Shawn Watson: 'That's not the way our staff is made'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday November 28, 2014

After perhaps Tyrone Swoopes’ worst performance as Texas’ starting quarterback, assistant head coach for offense / quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson made sure to stand up for his player and deflect some of the criticism.

The true sophomore Swoopes was pushed into the starting role early in the season after David Ash retired due to concussions. On Thursday, Swoopes went 20-for-34 with one touchdown and four interceptions in a 48-10 home loss to TCU.

Throughout the season, Watson has made a point to stay positive when discussing Swoopes and his progress, knowing it has been a difficult situation for all involved with a new staff and the injuries. After Thursday’s game, Watson was asked if Swoopes’ performance against TCU shook his faith in the quarterback.

“Not at all. Not at all,” Watson said. “That's not the way our staff is made. That's not the way Charlie (Strong)'s made, the way I'm made. We're not made that way. That's not what we're in the business for. We're in the business to grow young people and make them better. He will get better from every experience he goes through. 

“You guys have heard me talk several times. I think every time he goes out there, because where he's coming from is a new experience, and tonight he faced a really good defense. He'll have to grow from this experience and understand what it takes to compete and play and prepare for guys like this. I think valuable lesson learned. I would hope he would take from this that how razor sharp you've got to be to play against a defense like that.”

Watson did say Texas has looked at potentially bringing in a junior college quarterback, but that it’s an option that’s always open. With Ash’s retirement, Texas doesn’t have a viable backup to Swoopes at this point, and he hasn’t been as pushed in competition as much as Watson would like.

Watson says he still has tremendous confidence in Swoopes, and that it comes down to the coaching to make him better.

If you've ever coached, you'll understand that a coach's job is to put everything he has, pour himself into the player, and you'll develop the player,” Watson said. “That's what my job is, and that's what I'll continue to do. So as long as the player's giving back — and that kid gives back, he's an unbelievable human being, he gives back — I will never give up on him and neither will anybody in our program. He'll have to earn his time on the field at the same time.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to