Strong says both Wickline, Watson will call Texas' plays

Charlie Strong believes Joe Wickline and Shawn Watson will work well together. (USATSI)
Charlie Strong believes Joe Wickline and Shawn Watson will work well together. (USATSI)
In mid-January, Charlie Strong said that new offensive coordinator Joe Wickline would call plays at Texas . Earlier this month, Strong told CBSSports.com that assistant head coach-slash-quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson would be "in charge" of play-calling. Which left the actual play-calling duties to ... who, exactly?

Strong clarified things Tuesday, telling ESPN that both Wickline and Watson will call plays at various (unscripted) times during a game -- and that he's not bothered by the unconventional set-up.

"When you talk about play-calling duties, they're mature enough. They've been around it enough. Neither one has an ego," Strong said. "Wickline ... is going to make some calls. Shawn is going to make some calls. When we go down the stretch and we have to have a call made, I think Shawn, because he's been doing it for a long time and I'm comfortable with him."

Strong said the "one final voice" in the offense would belong to Watson, the "assistant head coach in charge of offense," while emphasizing that the title of "offensive coordinator" belonged to Wickline.

Got that? It doesn't sound like the neatest, simplest plan in the world, but Strong is correct when he says that both Wickline and Watson are shrewd veteran coaches who in theory should be able to work together to make their two coordinating, play-calling heads better than one.

But that's in theory. In practice -- particularly in the white-hot heat of a tied fourth quarter of a game played by college-age athletes -- simplicity can be the greater virtue. Strong did mention that under Urban Meyer at Florida, he and Greg Mattison forged a successful coordinating partnership overseeing the Gator defense. But if the tandem of Wickline and Watson isn't up to that standard, Strong's debut season in Austin may encounter a few more hiccups than planned.

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