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Brown: 'I didn't ask' for Longhorn Network

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Brown: 'I didn't ask' for Longhorn Network

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas coach Mack Brown once welcomed the Longhorn Network. Now he sounds as though it's become a headache and a window for opposing coaches to get an unfair peek into his program.

``I didn't ask for it,'' Brown said Monday, noting he's worried that the six hours a week he spends taping three television shows and the network's access to the first 30 minutes of daily practice may tip opposing coaches to player injuries, tendencies and schemes.

Brown said he and Baylor coach Art Briles discussed it before Texas (5-2) beat Baylor 56-50 on Saturday.

``It's in Waco. Baylor sees every practice,'' Brown said. ``We're a little overexposed.''

Brown talked about the Longhorn Network for several minutes before a media relations assistant stepped in to limit questions: Brown had to get to a network show taping.

``I'm a soldier,'' Brown said. ``They tell me to go work with the Longhorn Network, I'll go do it.''

It's not the first time Brown has expressed frustration about living with the cameras and crews that come with the school's 20-year, $300 million partnership with ESPN. But his comments at his weekly news conference were the harshest yet.

Texas and ESPN unveiled the contract for the Longhorn Network in January 2011, promising fans unparalleled reporting with behind-the-scenes coverage of one of the wealthiest and most prominent athletic programs in the country.

The move created a flashpoint of controversy within the Big 12 and was one of the reasons the league nearly split apart. Rivals Texas A&M and Missouri saw the network as creating an unfair recruiting advantage and financial boost that couldn't be matched.

Texas A&M and Missouri ultimately left the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference and the split with the Aggies ended one of the longest rivalries in college football.

The network has since struggled to find broad distribution from most major cable and satellite providers. In August, AT&T Inc. agreed to carry the network on its U-verse TV service.

Brown says he knows opposing coaches watch it for any details they can get on the Longhorns. Texas school officials negotiated the network contract and the network's access to his program without asking his advice.

``We were given a deal that we had no input in,'' Brown said.

Brown tapes three shows a week. Practice footage usually includes stretching and some position drills.

The programming tries to avoid unveiling schemes or game plans but opponents can still pick up valuable tidbits, Brown said. A member of the media relations staff watches every day to monitor what may be revealed.

``It's a true advantage (for opponents). They can watch our attitude, they can watch our coaches,'' Brown said.

Brown said he wants to meet with school president Bill Powers, athletic director DeLoss Dodds and network officials after the season to work out changes that he did not detail.

``There has to be some give and take,'' Brown said. ``It is what it is. It's part of my job because DeLoss and Bill Powers have told me it is.''

Dodds said school officials talk with the network every week.

``If there are issues we feel are necessary to talk about we will. It's a great thing for Texas. We are pioneers in this. Mack's issues will absolutely be addressed by me and Mack and the Longhorn Network,'' Dodds said.

ESPN released a statement saying the network was created to serve the school's passionate fan base.

``A network of this kind has never been done at this level and it continues to evolve,'' ESPN said.

Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin seemed unfazed by the network's presence.

``They don't have any effect on what we do or how we prepare,'' Harsin said.

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10 changes that would make the NHL better

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USA TODAY Sports

10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.

SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.

 SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

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Need to Know: Redskins training camp preview—Defense

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins training camp preview—Defense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, July 23, three days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Training camp preview—defense 

Here are some of the big topics surrounding the defense at Redskins training camp along with some of the things I’ll be observing closely when training camp gets underway on Thursday. I looked at the topics on offense yesterday

Lining up the line

Will Phil Taylor, who seems to be a long shot to make the team after they drafted two nose tackles, get some run with the first and second teams? Also, this is a young group and Jim Tomsula will have a lot of opportunities to teach. Watching him interacting with his line and going over the details of line play is fun to watch.

Spaight vs. Vigil

The two starting inside linebacker starters are safe and the team is intrigued enough by the potential of both Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaun Dion Hamilton to make them likely bets to make the 53-man roster. That leaves Zach Vigil and Martrell Spaight competing for the last ILB roster spot. 

Spaight is a known quantity who has been a mainstay on special teams since he was drafted in the fifth round in 2015. They kept him over Vigil in the cut to 53 a year ago. But last year when injuries hit, Vigil started over Spaight. In a way, this is Round 3 between the two. 

Ryan Anderson

We know what outside linebacker starters Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith can do. Pernell McPhee will be good for four or five sacks and perhaps a forced fumble or two. Anderson, who was team’s second-round pick last year, is a big question mark. He played 193 snaps in 14 games, but he barely dented the stat sheet with no sacks and just 11 tackles. Anderson is a hard worker and they need his 

The pieces of the cornerback puzzle

This is discussed in some detail hereby JP Finlay and I’ll look at it later this week. To pick out one detail, I want to see what the rotation in the slot is. Right now the guess is that Orlando Scandrick is the starter but who will be behind him? That’s important because Scandrick has missed 25 games in the last three seasons due to injuries. 

Apke’s progress

Fourth-round safety Troy Apke displayed impressive makeup speed during offseason practices and that let him make some plays on the ball. But he needed that speed too often as he had issues in coverage. You need to be more than just fast to play in the NFL. If Apke is going to be an alternative if injury problems strike Montae Nicholson again he needs to start making some progress while he is in Richmond. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 3
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 17
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 40

The Redskins last played a game 204 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 48 days. 

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