you see when you put a guy back into the mix is that he can’t get his legs underneath him,” Orlando said. “I don’t mind the football part of it. He’s played enough ball around here to figure things out, so I’m not worried about that.”


Beck addresses playcalling criticism


On Monday, head coach Tom Herman fielded questions about which coach would primarily be handling the playcalling duties this season. 


After Herman said that everybody on his staff would be involved in the playcalling, Beck was asked Wednesday about what his role would be following much criticism last fall.


“You know, to each their own,” Beck said. “I try not to get caught up in those things. I’ve got a job to do and my job is to try to put forth the best plan for these kids to have them go out and win. It is a collaboration. We all sit in there.”


Beck further agreed with Herman that there is a variety of minds that help out in planning the playcalling decisions.


“It’s never like I’m just inventing things through the course of the game or coach Herman or (pass game coordinator Drew Mehringer) or whoever it is saying, ‘Hey, let’s call something out of the air and go let’s call this,’” Beck said. “We don’t do that. It’s very strategically thought out.”